Following a string of recent rumors, Ford revealed that it will indeed be axing the GT350 lineup after the 2020 model year, with their demise being necessary to make room for the recently unveiled Mach 1 model.
However, the departure of the GT350 also means that it’s curtains for the 5.2 liter flat plane crank V8. Dubbed the “Voodoo” engine, this otherworldly engine made 526 horsepower and revved all the way up to 8,250 rpm. It makes a killer soundtrack, and we recently had the chance to sample it one final time in Michigan via a bright orange GT350R. The GT350 could also perhaps be viewed as the last pure analog high performance Mustang in the lineup, with the GT500 swapping its aging manual gearbox for a slick dual clutch automatic. This allowed the GT350 to have a unique flavor out on the track especially when the R model had the opportunity to show off its upgraded wares.
“With the 760 horsepower Shelby GT500 now in full stride, we will finish production of the Shelby GT350 and GT350R this fall as planned. This makes the way for new additions to excite our passionate Mustang fans for 2021 model year – including the limited edition Mach 1.
Speaking of the Mach 1, it’s being positioned as the definitive replacement for the GT350, with the new arrival borrowing a number of parts from the outgoing GT350. But this grafting of DNA does not include the 5.2 liter V8, with the Mach 1 using a highly modified version of the 5.0 liter V8. The axing of the duo also coincides with the development of the next generation Ford Mustang. A fresh stream of rumors from Automotive News suggests that the next generation pony would be unveiled in 2022, with the first production models being released as 2023 models.
With the GT350 and GT350R being cosigned to the retirement home, the GT500 will be the lone Shelby badged model remaining in Ford’s lineup, but with a combination of youth and a supercharged 760 horsepower V8 lurking under the hood, look for the GT500 to remain firmly entrenched in the lineup until Ford pulls the plug on the current generation Mustang. In the meantime, fans can still order the GT350 Heritage Edition which features new trim and Wimbledon White paint.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.