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First Impressions of 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 Agree: Wow!

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2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 first drives
2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 first drives say this pony is better than ever
Photo: Ford Motor Company

The upcoming return of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 — all 700-plus horsepower of it — fortunately does not spell the end of the Shelby GT350, which has been tearing it up since its return in 2016. In fact, the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 gets some modest updates, including an optional Gurney flap spoiler, new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and a couple of fancy new blue color options.

Tuesday, a great wizard waved a wand and shouted “Embargous Liftus” into the ether, resulting in a deluge of articles from all across the land. Turns out a whole bunch of folks got invited to the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, to take this bad little number for a spin, and the consensus is that the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 is a rousing success.

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Pilot Sport Cup 2 Tires Get Rave Reviews

2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Folks agree: These are some super great tires
Photo: Ford Motor Company

Reese Counts of Autoblog lauds the Mustang Shelby GT350 for its recalibrated MagneRide suspension and improvements to electric power-assisted steering, but the addition of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires seems to be his favorite update by far: “Seriously, we can’t emphasize this change enough. The Pilot Super Sports [from the 2018 Mustang Shelby GT350] are already fantastic tires, but Cup 2s are truly transformative.” Counts even goes so far as to recommend that folks with a 2016-18 Shelby GT350 head out and pick up a set of Ford-spec Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires if they don’t plan up upgrading to the 2019 pony.

That same sentiment is echoed by Motor Trend’s Frank Markus, who says the addition of the new Michelin rubbers “represents a serious performance and technology leap.” Jon Wong of CNET’s Road/Show writes that the improved grip offered by the Sport Cup 2s work in perfect harmony with the stability provided by the updates to MagneRide, stiffer front springs, and a stiffer rear antiroll bar.

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Still Under Its Spell

5.2-liter flat-plane crankshaft V8 Shelby GT350
The vaunted Voodoo flat-plane crankshaft V8
Photo: Ford Motor Company

With all the small upgrades that make the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 that much better, the star of the show remains the 5.2-liter flat-pane crankshaft V8 codenamed Voodoo. Counts calls it “a marvel, a screaming testament to all things good about internal combustion”; Kristen Lee of Jalopnik calls it “godly” and notes that “it’s actually pretty cool that you can get [a flat-plane V8] in a Mustang and not completely wreck your savings account.”

More than even just how it performs, Voodoo earns points for the way it sounds. Markus counts his blessings that Ford did not alter the sound of the V8 in Sport Exhaust mode, which he likens to “a pair of Suzuki Hayabusa motors shouting in unison down a sewer pipe. Long may this glorious sound echo down these stainless, sport-tuned sewer pipes.” Now I seriously want a sequence in It: Chapter 2 where James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain roar into Pennywise’s lair on motorcycles…

In any case, folks around the horn are impressed by the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. And now that we know that this awesome thing is still awesome/even more awesome, we can all wait and see just how much Ford intends to one-up it with the Shelby GT500.

Photos: 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350

News Sources: Autoblog, Motor Trend, CNET, Jalopnik