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2015 Mustang: Shelby GT350R, ROUSH EcoBoost Exhaust, Sales, Global Markets & More...



2016 Shelby GT350R

In case you missed it, one of the most highly anticipated versions of the 6th Generation Mustang was revealed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, with more than 500HP and 400 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Shelby GT350R is ready for a fight. Following its reveal, X-Tomi created a rendering of what a convertible version could look like, which we have to say looks great! Also included, a list of key things you need to know.


Ford introduced the new Shelby GT350R this morning at the Detroit Auto Show. The exciting main features include carbon-fiber wheels as standard equipment and a host of "race-ready" technology. Ford has billed the GT350R as "the most track-capable production Mustang ever built."

The GT350R is powered by Ford's first ever flat-plane-crank V-8. It creates more than 500 HP and more than 400 lb-ft of torque.

Ford also put a lot of effort into weight shaving for the GT350R. To that end items like air conditioning, stereo system, rear seats, and trunk floorboard and carpet have been removed. The GT350R, according to Ford, is more than 130 lbs lighter than the Shelby GT350 Track Pack model.

More: Ford reveals Shelby GT350R at 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Ford revealed its Shelby GT350R Mustang at the Detroit Auto Show. People are already wondering if the model will be turned into a convertible as well. We don't know if it will or not, but we do know what that model would end up looking like thanks to a well done render by X-Tomi.

More: Shelby GT350R Mustang Convertible Rendered

R'nt you curious about the Mustang Shelby GT350R?

Just when it appeared Ford's new Mustang couldn't wow us any more than it already does, along comes the Shelby GT350R. If the V-8–powered Mustang GT is a peach, the next-level-up GT350 is pure enthusiast bliss. So where does that leave the even more focused GT350R, with its aerodynamic addenda and harder-core chassis setup? Can you say track-day domination? Our interest piqued—to say the least—we hunted down the team responsible for the car and uncovered several cool facts about the car.

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R

Of course, the springs and anti-roll bars are stiffer than those on the GT350, and the MagneRide adaptive dampers were retuned to make the car an even deadlier apex killer.

No additional pow-R

The GT350R's glorious-sounding flat-crank 5.2-liter V-8 engine makes no more power than does the same motor in the GT350. (Output hasn't been finalized; Ford says only that it's good for more than 500 hp and more than 400 lb-ft of torque.) The good news is that the R model carries around about 130 fewer pounds thanks to the deletion of the air conditioning, rear seats, audio system, and trunk lining, as well as a few other measures.

Equal distribution, equally

Regarding with the GT350R's weight savings, the engineers managed to remove pounds in roughly equal measure front and rear, so the car has the exact same weight distribution as the "basic" GT350.

It got low

The R's suspension is lowered by a subtle 0.2 inch relative to the GT350's. The move was made solely to improve handling, but we think it has an equally impressive effect on the Mustang's stance.

We don't need no stinkin' exhaust resonators!

More loud and less weight. What else do you need to know?

A one-to-one steering ratio

No, the car's steering ratio isn't actually 1:1, but the ratio between the GT350R's steering ratio and that of the GT350 is. The two are exactly the same—the R doesn't get a quicker rack.

Carbon-fiber wheels save weight? Who knew?

Ford says each of the GT350R's exotic carbon-fiber wheels save 13 pounds over an equivalent aluminum wheel like the ones fitted to the regular GT350. Less unsprung weight to deal with means extra-happy chassis engineers—and drivers.

It turns harder and sharper

To sharpen the GT350R's responses, Ford switched to a cross-axis ball-joint connection for the front control arms from a traditional bushing-supported setup. The switch results in a "zero-compliance" connection between the steering knuckle and the control arm.

Better aerodynamics, more downforce, no choice

The deep front splitter, jaunty side skirts, and rear spoiler will be standard kit. There will be no heavier-duty aero package available

Where R you, R badges?

We studied the Mustang Shelby GT350R's exterior for a good long while while we photographed the car, and we couldn't find a single "R" badge on it. Anywhere.

Discuss: 10 Things You Need to Know About the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R
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ROUSH Performance 2.3L EcoBoost Axle-Back Exhaust

While you do get a nice rumble with the stock exhaust, opting for Roush's axle-back system for a deeper tone might be something to consider whether you own the 2.3L EcoBoost, V6 or V8. Below we've included videos of all three, turn up your speakers :)

In this video you will find our 2015+ ROUSH Performance 2.3L Ecoboost exhaust for the S550 Mustangs.

This kit is compatible with both the I4 and V6 variant Mustangs.

Our Price: $571.99 (USD) * Part #: 421837

Product Features
  • All new for 2015 V6 and EcoBoost Mustangs
  • ROUSH designed Single tip high-flow mufflers
  • Corrosion resistant 304 stainless steel
  • Full mandrel bending
  • 4" Flash-chromed dual wall tips
  • Uses OEM hangars and mounting points
  • Requires no welding
  • Some cutting required

Description:
With the affordable yet powerful V6 and the fast and economical EcoBoost engine choices , Ford’s 2015 Mustang offers high performing options to suite any budget or sensibility. While both of these engines perform well beyond what their cylinder count would imply, with ford’s stock exhaust they don’t quite have the aggressive sound Mustang owners crave.

ROUSH Performance has a specially engineered exhaust that fits both the V6 and the EcoBoost Mustangs. Constructed from t-304 stainless steel, the 2015 ROUSH V6 exhaust is corrosion and stain resistant. Constant diameter mandrel bends maintain high flow and reduce backpressure. This exhaust uses factory mounting points and will fit both V6 and EcoBoost mustangs without requiring any modification or welding. This axle back system improves the sound and performance of your mustang with single tip High flow Mufflers.

This exhaust is noticeably louder and produces a deeper tone at idle and a raspy aggressive sound at higher revs.

More: 2015 ROUSH Performance 2.3L Ecoboost Axle-Back exhaust
2015 ROUSH Performance 2.3L Ecoboost Axle-Back exhaust

2015 ROUSH V6 Axle-back Mustang Exhaust

2015 ROUSH V8 Axle-back Mustang Exhaust
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EcoBoost Mustang VS Focus RS

EcoBoost Mustang or Focus RS? Tough decision if you like both and live in North America as the RS model Focus was never sold here. What ever your current or future decision may be, join in the discussion below and let us know which side you're on:

For showed the Focus RS today, using the same 2.3L it makes AT LEAST 320/320, matted to a 6 speed and intelligent torque vectoring AWD... Its mean, it looks mean, and as of now it may of put my Mustang plans on hiatus...

Discuss: Decisions, Decision: Ecoboost Mustang vs Focus RS
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How The Mustang Is Made

Granted special permission to enter and film inside Ford's manufacturing facility at Flat Rock, famous vlogger Schmee150 gives the world a look at what goes on.

Ford releases video showing how the 2015 Mustang is made

The 2015 Ford Mustang is built at the Ford manufacturing facility at Flat Rock. A vlogger named Schmee150 recorded this 7 and a half minute vehicle that shows just how the Ford Mustang is built. It's a rare sight as Ford won't let just anyone in to video tape the process.

More: Ford releases video showing how the 2015 Mustang is made

Following my visit to NAIAS with Ford, before flying home we were taken on a whistle-stop tour around the Flat Rock plant, home of the Ford Mustang. Normally one cannot film within the walls where everything from a Mustang EcoBoost to the latest Shelby Mustangs are built, but we were granted special permission to give you an insight into the facility.

I've edited the video to give you a feel of what goes on, from the stamping department to final assembly, although naturally there's a whole lot more to know about. Given the importance of this location, building over 1m Mustangs since 2005, I felt it worth sharing the experience.

Thanks for watching, Tim
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2015 Convertibles Arrive At Dealers

In December 2014, it was reported Ford would be shipping Mustang Convertibles to dealers across the nation. Joining the many, is American Idol Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson, as you'll see below. Keep an eye out for these!

2015 Mustang Convertibles Begin Shipping to Dealers

Beginning this week, 2015 Mustang Convertibles will begin shipping to dealers nationwide as per a Ford Press Release.

"Cold weather may have come unseasonably early this year, but with available heated seats, remote start and selectable drive modes with a snow/wet setting, Mustang is the perfect offering for the season,” said Melanie Banker, Mustang brand manager.

While many parts of the US and all of Canada are currently draped in dreary cold and snow, which may not inspire the greatest confidence in convertabling at this time of year, Ford wants you to believe they have you covered.

Heated seats are standard on all premium Mustang Convertibles as are Selectable driving modes, featuring a wet/snow setting that retards throttle response, steering effort and traction control to suit the conditions. Remote start is standard on all automatic transmissioned S550's.

While the PR rhetoric from Banker may be that “Mustangs are made for year-round practicality and enjoyment, so it’s exciting that customers are taking delivery of their convertible Mustang models – regardless of the season,” the Mustang is no snowmobile. Me thinks the winter launch was premeditated to curb demand during these early stages, allowing them to stockpile accordingly for the anticipated spring rush.

Anyone going Topless?
Fast forward a month, now owners are picking up their convertibles. One of them American Idol Season 13 Winner, Caleb Johnson:
As we watch American Idol 2015 moving along nicely and we are halfway through Hollywood Week on American Idol Season 14, it looks like American Idol Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson is finally getting to enjoy some time in his Ford Mustang! As you remember, Caleb received the 2015 Ford Mustang for being a finalist on American Idol 2014 and now he is happy to receive the sweet ride, as seen in our American Idol 2015 spoilers below!



It’s crazy to think that it has been nine months since Caleb was named the winner of American Idol Season 13, but it has been! Things have been crazy since winning and Caleb recently got a chance to pick up his 2015 Ford Mustang GT Convertible at a Ford dealership in Asheville, North Carolina!

I know it is a big deal to be one of the finalists on American Idol in general, but how sweet is that car??? That makes it worth it, even if the album sales flop after the victory!



Join us tonight on Gossip & Gab for our American Idol 2015 Live Recap. Let’s watch together Hollywood Week on American Idol Season 14 continues! For even more American Idol news, check out our partner site American Idol Net. Bookmark us or friend us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus for all our latest updates. Want to see more from Editor-in-Chief Todd Betzold? Check him out ranting on all things reality TV at Reality Rewind.

More: 2015 Mustang Convertibles Begin Shipping to Dealers
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Mustang Goes Global

The Mustang goes global as China's first 100 leaves Portland, headed for mainland China, following order books recently being opened in the UK.

Order books in Europe just opened and now for the first time in its 50 year life, the Mustang is heading out on a road trip. Ironic that the car most symbolizing freedom has never left home!

This week Ford kicked off the Mustangs continental circus in style, the first 100 export S550's we're loaded onto the car carrier Morning Calm in Portland, next stop, Mainland China. You can track the Morning Calm here

Ford expects that exports to Europe will begin somewhere in the middle of 2015. Their logistics arm, Ford Trading Co. ships export cars from one of 8 ports in Oregon, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey and California. European cars for example will head from Flat Rock to their departure point in Maryland.

"Preparing these vehicles for shipment to their final destination is critical to satisfying both customer and regulatory requirements for our markets around the world," said Gerald Schoenle, director, Ford Trading Co. "We want our customers globally to know that their Ford vehicles will meet emissions, safety and road-worthiness requirements."

More: China Kicks off 2015 Mustang Exports
For the first time ever the Ford Mustang is on sale in the UK. Order books are open for the right-hand drive pony car with the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, the V6 engine, and the 5-liter GT engine available. Though the V6 will not be available as a fleet vehicle.

It is expected to be a niche vehicle in the UK, so the options are pretty limited at the moment. Both engines are available with manual and automatic versions, and both are also available with convertible or fastback bodies.

The fully loaded 2.3 Ecoboost version will cost $44,000 USD, while the GT will go for $50,000. So all-in-all the Mustang it more expensive in the UK than the US. Do note that these prices include UK taxes and fees though.

No mention of a performance package though.

More: The Mustang is Officially on Sale in the UK
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Sales

While sales were slow for the Mustang late 2014 for obvious reasons, being topped by the Camaro. Numbers rebounded for January 2015 with the Mustang taking lead.

By the slimest of margins, considering 2014 sales were obliterated by a year of waiting for the 2015 cars, pretty good all things considered...

Chevrolet just recently announced US sales figures for December, 2014, revealing that dealers sold 6,628 units that month, up 32.2 percent from the same month in 2013. That pushed US sales of the pony car up to an impressive 86,297 units for the year.

Meanwhile, the phasing-out of the fifth-generation Ford Mustang predictably led to a sales slump through most of 2014 for the Camaro-fighter, but the numbers picked right back up as soon as the new 2015 Ford Mustang hit dealer lots in November. By year’s end, the pony car had sold 82,635 units – just over 4 percent less than the Camaro.
More: Camaro Outsells Mustang...
Finally the car has reached all corners of the country, there are no more 2014 cars...

However, in the first month of 2015, the Chevrolet Camaro didn’t have any real bragging rights, as the Mustang sold so well that Ford was only about 900 units short of outselling the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger combined in January. This comes in a month where Mustang sales dropped a bit from the month before, but with the Chevrolet Camaro dropping by a far bigger margin from December 2014 to January 2015, the Mustang handed the Camaro a severe sales beat-down – making the first time that the Mustang has outsold the Camaro in January in the past four years.
I'm sure chev will claw back a bunch with discounts and eventually the new model...

More: Mustang Selling Like it Should...
 
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