Ford took everyone’s attention last year at Detroit when they announced the Shelby GT350 and 350R cars which features, for the first time ever in the model’s life, a flat-plane crankshaft that is pretty much a novelty on the North American continent. In order to get more free publicity and to allow the car to get known on a wider level, Ford introduced the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350RC which is basically the same car as the 350R with a few minor upgrades in order to make it suitable for racing.
This means that Ford basically has a race-ready car out there which can be converted to a race car in a few easy steps.
Under the Hood
Engine wise, the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350RC is being powered by the same 5.2 liter naturally aspirated V8 which uses a flat-plane crank where the pins are spaced at 180 degree intervals instead of 90 degree intervals. This allowed Ford to built a lighter engine which can rev a lot higher than a usual V8 with its red-line coming well over 7,000 rpm. Also, thanks to that, it can offer a rather large output without having to use forced induction.
Unfortunately Ford still hasn’t disclosed the official output of the race car but considering that it is based on the production vehicle, we expect it to offer 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque which is plenty for a car aimed at track use. The transmission is likely the same 6 speed manual as in the production model but with likely a few small upgrades.
Updates and Changes
The biggest change over the production model of the car is that the GT350RC is using stiffer springs and shocks, thicker anti-roll bars as well as bigger brakes. Also, instead of the very expensive carbon-fiber wheels found on the base car, the racing version is using lightweight alloy wheels which are cheaper to make and quite a bit more durable. The tires have also different specifications and while the size might be the same, the RC can be had with semi-slicks, slicks or grooved-slicks for rain use.
Design – Inside and Outside look
The interior of the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350RC is as stripped as it can be for race use. Ford installed a steel roll-cage to keep the driver safe during high speed races and they stripped the padding on the floor and roof as well as removed the door-covers. This allows the Mustang to keep its weight relatively unchanged despite the added bulk of the roll-cage. Also, instead of having two seats, the car uses only once racing seats with a 6-point racing harness and where the passenger seat would be, Ford installed a fire-suppression system.
The exterior of the RC is basically unchanged from the production model which is really impressive considering the car comes like this from the factory. The only new features are the wheels and tires but these could easily be used on the 350 or 350R. Also, the splitter and wing found on the race version of the car are identical to those on the 350R which truly shows how much work Ford put into this car.
2016 Ford Shelby GT350RC Price
So far it is unknown if the 350RC is actually available for sale considering it only raced with teams sponsored by Ford but we are pretty sure that soon the car will become available for sale. The price, if we take into account how much the 350R costs, will likely hover between $100,000 and $150,000 which is really cheap for a car that can race without any additional costs.
However, it will likely be not available for sale for at least a few more months which is still fine considering that its direct competitor, the Z/28R, is still missing and it will be missing from the market for at least a few more years.