The first example of the Shelby Mustang GT350 has landed in Australia, set to be converted by Melbourne outfit Mustang Motorsports.
A privately-imported 2017 model, the road racer is being converted to right-hand drive and will provide Mustang Motorsports with the knowledge it needs to convert other GT350s when/if Australia’s import laws change.
As the Ford Mustang is currently offered as a standard production car in Australia low-volume variants are off the table, but new legislation set to be introduced in late-2019/early-2020 will allow such models to be legally imported as long as they meet certain exclusivity criteria.
The Shelby GT350 isn’t offered in right-hand drive but while pricing hasn’t yet been confirmed – MM is keeping the final figure under wraps until it has an accurate assessment of the time/parts involved – it’s expected to be in the $200,000-250,000 range.
Unlike the regular Mustang GT, the Shelby GT350 uses a flat-plane 5.2-litre V8 – dubbed ‘Voodoo’ – to produce 392kW/581Nm while revving to 8000rpm. This translated to 335kW at the rear wheels on Mustang Motorsport’s dyno.
By way of comparison, a standard 2018 Mustang GT manual produced 306.4kW at the hubs on Herrod Performance’s dyno. While not a like-for-like comparison due to the wheel vs hub dyno – not to mention different temperatures etc. – it suggests the GT350 is one potent Pony Car.
Other changes include wider wheels – 19 x 10.5-inch front; 19 x 11.0-inch rear – wearing Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, larger brakes, a shorter 3.73:1 final drive (standard V8 Mustangs are 3.55:1) as well as exterior and interior upgrades.
The supercharged Shelby GT500 is also a possibility but MM told MOTOR that securing an example to import will be difficult due to demand far outweighing supply in its USA homeland.