By Andrew Ganz
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 @ 5:18 pm
 
Certainly no stranger to race tracks, Shelby-developed vehicles have long been dominant forces on the pavement. Yet when Shelby American announced its plans for a reborn, supercharged GT350 based on the 2011 Ford Mustang GT, some SCCA enthusiasts cried foul over the forced-induction, which wouldn't be allowed on a closed course. To remedy the situation, Shelby will begin offering a more track-oriented, naturally-aspirated GT350 equipped with an automatic or manual transmission.

Like the Shelby GT, which took home an SCCA class championship last year, the naturally-aspirated GT350 was designed specifically to be a track tool.

"The GT350 is a street car that is perfect for track day and solo racing activities," said John Luft, president of Shelby American, in a statement released to the media. "Beginning with the small block Ford Mustang GT, we worked with Ford Racing, Borla, Goodyear and Baer to create a car that should be competitive right out of the box."

Shelby hasn't detailed the model's powertrain modifications, although the company says that the naturally-aspirated model will be available exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual transmission, whereas the supercharged offering comes only with the stick. The basic GT350 is a post-title package that starts with a standard 2011 Mustang GT - itself powered by Ford's all-new, 412-horsepower 5.0-liter V8.

The biggest track day changes come under the GT350, where Ford Racing struts, sway bars and adjustable caster/camber plates have been tuned specifically for the naturally aspirated model. Shelby-designed six-piston calipers grab 14 inch rotors up front and ERADISPEED rotors out back. Special light-weight 19 inch alloy wheels are wrapped in aggressive Goodyear tires.

The naturally aspirated GT350 gets the same unique body treatment as the supercharged range-topper, which was designed by ex-Hot Wheels guru Larry Wood. All GT350s will be swathed in white with Shelby Guardsman Blue Le Mans-style stripes running from head to toe.

Shelby says that the package will start at $26,995 on top of the standard Mustang GT chosen by a buyer.