Shelby GT350, GT350R Return for National Mustang Day

2018 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

CARS.COM — Did you know that today is National Mustang Day? OK, neither did we until (who else?) Ford told us. Falling so close to Easter this year, the automaker ensured it wouldn't have its thunder stolen by a giant egg-caching bunny by laying an Easter egg of its own: the return of the top-performing 'Stangs — the Shelby GT350 and GT350R — for the 2018 model year.

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The Shelby will again be powered by the 2017 version's 5.2-liter V-8 that cranks out 526 horsepower and 429 pounds-feet of torque. For comparison, the 2017 GT model has a 5.0-liter V-8 that makes 435 hp, while the base model has a 3.7-liter V-6 that makes 300 hp. That's in addition to the Shelby's braking bona fides courtesy of 15.5-inch two-piece front rotors and six-piston Brembo calipers. It also features a MagneRide damping system.

All that carries over to 2018, but buyers will have a choice of three new exterior colors: Orange Fury, Kona Blue and Lead Foot Gray. Available on both the GT350 and GT350R are the Electronics Package, which includes Ford's Sync 3 multimedia system, voice-activated navigation and a nine-speaker stereo, and the Convenience Package on GT350 models only, replacing the Recaro manual sport seats with six-way power-adjustable heated and cooled sport seats with suede inserts.

The Shelby — which Ford calls "the most track-capable, street legal Mustang ever built — will make its way back into showrooms this fall. Ford didn't specify whether the outgoing model's price would carry over, but the 2017 GT350 starts at $57,045, which includes a $900 destination charge and $1,300 gas-guzzler tax.

Can't hold out until fall or just can't pony up the cash for this pony car? You can still celebrate National Mustang Day by enjoying the sweet sound of the iconic sports coupe's signature growl. Ford is offering a free downloadable ringtone of the 2018 Mustang GT's actual engine rev as it bombs to 155 mph in Track mode, which makes full use of the all-new active valve performance exhaust and newly available 10-speed automatic transmission.

"We created this system to provide customers with a sound experience that best complements the exhilaration of driving the Mustang," said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer, in a statement. "The total excitement is something you don't just feel, you hear."

Hear the sound and fury, signifying Mustang, here.


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