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Ford highlights GT350 Mustang's handling upgrades

The Shelby build benefits from continuously variable MagneRide dampers, specialized suspension components, extra chassis stiffening and bigger brakes.

Ford has highlighted extensive handling-focused upgrades that promise to improve track performance of the new Shelby GT350 and GT350R Mustang.

The GT350 is said to significantly raise the bar above the Mustang GT performance pack, requiring a wide range of modifications. The suspension has been heavily revised, with new aluminum front knuckle, hub and bearing assemblies that are both stiffer and lighter than the standard parts.

"Every change we made to this car was driven by the functional requirements of a powerful, responsive powerplant - nimble, precise handling and massive stopping power," says Ford development head Raj Nair.

Heavy-duty bearings further increase lateral stiffness, while rigid bushings are fitted to the control arms and subframes. Front and rear antiroll bars have been enlarged to improve body control, and one side of the rear suspension features a counter-wound rear spring and mirror-image control arm for consistent wheel motion.

The company suggests the biggest upgrade is its first-ever application of continuously variable MagneRide active dampers, quickly adjusting the suspension characteristics via ferrofluid. A computer monitors wheel position, steering angle, damper temperature and other vehicle data, making adjustments every seven milliseconds.

The GT350 builds also feature the most powerful brakes ever fitted to a production Mustang, with two-piece rotors -- 394mm in the front and 380mm in the rear -- clamped by six-piston Brembo calipers up front and four-piston units at the rear.

"These cars can be driven by any driver on any track in the world - with virtually no fade," says Ford vehicle dynamics supervisor Brent Clark.

The GT350R has been outfitted with hand-laid carbon-fiber wheels, slightly wider than the 19-inch cast-aluminum rims on the standard GT350 but approximately 50 pounds lighter. Both sets are wrapped in high-performance rubber, either Michelin Pilot Super Sport or Sport Cup 2 tires, that have been built to Ford's specifications.

The company will sell the anniversary-edition 2015 GT350 in limited quantities, including just 100 of the basic models and 37 GT350R packages, both of which will begin arriving in showrooms later this year.

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