FoMoCo finally unveiled its 2016 Shelby GT350. It has a unique flat-plane crankshaft high-revving 5.2-liter V8 with more than 500 HP and 400 TQ which is the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever. Shelby also brings 6-speed manual, Magnetic ride, big brakes and already well known independent suspension, Ford-tuned Torsen limited-slip differential. Ford claims it is ” an all-day track car that’s also street legal”. This means some big competition to Chevy’s Camaro Z/28.
What’s flat-plane crankshaft?
Traditionally V8’s connecting rods are attached to the crankshaft at 90-degree interval. In a flat-plane crankshaft the crank pins are positioned at 180-degree intervals and that allows a cylinder to fire in order that alternates between cylinder banks for better air flow.
“Rather than develop individual systems to perform well independently, every component and shape is optimized to work in concert; balance is the key” – says Ford. “The new aluminum hood has been lowered and sloped, compared to the base Mustang, tightly wrapped around the engine for the smallest possible aerodynamic signature. Front and rear aero elements have been balanced to work together on the track. The fascia has been resculpted to provide the aggressive lower front splitter with maximum pressure and a ducted belly pan delivers significant downforce. The hood outlet acts as a heat extractor while also reducing underhood lift at high speed. At the rear, much of the engineering was focused on creating an aggressive functional diffuser doing double duty to increase downforce and provide cooling air to the optional differential cooler, and a subtle lip spoiler across the trailing edge of the decklid increases downforce without adding excess drag.”