For the last 2015 Mustangs, Ford is pulling a closeout special for the ages. Before the first 2016 GT350 gets built — that’s the 500-horsepower, high-revving, magnetically-shocked, aluminum-fendered Mustang with the stripes — there will be 100 GT350s made for the 2015 model year. This wasn’t supposed to happen since the car was announced last November, but since some Shelby fans prefer an exact 50-year spread between the first GT350 and this new one, Ford decided it would charge those guys a lot more money that it otherwise would.
The company is controlling all orders, with 50 cars slotted with the comfy Technology Package (leather, nav, etc.) and the other half with the hardcore Track Package (stiffer springs, tranny and diff coolers, and other hardware). Bet on dealers taking a chunky premium over the estimated $53,000 starting price.
On the more extreme end, there will be just 37 GT350R coupes made for 2015. That number respects Carroll Shelby’s original assertion of making 35 competition GT350s and two protoypes in 1965, despite records that indicate 34 production cars. While the 2015 GT350R won’t be going racing as-is, it’s got plenty of exotic equipment, like the industry’s first mass-produced carbon fiber wheels, a carbon fiber splitter, and giant rear wing. In addition to a rock-hard suspension and barely-legal Michelins that won’t last more than 10,000 miles at best, Ford deletes the rear seats, radio, and A/C. This means the GT350R is tolerable on the street almost none of the time. Consider it Dearborn’s version of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, or a direct response to the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.
If having the first and final 2015 Shelbys are on your to-do list, you should have already had a friend inside Ford reserve one. For everyone else, the identical 2016 cars should suffice. You won’t be around long enough to witness the price appreciation, anyhow, and really, do you care what your VIN says? The DMV collecting your sales tax sure doesn’t, and certainly couldn’t appreciate the finer details of this new Shelby.