Ford has whipped the covers off the new Shelby Mustang GT350R at the Detroit auto show today, revealing what it touts to be the most track-ready production Mustang ever made.
Featuring "over 500hp" (or 373kW) and more than 542Nm of torque from its 5.2 litre V8, the GT350R boasts the most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 built by Ford.
Ford isn't talking specific power figures just yet, but those numbers imply the GT350R's engine is the same as the GT350 it's based upon.
It's not just about power, though.
Built as a homage to the original Shelby GT350 Competition Model - which was a lightweight version of the "regular" GT350 with more power and a track-spec suspension - the 2015 GT350R features a bevy of mods designed to increase its racetrack prowess.
The suspension is entirely unique to the GT350R, with specific spring and swaybar rates, a lower ride height, unique alignment settings, firmer bushings and bumpstops plus a new calibration for the electronically-adjustable dampers.
The bodywork is largely similar to the regular GT350, with a bonnet vent to keep the engine cool and reduce lift, a rear diffuser to promote downforce and vented wheel wells.
The most noticeable external additions are the prominent rear wing and front splitter, as well as the "R's" lightweight racing wheels.
Weight has been reduced by ditching the rear seats, boot trim, air conditioning, stereo, reversing camera and exhaust resonators, saving around 60kg of mass over the GT350 Track Pack.
Customers seeking a few more creature comforts can opt to have the A/C, sat-nav and stereo added back in.
Right now, the Shelby Mustang GT350R is only locked in for a North American release.
The regular Mustang will be coming to Australia this year in four-cylinder EcoBoost and V8 guise, but a local debut for the hotter Shelby models has yet to be confirmed.
However with the appetite for top-end performance models being especially strong in Australia, there may yet be a business case for the Shelby Mustang range to come to our shores. Watch this space.
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