2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R First Drive: Stick and Move
Ford's track-focused ponycar is all about holding on.
To climb Mount Midoriyama and win the American Ninja Warrior competition like Drew Drechsel did a few months ago requires a lot of things to come together: strength, obviously, along with balance, speed, hand-eye coordination and stamina. But none of that matters without grip. Grip is the deciding factor when dangling from the Ultimate Cliffhanger and it’s the ultimate factor when driving a car. Especially a car like the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R, the most potent pony until the 760-hp GT500 goes on sale in the fall.
You have three moves in a car; three accelerations. Forward with the throttle (that’s acceleration acceleration), braking (negative acceleration) and steering (lateral acceleration). All are governed by the grip of the tires, in this case, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, the best or second-best tire south of a racing slick.
For 2020, Ford improved the lighter-weight GT350R (3,791 pounds to 3,703 pounds over the base GT350) incrementally. It changed the front steering knuckles for less tramming (that’s when the front wheels and steering wheel follow the grooves in the road), installed solid front rotors on the front, a new steering rack, new ABS programming and new traction control tuning.