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Car and Driver: Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R Gets Its Back Seat Back—as a $999 Extra

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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R

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Part of what separates the the track-focused Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R from the “regular” GT350 is that the R is supposed to be lighter. In order to make it lighter, Ford strips out some of the regular GT350’s standard equipment: air conditioning, the audio system, navigation, Sync 3, a rearview camera, side-view mirrors with turn-signal repeaters, auxiliary gauges, a garage-door opener, floor mats, and the back seat. The GT350R’s optional Electronics Package ($3000) puts all of that stuff back in, except for the back seat. Now Ford will let GT350R buyers add that, too.

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Shelby GT350R Mustang back seat

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The seat—upholstered in the same black microsuede with red piping as the front seats—is available as an accessory, for $999 plus dealer installation. And, yes, it comes with seatbelts.

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Ford says the change is in response to customer demand. Evidently, customers want the maximum Shelby, but they’re not so into the minimalist spec. Add back in all of the optional stuff that the R is supposed to take out, and the differences between the GT350R and the GT350 with the Track Package (which is standard on the R) come down to the R’s revised suspension (springs, anti-roll bars, bushings, jounce bumpers, front ball joints, MagneRide tuning, and alignment spec); its lighter, carbon-fiber wheels wrapped in ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires; carbon-fiber aero bits; retuned power steering; and some reconfigured switchgear.

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We wouldn’t think many GT350Rs would need to be pressed into carpool duty, and if one did want to occasionally stuff a couple passengers into the back of your muscle Mustang, then we’d think a GT350, with or without the Track Package, would serve just fine. But Shelby customers have spoken, even if somewhat nonsensically. And whichever GT350 version they buy, and however they equip it, they’re getting an undeniably awesome package and one of our 10Best Cars.

-Pm5TMra-Qng

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