Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, F-150 Raptor looks won't change, says performance boss

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2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Despite visual updates for the 2018 Ford Mustang and 2018 Ford F-150, officials from Ford last week said high-performance versions of both—the F-150 Raptor and the Shelby GT350—will skip new sheet metal.

Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief engineer, told Motor Authority at the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor launch in Utah the current-generation Shelby GT350 and Raptor will not get the visual updates their contemporary models received.

Krenz said to update the Shelby GT350's look would require a new front bumper, headlights, fenders, and hood, all at great expense.

None of those updates would make the GT350 go faster, he said.

READ: 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor first drive review: Smarter, faster, still king

Visual changes aren't on the docket, but the Shelby GT350 isn't withering on the vine. It replaced the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a GT350-specific tread pattern and compound for more grip. The aero was also upgraded with a new Gurney flap on the rear decklid and revised blanks in the grille. Also revised was its suspension tune and electronic aids for better driver feedback. We haven't driven the updated 2019 Shelby GT350, but will report back on the updates once we have.

The Raptor was also refreshed for 2019, but its visual changes were minimal and limited to slightly updated wheels and engine cover while Recaro seats are now available. The update focused mostly on a new electronic Trail Control system to make the truck smarter, and new Fox 3.0 Bypass shocks that are electronically controlled to adapt in real-time to the terrain.

Why not go further with the Raptor's looks?

"We invest in suspension," Krenz said about the Raptor.

 
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