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2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R dips into the pony car parts bin for upgrades

The hotter GT350 borrows a few suspension modifications from the GT500.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R
It's back and should be better than ever.

As far as the sixth-generation Mustang pecking order goes, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R has been king of the pony-car hill, but that changed when the automaker ushered the Shelby GT500 into the world. Despite the change in hierarchy, Ford hasn't forgotten about the GT350R, and for the 2020 model year, it actually borrows from the GT500.

Ford said in a release on Monday it's upgraded the 2020 Shelby GT350R with a redesigned front suspension geometry and a high-trail steering knuckle. The automaker said both are "leveraged" from the GT500. Additionally, engineers placed a new steering rack with a reconfigured electric power steering control. The latter upgrades are meant to sharpen steering precision and make the GT350R even easier to drive on the track.

Under the hood is still the rev-happy 5.2-liter V8 with 526 horsepower ready and willing. GT350R buyers also receive a larger front splitter and a rear wing to improve aerodynamics on the track. In the name of saving weight, Ford equips the racier pony car with carbon-fiber wheels, deletes the rear seats and scraps the exhaust resonators. The latter action also gives the engine a grander voice, and that's a very good thing with the flat-plane crank V8.

As for the Shelby GT350, it's all carryover this time. For the 2019 model year, Ford provided some pretty generous updates to the GT350 minus the R. They included a new suspension, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires as standard, a new aero package and a few other standard gadgets inside. The GT350R lacks luxuries, but the brand will gladly outfit the fiestier pony car with a Technology Package too.

To mix things up, Ford has also introduced four new colors for the GT350 and GT350R: Grabber Lime, Twister Orange, Iconic Silver and Red Hot Metallic. Ford didn't announce pricing changes for either model, but it's safe to assume both cars will receive a minor increase as they go on sale alongside the GT500 later this year.

Now playing: Watch this: Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R makes mincemeat of the track