If you love the “driving” part of racing and only tolerate the “wrenching and car prep” part for those brief moments of competitive joy, Ford just whipped out a race car for you. Meet the new Shelby FP350S, a new car designed for Trans Am, SCCA and NASA use.
Best of all, you can order it straight from your local Ford dealer. Usually, ordering a race car from a dealership is followed up with a host of annoying calls to a cage builder, gear shops and your favorite mechanics or wrenching buddies. The Shelby FP350S, on the other hand, comes ready to run in several existing race classes: Trans Am TA3 or TA4, plus SCCA and NASA club racing (T1 and T2).
Because it’s based on the Mustang, it should be a riot to drive. It features a big 5.2-liter V8 souped up by Ford Performance Parts, guaranteed to leave sick celebratory burnouts after the race. The seam-welded unibody chassis has a six-point FIA-compliant roll cage, a Sparco FIA-compliant racing seat, and detachable steering wheel.
Unlike a lot of pre-made race cars with pricey paddle-shift gearboxes, the Shelby FP350S lets you row your own gears. It features a Tremec 3160 six-speed manual transmission with an integral oil pump and a 3.73 final drive ratio.
Ford tweaked the exhaust for better flow and inevitably more sound, and also tweaked the suspension, steering and braking systems for track use. You can choose between either an 18 x 11" forged wheel package or a staggered set with 19 x 10.5-inch front wheels and 19 x 11-inch rear wheels, depending on the requirements of where you’re racing. A Ford Performance splitter and an adjustable carbon fiber rear wing suck it all down to the ground.
The Shelby FP350S features a MoTec data acquisition system so you can analyze every lap to your heart’s content and find where you’re losing time out on track. Last but not least, you can even order the car with custom Shelby FP350S graphics.
Ford has offered turn-key race cars for a while now, most based of which are also on the Mustang. The Shelby FP350S isn’t road legal, so those of you quick with a Cars and Coffee joke can breathe easy. Consider it a public service: Ford is taking Mustang drivers off the streets and into a nice, safe race car where they can learn to hoon responsibly.
[Correction: The initial version of this story listed the engine as 5.3-liter V8, and that was a typo. This has been amended above. H/T Nick!]