With anticipation for the next-generation 2015 Mustang starting to reach a fever pitch, the rumors and speculations are starting to come with greater certainty and frequency. One of the most recent rumors suggested that the Shelby GT500 would end with the 2014 model year, replaced by the SVT Cobra, which has been on hiatus since 2004.
Mustangs Daily has a conflicting report from their own sources inside Ford, and their sources say that the Shelby GT500 is indeed gone for the next-gen Mustang. The car replacing it isn’t the Cobra though, but rather the GT350, and Ford will also offer a Mach 1 variant as well.
Shelby American currently builds its own GT350 model, but it is a far cry from the stripped-out race car introduced in 1965. The Mustang could return to its racing roots with a 2016 Shelby GT350, built as a Ford factory model stripped down of most unnecessary components, like air conditioning and power seats, rather than the post-title option of the current GT350. With the next Mustang said to be smaller and lighter, this definitely makes sense. The GT500 has always been a brute-force street car, while the GT350 model emphasized racing.
And what of this supposed Mach 1 model? The Mustang Mach 1 was originally a performance option for the Mustang, adding options like the Shaker hood scoop, big stripe packages, a blacked-out spoiler, and an upgraded suspension. The Mach 1 originally ran from 1969 through 1973, and returned for the 2003-2004 model years. Is Ford planning to bring the Mach 1 name back? That is also the rumor being floated online lately. Could one of these models be a specialty car focused on handling, rather than the SVO name returning? Only time will tell, looks like we’ll have to wait until at least the debut of the 2015 Mustang to ask these questions of Ford. Until then, the rumors just keep on swirling.