The carbon fiber diet has shed between 400 and 600 pounds off this overweight Shelby Mustang GT350R.
Renowed car collector and chat show host Jay Leno has been lucky enough to test drive a variety of modified Mustangs for his popular online series ‘Jay Leno’s Garage,’ from the aptly named 1,000-hp Vicious Mustang, to a vintage 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429. This latest exhibit comes courtesy of SpeedKore, a US tuner that specializes in developing lightweight carbon-fiber components for overweight muscle cars. It’s the same company responsible for the carbon-covered, 1,650-hp Dodge Charger at last year’s SEMA show.
For its latest project, SpeedKore rationed the Shelby Mustang GT350R on a strict carbon fiber diet. Despite Shelby’s best efforts to shed any excess weight by removing the rear seats and adding carbon fiber wheels and an aluminium hood, a stock GT350R weighs around 3,700 pounds which isn’t ideal for a track-focused car.
Dubbed the GT350 Carbon Series, SpeedKore’s customized Shelby is significantly leaner thanks to its all-carbon fiber body. While we don’t find out exactly how much lighter it is compared to the standard car when Leno speaks with the company’s Vice President David Salvaggio, it’s estimated that between 400 and 600 pounds have been saved by replacing the steel parts with carbon fiber. The example driven by Leno cost a hefty $64,000, effectively doubling the cost of the car. When taking it for a spin, Leno, who owns a GT350R, notes that the carbon-clad Shelby is faster and lighter on its feet, implying that it has significant performance advantages without making any modifications under the hood.