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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve got a hunch that 2020 will be the last year for the Shelby GT350 and wanted to hear opinions on the matter. I’ve heard nothing on the subject, but here is my take:

The latest GT350 was released in 2015 and has enjoyed a long run as Ford’s track-focused Mustang. The GT500 has historically been a brute straight-line focused Mustang. The 2020 GT500 changed that as it now designed with the road course and drag strip in mind. I find it interesting that all Mustangs to include Ecoboost, GT and GT500s have the new digital dash as an option with the lone exception being the GT350. Jim Owens from Ford Performance stated if you want a track focused Mustang with a manual gearbox, the GT350 is your car. He went on to say if you want a car built for all-out performance, the GT500 is your car.

My hunch is Ford is offering both cars for 2020 as a transition since the GT500 does not have a manual gearbox. I bet there is no 2021 GT350.

Thoughts?
 

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#1 Mike!
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Could be. I think if Ford offers the GT500 in a manual six speed transmission for MY 2021, then that might be possible. If they do this, then the GT500 can satisfy both DCT lovers and manual lovers with one vehicle. The only catch I see is the substantial increase over the base price for a GT350. The $74,000.00 base price for a new GT500 is an eye opener for many buyers used to lower to mid 60's. Time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think if Ford offers the GT500 in a manual six speed transmission for MY 2021, then that might be possible.
Having spent time in the car, I just don’t see a manual option happening. That car is engineered around that magnificent DCT tranny. It is the epic focal point that makes the 2020 perform at an insane level. Putting a manual tranny in the new GT500 would be like a racing boat with its anchor out. I know some will say it’s not all about the performance... it’s about the experience, but the experience in the new GT500 is NUTS! 🚀 It’s a “balls-out” performer.

Don’t forget the 5.0 GT still has a manual option.
 

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Possible. I honestly didn't expect the 2020 GT350 to have been available.
 

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I thought the chatter on the SVTP site suggested it would be there through the 2021 MY..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I thought the chatter on the SVTP site suggested it would be there through the 2021 MY..
I haven’t seen that chatter... any details worth sharing?
 

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#1 Mike!
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Having spent time in the car, I just don’t see a manual option happening. That car is engineered around that magnificent DCT tranny. It is the epic focal point that makes the 2020 perform at an insane level. Putting a manual tranny in the new GT500 would be like a racing boat with its anchor out. I know some will say it’s not all about the performance... it’s about the experience, but the experience in the new GT500 is NUTS! 🚀 It’s a “balls-out” performer.

Don’t forget the 5.0 GT still has a manual option.
It's an interesting conundrum. In today's market, various automatic transmissions, to include the DCT's, provide shifting speed and overall performance that are simply superior in efficiency to the manual. No sense arguing that. Forty years ago, manufacturers did not produce stock automatics that were as substantial and trouble free as today's examples (except possibly Chrysler Corporation). Therefore, the desirability for a three pedal transmission in a modern car does not attract the buyer who is looking for the fastest acceleration times in the quarter mile or competition drivers looking to shave off seconds on a road course.
That leaves only one reason to have the manual in a performance car, and of course it's the intrinsic interaction between the driver and the car at speed. It's very difficult to succinctly describe the "feeling" or interaction between car and driver, but the use of the engine's RPM's, the timing of gear changes in coordination with speed, traction, braking, steering input, and all manner of subtle physical inputs simply gives the driver a sense of accomplishment, when done well. But most importantly, the driver's inherent or learned abilities to utilize all these factors, in harmony with each other, gives the driver a feeling of pride and accomplishment. So much for being succinct, right? I guess it's the coordination of all these inputs that immediately tell you what you're doing right, or wrong, that gives the driver that closer relationship with the vehicle. The automatic transmission takes command of some of those skills we have learned with the manual, and in competitive driving, that's a good thing. But when we're just enjoying our car's capabilities on a nice back road, I think that with a DCT we lose some interaction and skill levels that we have gained with a manual and that, for me, is a bit of a loss.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's an interesting conundrum. In today's market, various automatic transmissions, to include the DCT's, provide shifting speed and overall performance that are simply superior in efficiency to the manual. No sense arguing that. Forty years ago, manufacturers did not produce stock automatics that were as substantial and trouble free as today's examples (except possibly Chrysler Corporation). Therefore, the desirability for a three pedal transmission in a modern car does not attract the buyer who is looking for the fastest acceleration times in the quarter mile or competition drivers looking to shave off seconds on a road course.
That leaves only one reason to have the manual in a performance car, and of course it's the intrinsic interaction between the driver and the car at speed. It's very difficult to succinctly describe the "feeling" or interaction between car and driver, but the use of the engine's RPM's, the timing of gear changes in coordination with speed, traction, braking, steering input, and all manner of subtle physical inputs simply gives the driver a sense of accomplishment, when done well. But most importantly, the driver's inherent or learned abilities to utilize all these factors, in harmony with each other, gives the driver a feeling of pride and accomplishment. So much for being succinct, right? I guess it's the coordination of all these inputs that immediately tell you what you're doing right, or wrong, that gives the driver that closer relationship with the vehicle. The automatic transmission takes command of some of those skills we have learned with the manual, and in competitive driving, that's a good thing. But when we're just enjoying our car's capabilities on a nice back road, I think that with a DCT we lose some interaction and skill levels that we have gained with a manual and that, for me, is a bit of a loss.
Yes to all of that Mike. My first car was a manual Mustang and I have always owned a manual Mustang ever since that first one as a teen. I now have a garage full of manual Mustangs... I totally get it. I thoroughly enjoy the driving experience in a manual. Having said all of that, the driving experience in the 2020 GT500 gave me a whole new totally freak’n awesome experience. I would like to get you behind the wheel of my 2020 and get your feedback then. I wouldn’t be surprised if your opinion gets tweaked a bit. The car is epic.
 

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Like you guys I have owned manual trans cars and always how I pictured a high performance car, well until a few years ago the wife let me :) drive her M3 Vert with the DCT & paddle shifter, WOW
It is like having the best of both worlds.
BUT that being said, I did find that going from Manual mode to Auto mode it did take a split second for the computer to get the right gear,let say going 50 & put into Auto mode, the car would go to 4th were I would have thought 3rd, until you hit the gas then it would drop a gear.
This is a split second thing and didnt happen all the time, maybe Ford as figured out how to read people's minds with regard to what we expect???

Colin
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is a split second thing and didnt happen all the time, maybe Ford as figured out how to read people's minds with regard to what we expect???
I’ll be able to answer that better in a couple weeks. I spent my whole time on the track in manual mode. The paddle shifts were lightning quick and intoxicating. I got a hot lap in the right seat with a pro driver that ran in automatic/track mode. We were always in the right gear at the right time, but this was during all-out performance driving. I have not experience auto-shifting in a street type setting and to be honest, I found the paddles to be so much fun that I may never be in auto-mode on the streets. I will run it through some tests though hopefully soon and give some feedback.
 

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I’ll be able to answer that better in a couple weeks. I spent my whole time on the track in manual mode. The paddle shifts were lightning quick and intoxicating.
.
Didn't you say the Ford rep told you manually shifting would be slower & you can't out-shift the " auto " mode ??
 

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Discussion Starter #12
.
Didn't you say the Ford rep told you manually shifting would be slower & you can't out-shift the " auto " mode ??
That is correct. Auto-mode is the fastest time around the track. Paddle shifting was fun though.
 

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I haven’t seen that chatter... any details worth sharing?
.
GT350 to remain with GT500 thru at least 2021
"
Had a great opportunity to tour the Romeo Niche engine line, with Ford being great enough to send down an engineer in a GT500 to show off.
She was greatful to share details and wouldn’t commit to how long the S550 production would continue, but she and the plant manager said 350 will remain as long as 500 does, with the Voodoo 5.2 production to continue under contract with the 5.2 Predator thru at least 2021 MY.
Just FYI.
-J "
 

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Didn't you say the Ford rep told you manually shifting would be slower & you can't out-shift the " auto " mode ??
The same held true for the C7 ZR1 with it's 8 speed auto and the various PDK equipped Porsche GT cars. It may only be tenths of a second, but these transmissions are so far beyond the old 3 speed auto with overdrive that came in the old Fox body Mustang and similar. Modern systems like the GT500 are monitoring everything from engine rpm, wheel speed, wheel speed differential between the front and rear axle, steering angle, yaw sensors, throttle position opening, etc... before it decides when and how it makes that next gear change. While it's certainly enjoyable to row your own, the computer can factor in all those metrics faster than your own brain can and it's flawless in it's decision making.
 

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It's an interesting conundrum. In today's market, various automatic transmissions, to include the DCT's, provide shifting speed and overall performance that are simply superior in efficiency to the manual. No sense arguing that. Forty years ago, manufacturers did not produce stock automatics that were as substantial and trouble free as today's examples (except possibly Chrysler Corporation). Therefore, the desirability for a three pedal transmission in a modern car does not attract the buyer who is looking for the fastest acceleration times in the quarter mile or competition drivers looking to shave off seconds on a road course.
That leaves only one reason to have the manual in a performance car, and of course it's the intrinsic interaction between the driver and the car at speed. It's very difficult to succinctly describe the "feeling" or interaction between car and driver, but the use of the engine's RPM's, the timing of gear changes in coordination with speed, traction, braking, steering input, and all manner of subtle physical inputs simply gives the driver a sense of accomplishment, when done well. But most importantly, the driver's inherent or learned abilities to utilize all these factors, in harmony with each other, gives the driver a feeling of pride and accomplishment. So much for being succinct, right? I guess it's the coordination of all these inputs that immediately tell you what you're doing right, or wrong, that gives the driver that closer relationship with the vehicle. The automatic transmission takes command of some of those skills we have learned with the manual, and in competitive driving, that's a good thing. But when we're just enjoying our car's capabilities on a nice back road, I think that with a DCT we lose some interaction and skill levels that we have gained with a manual and that, for me, is a bit of a loss.
Mike, you're an old school car guy. A guy who had the wonderful opportunity to grow up through some of the best (and worst) generations of vehicles. Becoming one with the car and pushing its limits required that right hand and left foot coordination. Not all of us are so lucky.

I became of driving age in 2003 and my journey is much different than yours. Yes, manuals were/have been very prevalent in high performance, but Auto has been making its advancement at a much quicker pace, and now we're here. Not only that, my (smaller) generation of car guys have to appreciate our cars differently. The roads are busier, more of us live in or around the city, and we may require our cars to be different going forward.

I love rowing gears out on the back country roads, but no so much when I'm stuck in traffic on 465 everyday. So, my experience is degraded and my appreciation of the car the same. And to be honest, I detest driving it to work as often for these reasons. It's no fun having a sore knee when arriving at home or work.

There is a high possibility that an auto that can out perform a manual is the magic wand that brings guys my age and younger back into the performance car scene. We can still open them up on the back roads, flipping paddles to our delight, but then give control back to the car as we roll to the office in 45 MPH traffic.

I'll make an analogy that you can appreciate. Does your experience on the gun range suffer because you're firing an AR15 rather than a bolt action rifle? Sure, pulling back the bolt, hearing the ejection, and the feeling of loading that next round into the chamber can be intoxicating. However, being able to point that AR down range and firing shot after shot is intoxicating as well. It's just a different tasting alcohol giving us the same buzz.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'll make an analogy that you can appreciate. Does your experience on the gun range suffer because you're firing an AR15 rather than a bolt action rifle? Sure, pulling back the bolt, hearing the ejection, and the feeling of loading that next round into the chamber can be intoxicating. However, being able to point that AR down range and firing shot after shot is intoxicating as well. It's just a different tasting alcohol giving us the same buzz.
This is excellent Nick! 🍻
 

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#1 Mike!
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Young Lochinvar, you are correct. Driving home from the Ford vs. Ferrari movie, yesterday, I just made the off handed comment to Sharon how fortunate I had been to live through some of the greatest times for an automobile enthusiast. Attending Sebring each year during the sixties and experiencing all the changes and improvements in performance automobiles since then, has been a gift. Having a new GT350 is just incredible and being thankful for these current and past experiences doesn't begin to describe the depth of my appreciation.
The analogies you used are spot on! I have experienced both! Although the journey and arrival at the "buzz" is better with Captain Morgan Private Stock, then Bacardi!
You're experiences in navigating through today's traffic and congestion certainly lend themselves to more desirable automatics, and I think you are correct in suggesting that these advancements with DCT's will encourage your generation to continue purchasing performance cars. It's all good and at this point in my life when I can sit back and enjoy a fine cigar and a Captain Morgan, then I'm quite satisfied with the journey! Give Amy and the Coop a big hug from Grandpa Mike!
 

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In my day we had to commute uphill to and from work in bumper to bumper traffic with our three on the tree manuals and we loved it. ;) Seriously though, Nick's spot on about it being a generational and technological shift. For me there's an emotional component/visceral experience associated with manually controlling the shift points, the cars reaction to them, engine sound, exhaust note, etc. I find appreciating the moment and the pure enjoyment of the process to be the reward. I can empathize with the commuter aspect although I get far more annoyed with the gas mileage than I do the shifting; particularly with my '11 which has the lightest clutch I've ever had. All that said I've been researching 2019/2020 Camaro's with 10 speed autos and I can actually see myself behind the wheel of a muscle car with an automatic; something I didn't think I'd ever consider. They're simply that good now and it would be silly for me to discount them.
 

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With the MARCH of technology and TIME, I feel more like a Dinosaur every day!
My local newspaper announced this week that they will NO longer print a Saturday newspaper, but all of the content is available on-line......GEESH!
 

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This is a split second thing and didnt happen all the time, maybe Ford as figured out how to read people's minds with regard to what we expect???
Everyone says Porsche did with the PDK, but I haven't driven one yet to confirm...it's on my to do list. Hopefully Ford gets close.
 
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