American-made muscle cars have sometimes struggled to keep their place on the Nordschleife lap time rankings. However, a couple of models have begun to show decent promise on that front. Foremost was the Chevy Camo Z/28, which ran the lap in 7 minutes and 37 seconds. That seemed like a bold jump forward until the Ford Shelby GT350R clocked its own Green Hell run in a mere 7 minutes and 32 seconds!
This makes it slightly faster than the Ferrari 458 Italia and sets it firmly as a supercar in its own right (by comparison, this is just .8 seconds slower than Pagani’s V12 Zonda F). So what gave the Ford Shelby GT350R the edge to surge ahead? It certainly took a lot of fine-tuning and track-focused development.
The car has been quote as having more than 500 horsepower and 400 lb-ft. of torque, with a 58kg saving on chassis weight compared to earlier models. This was achieved by dropping the rear seats and other non-essentials (like air conditioning). A 5.2 litre V8 engine with magnetic ride suspension is based all atop carbon fiber wheels that grip the track with the help of Michelin’s Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber.
At this time, while the model has certainly been revealed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, some of the specs have yet to be officially confirmed. Neither has a video of the actual lap time been produced, so some call the time claims into question until this evidence is brought forward. However, if the reality is as the company has quoted, than this powerhouse model should have the ability to tackle Nordschleife with aplomb.