Everyone’s favorite budget track star the Shelby GT350 looks like it will be getting an automatic transmission in 2018. Reported on by Jalopnik.com and over at Mustang6G, it looks like Ford plans on adding a DCT automatic to the 2018 GT350.
7 Speed Shelby GT350
It was recently discovered that the production of the 5.2L Voodoo Motor as well as the GT350 would be extended through the 2019 model year (which is awesome by itself), but in that report it appears that Ford is planning on adding the option of being able to buy a GT350 with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
This is the same transmission that is being used in the Ford GT and offers a lot of performance benefits on and off the track. Gear changes are lightening fast and downshift are as smooth as butter. Ultimately, a DCT in a GT350 would arguably mean faster lap times as the gear changes would take milliseconds, much faster than the old reliable three pedal and a stick setup.
Why An Automatic In a GT350 Is Troubling
While from a performance standpoint a transmission as cutting edge and competition oriented as DCT is phenomenal news, it is kind of a sad milestone for some enthusiast. All of the performance cars in Ford’s lineup, (the GT500, Focus RS, Focus ST, and the ’15-’17 GT350) have always been manual only, directly appealing to the enthusiast market.
Some can’t help but wonder if this is the beginning of a slippery slope, the end of the manuals-a phrase that has been circulating in the automotive world for a few years now. While a manual option for the GT350 will continue to be an option, it is uncertain for just how long. This will likely mean that finding a manual 2018 Shelby GT350 Mustang will become harder than it already is, as dealers will want to carry the DCT equipped Shelby over the manual version.
Hopefully, this won’t be the case, but at the very least, we should be grateful that the GT350 is getting its production extended, and that it is going to become an even more potent vehicle on and off the track.
What are your thoughts on the GT350 getting an automatic dual-clutch transmission? Would you rather it manual-only, or is this “shift” in production a needed addtion? Comment your thoughts below!