Ford Shelby GT350R, GT successor, F-150 Raptor and more rumored for Detroit debut
First, expect to see a hotter version of the Shelby GT350 in Detroit, likely called GT350R. Think of this as the already-hot Shelby with even more track-focused bits baked in – brakes, tires, aero, etc. Everything about the GT350 sounds great, so expect this R variant to be something seriously fierce. As R&T suggests, if the GT350 is the company's new Boss 302, the R is the Laguna Seca.
But that's not even close to the biggest news. Road & Track believes a proper Ford GT replacement will debut in Detroit – a road-going version of the Le Mans GTE-class car the Blue Oval is working on for 2016. We've heard about this before, but having the street-legal car debut in Detroit would be absolutely huge news.
The performance story continues, though, with R&T suggesting that the next-gen Ford F-150 Raptor will bow in Detroit. Details are scarce about what, exactly, the aluminum-bodied desert stormer will hold, but we expect good things.
Finally, Ford's hot hatches might make some news in the Motor City, too. Car and Driver seems to think the all-wheel-drive Focus RS will bow in The D, and that an updated version of the Fiesta ST will also show its face. Road & Track, meanwhile, believes the Focus RS showing will be saved for a European auto show – think Geneva – and our gut feeling is to agree with the R&T theory.
All of these rumors point to Ford officially announcing its dedicated performance division – like Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and so on. We've heard reports of a new, global performance brand from the company already, with the name 999 thrown out as a possibility. In any case, if these rumblings prove to be true, there's going to be a ton to drool over from Ford in January. Stay tuned.
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