EXCLUSIVE: Ford Planning Dual-Clutch Automatic for Mustang Shelby GT350

Evidence discovered by and viewed by Road & Track shows that Ford might build a paddle-shift GT350 and GT350R.

<p>There are a lot of nice things we can say about the Shelby GT350. After all, we did name it our <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-culture/a27194/road-track-2016-performance-car-of-the-year/">Performance Car of the Year for 2016</a>. We loved the power its engine makes, but let's not forget that it also has "<a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/a26514/ford-mustang-shelby-gt350-voodoo/" target="_blank">a hellacious exhaust note unlike any other American V8</a>."</p>

The amazing Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and even-hotter GT350R have only been offered with a six-speed manual transmission since their 2016 debut, but that could soon change. We've heard a rumor that the GT350 will get an optional dual-clutch automatic transmission within the next few years, and we believe it's credible.

This info comes to us from the well-connected folks at , the online enthusiast forum that has accurately predicted a number of Mustang-related details long before they were officially announced. Mustang6G has evidence that the GT350 will get a dual-clutch transmission in the near future. Road & Track has seen this evidence and believes is accurate.

Mustang6G's evidence indicates that a dual-clutch transmission will be offered in upcoming GT350 models. A quick-shifting automatic gearbox with paddle shifters could improve the GT350's performance to better compete with other track-focused sports cars. Porsche, Ferrari, BMW and McLaren all use dual-clutch gearboxes for their most hardcore track-oriented offerings. The evidence presented by Mustang6G indicates that the six-speed manual, currently the only transmission available on the GT350 and GT350R, would remain.

When reached by Road & Track and questioned on the DCT rumor, a Ford spokesperson said only, "we don't speculate about future products."

It's unclear whether the GT350 would get a six- or seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The upcoming Ford GT has a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, but we have no way of knowing whether this car's transmission could be made to fit the Mustang.

This piece of information does not guarantee that a dual-clutch GT350 is coming. Ford may be having internal discussions about a possible DCT option for the Shelby, but that doesn't mean its arrival is imminent. Automakers ponder possibilities all the time, and plans for future products change frequently.

That said, has a proven track record of accuracy, and we believe Ford would be wise to take full advantage of the GT350's capabilities by offering it with an optional DCT. The manual-transmission GT350R won Road & Track's Performance Car of the Year title for 2016; with the performance enhancements a DCT would offer, the hottest Mustang could prove an even more formidable competitor to European exotics costing way more than the Ford's sub-$70,000 base price.

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