If you're looking for a high-performance vehicle, the Ford Shelby GT350R might look attractive to you. However, there is one "performance part" you will apparently pay extra for either way, and that's the back seat.
When most of us think of performance parts, we consider things like cold air intake, nitrous injectors, and a V8 engine. These items help you get that extra horsepower out of your car while still maintaining a healthy system.
The stock package for this car reduces weight by removing things like air conditioning, the radio, and the back seat, says Mustang 360. It's supposed to improve speed, though why a radio is considered extra weight might baffle most racing fanatics. Stock radios don't weigh all that much. Seats are the part of the omission which weigh the most, and the Ford Shelby GT350R back seats are eliminated as part of the initial package.
What is surprising is that Ford Performance Parts offers the option to put them back in at the price of $999. They are made of the same stuff as the front seats, Alcantara and high-contrast red stitching, so it will look like they were meant to be in it all along.
Ford had decided on this option because they know that not everybody who buys a new race-ready car actually uses it to attack the asphalt. Ford global director Dave Pericak stated this was part of an initiative to remain consumer driven.
"We always listened to customer feedback. So when many requested a back seat for their GT350R, we acted quickly to make it available. This new kit means Shelby GT350R is now the most track-ready, road-going four-seat Mustang ever built."Some might consider it ironic to remove the back seat, and then charge to add it back on and call it a "performance" part. Some other options are added back in as an electronics package, and many of them are things you might miss if you're not specifically buying the car for its speed.
A seven speaker audio system, a stock radio with a single CD player, a rear-view camera, turn signal mirrors, a universal garage door opener, floor mats, and a tire repair kit are all included in the $3,000 electronics package. Yes, floor mats are extra, something you could probably pick up at your local Advance Auto Parts for much cheaper. It seems a lot of things which are considered extras for the Ford Mustang GT350R are those which often come as part of the car.
Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Adds Back-Seat Retrofit Option - https://t.co/xZScC7bIcm via automobilemagUnless you're planning to use the car for nothing but track racing, you will likely miss many of these "extras."
— Thomas Helperman (@tomhelperman) January 21, 2016
CNet says that what Ford is doing with the Shelby GT350R back seat and extras is similar to what German automaker Porsche does, charging you extra to take things out. They add that charging more to put those things back in is a whole new level. Technically, this is the same thing many food manufacturers do with their dietary offshoots. They take out ingredients to make them healthier, and then charge you for the extra effort.
Not only is Ford charging an extra thousand to add the back seat back in, but they suggest having a professional install it for you. Yes, not only are you paying extra for a car not to have a back seat, but you're also paying more to put it back in, and even more to have a Ford dealer do it for you.
Of course, at an MSRP of around $62,000, the Ford Shelby GT350R is probably not for the frugal buyer, anyway.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]