Ford announced that the GT350 will be going away at the end of the year, and that’s sad. But Ford thinks it’s going to be sad in a sort of, Shane walking away from the ranch and into the sunset kind of way, rather than in a stolen-from-us kind of way.

The reason, according to Jim Owens, head of Mustang marketing, is that Ford has learned a lot from the GT350 program, and now it’s time to put that new information to work in new products like the Mach 1 and the GT500.

“As the GT350 sunsets, the Mach 1 comes in, that is the pinnacle of 5.0L performance,” Owens told Muscle Cars and Trucks in an interview. “We bring in names that are surrounded by product attributes over a period of time… the GT350 learned a lot of things over that sixth-gen (S550) platform to continue to improve it.”

As we know, things like the GT350’s intake system, handling tricks, and more have made their into other Mustangs like the Mach 1. Unfortunately, the 5.2-liter Voodoo engine will not be funneling its way into any other performance cars, it seems.

When asked by MC&T whether or not the engine would pop up again, Owens avoided outright saying no but did say that the team was focused on the making the 5.0 as powerful as possible.

That might be because the flat-plane-crank V8 is no longer able to pass emissions tests in Europe, meaning that it can’t be sold there. That’s a problem for Ford.

“Global demand for the Mustang is huge,” said Owens. “Mach 1 is going to be global where the GT350 was not.”

Although the Mach 1 appears to be playing a significant role in the GT350’s demise, the other Shelby may also be having an impact. The GT500, whose supercharged Predator V8 makes 760 hp and 625 lb-ft of torque is now the pinnacle of the Mustang line.

Ford argues that the GT500 and the Mach 1 are the natural evolution of the GT350. It feels that the car has run its course, so it’s time for it burble off into the sunset.