17/18 350R vs. 19/20 350

MarkFT

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Hello All - first post on the forum and looking for some insight into a question I haven't really seen an answer to yet:

I'm debating between a low-mileage 18 R and a new 20 non-R. I know the 19/20 GT350s saw a number of improvements (and maybe improvement on the robustness of the engine?), but a low-mileage R seems to be priced about the same as a new non-R, and it's hard not to think that the used R is the better buy.

This is my first non-euro enthusiast car as I've typically had a mix of Porsche, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, etc., but the GT350 is such a well-reviewed and compelling car of the price, I'm excited to try it out. I may take it to the track once or twice in a season, but it will mostly be for daily driving. I realize the non-R is probably a bit better in this sense, but the value of a lightly-used R (and long term value retention) is hard to ignore.

Thoughts or Insights? Thanks in advance...
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DCShelby

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Daily driving as in what? City commuting? Highway? Rural? Commuting with an R would be like commuting with a GT3, as a Porsche analogy.
 
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MarkFT

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Daily driving as in what? City commuting? Highway? Rural? Commuting with an R would be like commuting with a GT3, as a Porsche analogy.
I live in a small centre, so mix of suburban, highway and rural driving for "daily driving". I'm not concerned about a harsher ride as the roads are mostly smooth and no stop-and-go traffic. I am assuming that I will swap the Cup tires for PS4S or similar for DD duties.
 

460Fred

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Personally, I never considered the R because I knew it would be driven quite a bit and the Recaros just don’t fit me well. The other reason was the CF wheels. Great for the track but not for a daily driver. It wasn’t a money thing, the R just didn’t fit my wants.
Unless you are a track rat, chances are you won’t even notice the differences on the track.
 

Tomster

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Some people have to have a back seat. If you are one of those, get the 350.

Otherwise, I'd say get the R, but with the advice to get a set of street wheels if you plan to daily the car. The front caliper clearance isn't great and rocks/pebbles can easily get lodged in there and damage your $5000 wheel. Save your CF wheels for the track.

The refinements in the 19 and 20 were minimal. The non R has boat anchor wheels and the cup tires are not the same compound as the R. The suspension tweaks are not the same either. The aero? A swing with a gurney flap.

I'll just save myself lot of typing. Get the R
 

VoodooPower

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I have had both a 2016 350 and currently 2018 350R. I think the R is just as comfortable on the street as the non R. Normal mode is a really comfortable suspension setting for the street. As mentioned above, the cup 2 tires are not good for the street so buy a set of street tires and wheels is good advice if you will daily drive it. They pick up every small rock. Paint protection in front of rear wheels is a must with the cup 2 tires. You can get SVE R350 wheels for $1000. One big plus for the R is resale value. They seem to be holding up quite well compared to the 350. With many less 350R’s made and this being the last year of production, resale value will always be better than the standard 350.
 

460Fred

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I thought the tires on the GT350 and the R were the same starting in ‘19.
A friend has an ‘18 R and his tires are the same as my ‘19 non R.
I haven’t had any problem with Rock Blockerz installed throwing debris in front of the rear wheels. Actually before the Rock Blockerz were installed, I didn’t have much of a problem. If you live in an area with lots of debris on the roads, I may think differently.
 

ecoboost321

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Like others in this thread have mentioned, if you are considering any time at the track and don’t need a backseat, get the 2018 GT350R. It is lower in the depreciation curve compared to the 19 GT350 you are considering. I daily drive mine with PS4S tires in aftermarket wheels. Only annoyance is the lower rise height and front splitter. Otherwise way more comfortable than the coil over suspensiones 997 Turbo I used to own.
 

Tomster

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I thought the tires on the GT350 and the R were the same starting in ‘19.
A friend has an ‘18 R and his tires are the same as my ‘19 non R.
I haven’t had any problem with Rock Blockerz installed throwing debris in front of the rear wheels. Actually before the Rock Blockerz were installed, I didn’t have much of a problem. If you live in an area with lots of debris on the roads, I may think differently.
No,

They share the same name (Michelin sport cup2), but they have a different tire compound. Not the same tire.
 

460Fred

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No,

They share the same name (Michelin sport cup2), but they have a different tire compound. Not the same tire.
I did not know that.
Same name but different? Weird.
That explains why I’m not getting all the crap thrown up.
 

Tomster

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I did not know that.
Same name but different? Weird.
That explains why I’m not getting all the crap thrown up.
Michelin makes tailored Cup2s for all major manufacturers. Porsche, Chevy, Ford, etc. They do make generic Cup2s, so that is why it is important to order the correct tire if you are trying to keep the engineered specs for your vehicle.
 

03reptile

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Tomster is dead nuts right. I have a 2019 GT350 with the Cup 2's. They have different rubber chemistry than do the Cup 2's on the R version. I also noted that the non-R Cup 2's are quite good in wet weather as compared with the R optioned Cup 2's. My Cup 2's do tramline on uneven road surfaces and despite their adhesive pluses, I'll replace them with the Michelin Super Sport tires.
 
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MarkFT

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Sounds like the 2019/20 improvements are not significant enough to put the car on part with the R for my purposes. Future re-sale value is of concern to me, so sounds like an older R is worthwhile in that respect alone (noting that a new 20 non-R will have a depreciation hit as soon as its driven off the lot).

I may install a rear seat, but I don't see that as determinative as to whether I get a R or non-R. Installing the rear seats seems relatively straightforward, so not really a factor either way. I guess I will have to budget the cost of that plus new wheels and tires into the price difference between the two though.
 
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