2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang Review
People who really love to drive will instantly connect with the new Ford Mustang GT350. Commuters just looking to get from point A to point B will see a loud obnoxious gas guzzler and should exit the building now.
While many of the engineers at Ford have likely been looking to the future and designing electric motors or battery packs, a small bunch of old school mustang engineers have looked to leave the combustion era with a bang.
That bang is the 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang, and Ford pulled out all the stops. A huge dose of power and technology; this is a car you would likely find in the Hulk’s garage. Powered by an American tweaked flat-plane V8 that revs to 8250 with a fire breathing dual mode exhaust, it will leave you searching for the nearest race track or highway on ramp. To control this beast, a Tremec 6 speed manual transmission was built to harness the 526 hp and 429 lb-ft torque. Put the power down and rocket to 60 in less than 4 seconds. With the exhaust valves open and a full dose of throttle, the GT350 is transformed into an American earthquake on wheels.
But there’s no sense going fast if you can’t stop! Like gigantic claws, Brembo’s six piston front and four piston rear calipers clamp down on 394 mm and 380 mm steel rotors respectively to bring this beast to an impressively fast stop on the street or track.
With a wider front track for improved handling, the Shelby Mustang GT350 rides on menacing 19 inch black wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires to provide some serious grip. Optional magnetic dampers can adjust every 10 milliseconds and make body roll nearly obsolete. The staggered 10.5 wide front and 11 inch wide rear wheels, recalibrated spring rates and bushings, light weight components, a Torsen limited-slip differential, increased down force, and cooling at every turn provide track capable performance out of the box.
- Rear Wheel Drive with Torsen limited slip rear axle
- 5.2 Ti-VCT V8 with Flat Plan Crank producing 526 Horsepower and 429 lb-ft torque
- Dual Exhust with Active Valves
- Tremec 6-Speed Manual Transmission
- 19″ Black Aluminum Wheels: Front 19″ x 10.5; Rear 19 x 11
- Magnetic Adjustable Dampers – included with Technology, Track and Electronics Packages
- Brembo brakes: 15.5” Front/15” Rear; Six piston two piece front and four piston two piece cross drilled iron disc brakes
- Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires: Front 295/35 ZR19 Front; Rear 305/35 ZR 19
- Technology Package $7,500 (Engine Oil, Trans, & Diff Coolers, Tower Brace, MagneRide Damping; Raised Decklid Spoiler; Heavy Duty Front Springs)
- Track Package $6,500 (Leather climate seats, SYNC 3, NAV, 7 Speaker Audio, Dual Zone Climate, MagneRide Damping; Heavy Duty Front Springs)
PERFORMANCE & DRIVING EXPERIENCE
Aside from some plastic interior pieces, most of the short comings of the base GT have been wiped off the map. The new Shelby GT350 Mustang is the culmination of power, handling, braking, cooling, balance and a new level of track ready performance that bundles Ford’s greatest Mustang into an ultimate driver’s car.
I realize we sit on the verge of the electric vehicles age as we strive towards clean energy solutions to battle global warming and rising pollution levels. But I can’t deny my addiction to mash the gas pedal for a quick fix of exhaust roar and the brutal thrust that follows. To leave out the explosion of 500 horses and the glorious scream of spent fuel spewing out the tail pipes would be as satisfying as a flooring a golf cart. There’s no doubt the end of the internal combustion engine is likely nearing, but we’re not there yet.
The unharnessed thrill of the new Shelby was born from pony car bloodlines, but this Mustang is no muscle car. The new Ford Mustang GT350 could be America’s brutish version of an M4 or 911 and now sit right up with some of the best handling sports cars in the world.
Like everything else about GT350, the interior has been optimized for driving, beginning with the specially designed Recaro sport seats with a unique cloth. Hundreds of hours and many prototypes went into a seat that is both comfortable in daily driving and capable on the track. A flat-bottom steering wheel makes it easier for the driver to get in and out, and is more ergonomic on the racetrack. Gauges are upgraded to reflect the enormous performance capability of the car. Chrome and bright finishes have been reduced or eliminated to prevent sun glare that may distract the driver.
The advanced technology inherent to Mustang has been deployed for duty in the Shelby GT350. An all-new integrated driver control system allows selection of five unique modes that tailor ABS, stability control, traction control, steering effort, throttle mapping, MagneRide tuning and exhaust settings, depending on driver preference, to achieve maximum performance. Drivers are invited to test them all.
Drivers interested in comfort, convenience and entertainment upgrades may select the Tech Pack, which includes power, leather-trimmed seats; Shaker Audio; 8-inch MyFord Touch® LCD touch screen; and dual zone electronic temperature control, to name a few features.
Track Package: $7,500 (Engine Oil, Trans, & Diff Coolers, Tower Brace, MagneRide Damping; Raised Decklid Spoiler; Heavy Duty Front Springs)
Technology Package: $6,500 (Leather climate seats, SYNC 3, NAV, 7 Speaker Audio, Dual Zone Climate, MagneRide Damping; Heavy Duty Front Springs)
2016 Ford Mustang GT350Starting at $47,795
- 5.2 Flat Plane V8 - Endless Revs
- Optional Magnetic Ride Damping
- Claws for Brakes
- Fantastic Cornering Grip
- Intoxicating Exhaust Note
- Can't combine track and tech packages
- Too much hard plastic on the interior
- High dealer premiums over MSRP