Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R
Who doesn’t love the Ford Mustang? And who doesn’t love the idea of 526HP and 0-60 in fast (official specs haven’t yet been released)? Well, Ford has thought of everything with their newest Shelby Mustang GT350. The car is beautiful with the new body and better aerodynamics, but it’s not just a nice car because of its looks. When you push the ignition button (I sure do miss the turn of a key) the engine roars to life and proves it’s not just a cute little pony like my first mustang from the 90’s.
This last week I was able to drool over the car and drive the GT350R on the track at Laguna Seca Speedway. Everything is new on the GT350 (except the steering column) and that includes the independent rear suspension. I was so thankful Ford switched out the live axle when my hotlap included the infamous Corkscrew. There was no sliding around on the track. Turns were smooth. The wheels kept traction and I didn’t have any near death experiences.
I do not drive manuals daily so I was a little intimidated with the idea of not only driving a stick in front of seasoned drivers but also do it on a track. I am extremely impressed with the clutch and changing gears was easy (I didn’t kill it, yay!).
The sound of the engine is incredible. Because of how high you can take the rpm’s (red line is 8000rpm), I never shifted higher than 4th gear. The GT350 is fun on the track but I didn’t feel like it was made only for the track. Which makes this a perfect car to buy. It’s a composed vehicle, not one that’s obnoxious and temperamental. Only negative is that I wish I had more time to play with the car.
I was curious to see how different this new GT350 was compared to the original from 1965. With the new technology, Ford was able to add 220HP, 100lb.-ft. torque, and also added 2 more speeds to the manual. The price for the original was around $4,500 and the 2016 will start at $47,795.
I’m sure Carroll Shelby would be proud to have his name on this car.