2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350

Ford Shelby GT350 exhibits sports car handling and plenty of muscle on the track

Squeezed by a Recaro seat in a 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang, the track official at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway waves me forward from the pit lane. There's 526 horsepower sitting under the hood and I've got a six-speed manual, so I'm expecting a massive lurch when I let out the clutch, and maybe even an embarrassing stall.

But no, despite the brutish appearance of this beast, the power comes on gentle, letting me obey the 10 mph speed limit in pit lane and ease it out. It's not until I've got the tachometer needle threatening the 8,250rpm redline on the track's straights that I get a torque lurch from a gear change.

Ford is celebrating 50 years of the Shelby GT350 with this latest model, following on last year's 50th anniversary of the Mustang. As with the original Shelby, the 2016 model is a performance upgrade of the Mustang model. The Ford Performance group, a division within Ford, built a new engine, redesigned the suspension, and tweaked performance for the current generation Mustang to come up with the new Shelby GT350.

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