The new Shelby GT350, a Ford-modified Mustang model, gains a high-tech 5.2-liter V-8 engine producing 526 horsepower, but also exhibits nimble handling on the track.
Ford released a new generation of its Mustang model last year, commemorating its 50th year. This year the Ford Performance division modifies it with a new engine and performance gear, as the Shelby GT350.
The Shelby GT350 has a long history, going back to 1965 with Carroll Shelby's original modified Mustang showing the versatility of the platform.
At a press event held at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway, CNET editor Wayne Cunningham got to drive the Shelby GT350 around the track and on public roads.
This is the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang, equipped with the optional Track package.
The naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-8 engine manages 526 horsepower. That's 102 horsepower per liter.
The Shelby gains a body kit to enhance aerodynamics.
The optional stripe is called the "Over-the-top Racing Stripe."
Vents on the fenders serve to increase air flow across the brakes.
The Shelby GT350 is a two-door coupe with four seats.
Nineteen-inch aluminum wheels come standard. The higher-performance GT350R gets carbon fiber wheels.
The Magneride adaptive suspension does an excellent job of keeping the car flat in the turns.
The rear spoiler adds a bit of downforce.
Ford includes five drive modes -- Normal, Sport, Track, Weather and Drag -- along with launch control.
The exhaust sound is particularly impressive.
The Shelby GT350 proved effortless on Laguna Seca's Corkscrew.
The car showed easy turn-in and balanced handling.
Flooring it up the main straight showed off its tremendous acceleration.
The grip from the custom Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires kept the Shelby GT350 in line.
The Recaro seats have big bolsters to keep you in place.
There are some nice panels on the interior, but also plenty of hard plastics, even on high-touch surfaces.
The Shelby GT350 uses an electric power steering system with precision response.
The tachometer shows the 8,250rpm redline.
This six-speed manual transmission shifter has short throws for quick gear changes.
With a base price just under 50 grand, the Shelby GT350 is a bargain performance car.
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