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.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
1
of 24

The Shelby GT350 has a long history, going back to 1965 with
Carroll Shelby's original modified Mustang showing the versatility of the platform.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
2
of 24

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.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
3
of 24

This is the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang, equipped with the optional Track package.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
4
of 24

The naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-8 engine manages 526 horsepower. That's 102 horsepower per liter.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
5
of 24

The Shelby gains a body kit to enhance aerodynamics.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
6
of 24

The optional stripe is called the "Over-the-top Racing Stripe."

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
7
of 24

Vents on the fenders serve to increase air flow across the brakes.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
8
of 24

The Shelby GT350 is a two-door coupe with four seats.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
9
of 24

Nineteen-inch aluminum wheels come standard. The higher-performance GT350R gets carbon fiber wheels.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
10
of 24

The Magneride adaptive suspension does an excellent job of keeping the car flat in the turns.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
11
of 24

The rear spoiler adds a bit of downforce.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
12
of 24

Ford includes five drive modes -- Normal, Sport, Track, Weather and Drag -- along with launch control.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
13
of 24

The exhaust sound is particularly impressive.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
14
of 24

The Shelby GT350 proved effortless on Laguna Seca's Corkscrew.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
15
of 24

The car showed easy turn-in and balanced handling.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
16
of 24

Flooring it up the main straight showed off its tremendous acceleration.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
17
of 24

The grip from the custom Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires kept the Shelby GT350 in line.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
18
of 24

The Recaro seats have big bolsters to keep you in place.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
19
of 24

There are some nice panels on the interior, but also plenty of hard plastics, even on high-touch surfaces.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
20
of 24

The Shelby GT350 uses an electric power steering system with precision response.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
21
of 24

The tachometer shows the 8,250rpm redline.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
22
of 24

This six-speed manual transmission shifter has short throws for quick gear changes.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
23
of 24

With a base price just under 50 grand, the Shelby GT350 is a bargain performance car.

Get Your Local Price
Read First Take
Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
24
of 24
Up Next

Infiniti's FX37 becomes the QX70 for 2014 (pictures)