Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R makes mincemeat of the track
Looky here, another Mustang, long nose, flat back.
So far, so Mustang, but what's this?
A carbon fiber wing and A bit of a body kit.
And is it just me, or is that a bit lower than a normal Mustang?
Holy hell, that doesn't sound like a Mustang, that sounds like something far more European.
Because this is not a normal Mustang, this is a Shelby GT 350 R, the most hardcore, most track oriented Mustang money can buy.
And I have a sneaking suspicion it's gonna be a good one.
the GT 350R is the last in a long line to bear the name.
And while this one really has nothing to do with Shelby, the original GT 350 was an incredible machine.
One born of fear, fear of dwindling sales.
You see when the original mustang launch it's sold unbelievably well and kicks all kinds of us more than anyone was expecting.
So it's time when [UNKNOWN] expected by sales to drop and they needed a bit of a gimmick to keep bumps on seats.
So Ford called Carroll Shelby, the man that made the cobra
The idea was he'd made some cool cars for the punters and then show how great they were upon the circuit.
Shelby said yes and he decided that the B production class was gonna be the one for the Mustang.
And that meant he could either modify.
By the engine or the springs, not both.
Shelby went all engine and fitted a 306 horse power V8 that would get the car to 60 in less than seven seconds and up to nearly 135 miles an hour.
A hot-hatch by today's standards, but much, much more than that back in the 60s.
Most GT350s were made for the road but there was a hardcore lightweight special, the GT350r.
And guess what?
The new one is a modern interpretation of Shelby's original.
It's light-ish, not really light, at 1,655 kilos.
It's got a [UNKNOWN] body kit which will make local youths want to take lots of pictures on their camera phones, and Well, they'll wanna take more when they hear the noise.
That's coming from a 5.2 litre flat plane crank V8.
Which means it'll rev silly, silly high.
And sing the song of its people to all who'll listen.
It produces a pretty massive 526 brake horsepower and 429 lb-ft.
Naught to 60 takes around 3.5 seconds.
So it's fast, really fast.
It's got [INAUDIBLE] stiffer springs.
Set emissions in pilot cup two super sticky tires on each corner, there are no rear seats, no air-con is standard and no carpet in the boot.
Basically if something doesnt need to be here, it isn\t, that said, you can option things back in if you want them, so I'm very grateful To the end count the day.
Each corner also gets a carbon fiber wheel which saves 6.9 kilos over an equipment aluminum wheel.
That's less on unsprung weight and that's a good thing.
All right, Mustang, show me what you got.
First things first, a manual gearbox, really smooth, really lovely The clutch.
No mistaking, a tiny bit long but the action, once you get used to it, really, really nice.
It's very forceful but it suits the car.
The shift itself is notchy, it's sporty, it feels pretty damn good.
The brakes, they work.
They work really rather nicely.
They're easy to modulate, you know what you're doing, you can threshold brake really nice and easy.
Nothing will lock up.
You're all good.
The surprising thing is even though this weighs nearly 1,700 kilos, it feels really light because the steering, even in track mode, as we're on now, is been wonderfully put together.
There's a little bit of deadness.
And the front a tiny little bit but I'm not hugely enamored with.
But it's a damn sight better than the standard Mustang.
It's smooth it's easy to drive, so when you're not on a racetrack you can drive it round town quite happily.
And not have to worry too much about it.
The suspension around here.
It's nice and firm.
It's nice and smooth.
You can feel the circuit.
You can feel the circuit beneath you.
You know what the car is doing.
It's again it's beautifully put together.
Ford went out.
Out and benchmarked this against other cars in its class.
Say other track biased, sporty things, with enormous engines, so you know the kind of thing they're aiming for.
But they wanted it to be affordable and this is.
It's ridiculously cheap, it's only like 60 odd thousand dollars, which is nothing for this.
The speeds, the power, the feel of it.
It's not the best in the world but it's by no means the worst.
My favourite bit of this, ease the throttle response and the engine.
The throttle is, it's so slick, so smooth.
It's one of those throttles you absolutely dream of.
You pitch it in, squeeze it on.
And then you get the noise.
And it revs up to 8,250 RPM.
[LAUGH] So cornering handling wise as a package, how does it work?
It feels very neutral.
It doesn't feel like it's gonna spit me off the circuit unless I really Do something stupid.
But yes, it'll be a big [UNKNOWN] too much, and then the back will kick out.
But it's controllable.
This isn't a Mustang for Big [UNKNOWN] silliness.
This is a Mustang for a racetrack.
This one's to go around lines really quickly with a lot of noise and a lot of drama and have a lot of fun.
Yeah, there are a few things that I'm There are tacky plastics and things like that, but you know what, for the money that doesn't matter.
This is a serious bit of engineering, serious.
This will trouble a lot of very, very, very expensive things.
The Mustang GT I tried in the UK was a good car.
It was entertaining, made a great noise.
And auto gearbox aside, Felt at home.
This, this is another level low.
It's brush, it's mean, it's fast, it's hardcore.
For the money, the Mustang GT 350 is an ace deal, but sadly it's not coming to Britain, which is a shame, because I think it would do really quite well, especially with that engine, and the noise, and the way it goes.
The Mustang Got really angry, and it's fantastic.
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