Not a one-trick pony car: Ford's Shelby GT350 is a Mustang like no other
For awhile now, the Ford Mustang been transitioning away from muscle car into sports car but this is no mere Mustang.
It's the Ford Shelby GT350, and it's one of the most exciting cars on the road today, so I'm just kinda shut up and hop behind the wheel all right.
So when I say that the Mustang is now a sports car.
I mean that it's no longer a one trick pony drag racer it's a well balanced vehicle that Corners as well as it launches.
And the GT350 is the best example of this chassis though.
To call the Shelby GT350 a mustang is perhaps a bit of an understatement.
Yes, it uses the same body but everything attached to that body is completely different and has been re-invented in the pursuit of speed.
This is practically a completely new car.
So we're riding on A magnetic suspension at all four corners that can adapt to the road, and my input to the steering within a tenth of a second.
We've also got wide tires, not just out back, but also up front.
These are the widest tires that Ford's ever fitted a Mustang with, which means that the front suspension geometry also needs to be re-jiggered.
The result is handling that's just on the right side of sublime.
This is a car that feels alive in your hand and it really puts you in contact with the road, it's just so much fun.
Now we've got some control over the suspension, the steering and other things with five drive mode.
Right now we're in normal but we can.
You pop it to a sport mode, there's also a track mode, and a drag race-specific mode, and a mode for wet weather.
And you'll notice that in the sport mode, the exhaust node is a little bit more pronounced.
That's because there are active baffles in the exhaust system that open up in the sport mode, to make it sound a little bit better, breathe a little bit better.
Give you a little Little more power.
Now the most interesting part of the GT 350 lives under the hood, that's were you'll find its 5.2 liter naturally aspirated V8 engine, making about 526 horse power and 429 [UNKNOWN].
Now what's most interesting is how it makes that power.
This is a flat plane crank, naturally aspirated V8 engine with a red line of 8,000 RPMs.
Peak power doesn't come on until 7,500 RPMs.
That means that this isn't only the most powerful.
Naturally aspirated engine that Ford's ever built, it's also the highest-revving production engine that is ever made [NOISE].
It's not a stretch to say that this engine has more in common with a naturally aspirated Ferrari than with any other V8 that Ford has ever built.
This is exotic level stuff.
That V, V-8's high revving performance pretty much informs the rest of the GT-350's performance.
Because most of the power is in the upper regions of the tachometer's swing.
You really gotta ring this thing out if you want to get everything this car has to offer.
That doesn't mean that you can't have fun around town but this is really a track focus car.
And in the lower reaches of the RPM it's actually a pretty smooth V8.
That's a bit brash, a bit loud but easy to drive.
[SOUND] Interestingly I've found that this car takes on a bit of an edge when you get it on the back road.
There's a weird tendency of the front end with those really wide tires to follow irregularity In the road and a bit of wiggle to the rear end when you get on power.
That sort of dangerous twinkle in his eye along with the very strong feeling of stability and safety means that it's almost like this car is saying, I'm not gonna Kill ya, but I could.
And then it doesn't, and you're filled with adrenaline at the end of your ride.
If you've ever ridden a roller coaster, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Now, at it's heart, this is still a Mustang.
So, I know what you're thinking.
How fast does it launch?
[NOISE] Find out.
[NOISE] To help you with your quarter mile run, Ford's given you two tools to help you.
The first is a line lock feature.
What that does is it locks the front brakes while leaving the rear brakes unlocked so that you can do a burnout and warm up those rear tires to get ready for your run.
So here we go.
That was awesome.
It gives you about fifteen seconds of that which should be enough to Get your tires nice and warmed up.
The next is launch control.
So what we're gonna do is we're going to select the drag strip mode.
Launch control's automatically enabled in that mode.
We're gonna put it in first gear, clutch down, hold down the RPM's.
5,000 RPM's that's the- Interesting place to launch from, but here we go.
Pedal to the metal.
That's 50 miles per hour.
There's 100 [SOUND] 130 and I'm backing off.
Man, that was intense, that was very intense.
It sprints, it dances, it makes a tremendous sound and on top of that it looks [BLEEP] amazing doing it.
About the only thing the GT 350 can't do is blend in.
I guess the only question now is, can I borrow $60,000 cause I think I'm keeping this one.