On the road with the 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Huh, 1966 Popular Mechanics in the Driving with Dan section, Walter Eastman writes in to ask Dan Gurney what's the best all around street track sports car you've ever driven?
To which Gurney simply replies, a GT 350 Mustang.
Guess what we've got with us today?
Let's see if Gurney would be just as simple and just as positive in his endorsement.
[NOISE] Oh my god.
Now Ford breathed on almost every part of a Mustang to create.
Create the GT-350.
One of the most obvious changes you can spot from the outside is the whole front clip.
See, they pushed out the front track on the wheels almost an inch and a half.
As a result, the bodywork has to reach out to cover it, you get different fenders and a different hood than on any other Mustang.
Now, on top of the GT-350, you've also got the very rare R-model.
Only two seats, they lose the back [SOUND] Carbon fiber wheels, extraordinarily unusual, a magnetoheological adaptive suspension is standard on the R, optional on the 350.
And ideally, you order it the right way.
No radio, no air conditioning, no rear carpet.
You can spot one, by the red grill badge.
Now we've seen the inside of the new Mustang before, nothing dramatically different there.
A couple of additional gauges.
Three choices of gearbox, the rear wheel drive, six speed manual, manual six speed, or six on the floor.
Learn to drive it.
That's your only choice.
Here in the head unit, you can have a basic display radio like we have here, or you can go all the way up to their latest sync-3 touchscreen system, or all the way down to a Stripped R, as I mentioned, with nothing there.
No radio, no AC.
And here's your drive mode selector on the steering wheel.
Other Mustangs put it as a toggle down here.
It's able to harness all these different drive modes you see on the dash, but unlike other Mustangs, it can also roll in an adaptive Suspension as part os it's mix.
This is the first Ford ever to have that.
Now if you do a 350 or a 350r you've got the same mill, a 5.2 liter naturally aspirated V8.
No turbo, no blow or nothing like that, 526 horsepower, that's nearly 102 horsepower per liter.
A number called specific output, and in this case It's the highest one Ford's ever posted without a turbo, or a blower involved.
The red line is 8250 peak horsepower occurs near that.
Compare this to a Camaro Z28 which uses a much larger seven liter engine to get a lower 505 horse.
And only 72 horse per liter, though it does make more torque And it uses technologies like low-friction design for internal resistance, free-breathing heads and valves, lots of lightning.
It took away as much weight as they could.
We've heard all that before, to be honest.
What you probably haven't heard before is deep in the heart, something called a flat-plane crank.
A crankshaft has counterweights at 90 degrees
What a flat plane crank does is changes that 90 degree to 180 degree.
The engine fires from bank to bank and you get better exhaust scavenging.
So one cylinder doesn't disrupt the flow of the next cylinder.
Some say, oh, it's a flat plane crank, maybe it's gonna
Sound like a Ferrari.
Yeah, like a Ferrari in a denim jacket with a Marlboro and hopped up on meth.
What I love about this vehicle, that I noticed immediately, is it is the [INAUDIBLE] A boss 302 my favorite modern Mustang ever.
Light, crisp, muscular but not steroidal.
That's my kind of mustang.
Utterly and completely drivable every day.
Some people are gonna find it not hard
Hard edged enough, not feeling special enough.
But I would consider them to be purists without a cause.
Now, I focus on the GT350 in this story today.
Because it's gonna be a lot more accessible.
These are going to be extraordinarily low production.
[INAUDIBLE] As far as we can tell.
And the 350 does most of what you want at a nice price psychologically.
Comes in under 50 grand with delivery, but then you've got this very difficult decision to make.
You can get the track package for 6,500 which gets you the adaptive suspension, heavy duty front springs, the drive control, a spoiler in the rear, a tower brace, and heavy duty cooler.
or the tech package, which also gets you adaptive suspension, heavy springs and drive control.
But then adds infotainment, like a better audio system, sync three, power seats and voice operated nav.
7500 for that.
If you're curious and R adds about 13,500 to either configuration.
I'd go with tech package, and that's [UNKNOWN] about 56,200 out the door.
That's a pretty good value for a car that has such track prowess and such nice street manners, which is becoming the theme in the high performance market.
From McLarens to Challengers to Camaros, most cars that are super brawny realized they also have to have clean fingernails.
More cars, driven CNET style, standing by now at CNETOnCars.com.
Click On The Road.