WATCH: Pro Racer Andy Pilgrim Flogs Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R
It's GT350 vs. GT350R on the racetrack.
Yes, Ford recently launched its all-new Mustang Shelby GT500, but its Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R models are still on our list of favorite performance cars now on the market. We like them so much, in fact, that we named them 2016 Automobile All-Stars. And since then, Ford has made them even better to drive.
Like its Chevrolet Camaro rival, Ford's Mustang was not always a top choice for corner carving. But drive a few miles or, better yet, turn a few laps of a racetrack in these GT350s, and it won't take long before you realize these are serious drivers' cars. And indeed, the Blue Oval upgraded both models within the past year, infusing them with lessons learned during the development of the top dog GT500.
The standard GT350 received grippier Michelin rubber and suspension revisions including new spring rates and recalibrated magnetic shocks, plus the addition of available camber plates. Meanwhile, the GT350R has standard, weight-slashing carbon-fiber wheels, a revised front suspension knuckle, retuned steering, and recalibrated ABS behavior to help assist corner-entry rotation.
Each car uses the same screaming 5.2-liter overhead-cam V-8, good for 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, and its flat-plane crank architecture ensures it is one of the best automotive soundtracks available to the public. But the best part is, both GT350s are easier than ever to drive, their improvements refining the overall experience while upping their capability level—and somehow, if anything, reducing the intimidation factor. That's no small accomplishment. In this episode of Pro Racer's Take, Andy Pilgrim shows just how far the Mustang has come.