What Is It?
2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
What's New About This Model?
The 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 picks up where the already capable Mustang GT leaves off. It features a healthy increase in power along with numerous upgrades to the chassis that turn the Mustang into a formidable track car.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Ford expects the 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang to arrive in dealerships late in 2015.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official pricing has been released yet, but our source at Ford hints that the GT350 will cost slightly less than its primary competition.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
The Ford Shelby GT350 is its own trim level within the Mustang lineup. It sits above the base V6, midlevel EcoBoost four-cylinder and V8-powered GT. It will be offered exclusively as a coupe.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
- 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 — 500-plus horsepower, 400-plus pound-feet of torque
- Six-speed manual transmission. An automatic is unlikely.
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
Although it's similar to the engine in the Mustang GT, the 5.2-liter V8 in the Shelby GT350 is unique to this model. It not only boasts a slightly larger displacement, it also gets a unique flat plane crankshaft that gives this Mustang a unique sound that's more like an old Ferrari than a modern muscle car.
It's more than just a more powerful engine, though, as the GT350 also gets chassis improvements that include a wider front track, a strut tower brace, reduced ride height, recalibrated bushings, retuned springs and Ford's first use of magnetically adjustable shock absorbers.
There's also a high-performance brake package. It includes two-piece, cross-drilled brake rotors measuring 15.5 inches up front and 15 inches in back, with Brembo calipers.
Unique 19-inch aluminum wheels come standard and they're wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. A standard limited-slip differential makes sure those tires receive plenty of motivation around corners.
A Track Pack adds engine and transmission oil coolers, while the Tech Pack adds power-adjustable leather seats, a Shaker audio system and an 8-inch MyFord touchscreen.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: The Camaro ZL1 plants a supercharger atop a 6.2-liter V8, producing a wallop of 580 hp and 556 lb-ft of torque. Prices start at a relatively reasonable $57,800. In a similar naturally aspirated manner, the Z/28 Camaro pumps out 505 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque from a 7.0-liter V8, but with a price tag north of $70,000, it's likely going to be further out of reach than the Ford. Prevailing wisdom says a redesigned Camaro is on the way.
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: The Hellcat is most widely known for its output of 707 hp coming from its 6.2-liter supercharged V8. It differs from the Camaro and GT350, as the Challenger is more of a drag racer than a road racer. Its straight-line speed is stunning, but it struggles to keep up in the curves.
Should You Wait for It?
For those seeking all-out performance with a uniquely American execution and storied heritage, the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang will certainly be worth the wait. For shoppers looking for similar thrills at a more affordable price, the Mustang GT with the optional Performance package is an excellent alternative that's available now.