Reinventing an icon is never easy. And for Ford, the name Shelby is about as iconic as you can get. So do you think the pressure was on for the revival of the Shelby GT350 Mustang? You’re darn right it was. Luckily everyone involved delivered. And even luckier, they invited us out to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to try it out.

Now we’ve been seeing track-specific Mustangs for almost as long as the Mustang has existed. Last time around, it was the supercharged, super-insane Shelby GT500, along with the slightly tamer Boss 302.

But since then we’ve entered a new generation; and this new-era Stang needs its first proper performance variant.

How’s 526 horsepower sound? The GT350 rips and roars that much from its 5.2 liter V8. It’s Ford’s most powerful naturally-aspirated engine ever, with plenty of clever engineering, like a flat plane crankshaft to allow for better cylinder breathing, and thus higher revs.

To weed out the wannabes, a six speed manual is the only transmission. It’s great, so don’t even try complaining to us.

The independent rear suspension, new for this gen “stangs”, allows this beast to really come alive on the road, and become one with it. Things stiffen up thanks to magnetic dampers and a continuously variable monitoring system.

We don’t need to mention much on styling, just look at it. Clearly designed for speed, the hood is reshaped, and the front fascia updated to further aid cooling. A rear decklid spoiler, and diffuser below help keep things planted at speed. 

Keeping you planted inside are GT350-specific Recaro seats. Gauges and dash controls have now have less bright work, to reduce glare.

…so, are you getting the picture? The GT350 is all business. But for those who want to get even more serious, there’s the GT350 R, which features carbon fiber wheels – yes, wheels – and a large wing out back, and deletes everyday nuances like a back seat, stereo and even A/C.

On sale now, the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang starts around $49,000. The GT350 R comes a little later, and a little more expensive, at $62,000.


  • Engine: 5.2 liter
  • Horsepower: 526
  • Price: Starts around $49,000 / $62,000 for GT350 R