Running The Numbers In A GT350
Power Without The Pucker

Back in the 1960s and 1970s and even leading up into the mid-1990s, an automobile packing more than with 400 horsepower under its hood was something that demanded respect when driven.

Muscle cars of these eras were twitchy, power came on like a lightswitch, and you needed to have some sense and ability while driving them. However, modern cars don’t drive like that and most are producing numbers we never thought we’d see as ‘normal’ from an OEM without it being a racing package of some sort.

The 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is a perfect example of this.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_002

Let’s look at these numbers: 526 horsepower, 429lb-ft torque, 175mph (282km/h) top speed, .98g on the skidpad numbers, and a 4.3-second 0-60mph time. These numbers should equate to a car that doesn’t have the ability to drive normally in a daily sense for most people. They’re also numbers that you’d expect from a car made almost exclusively for the track that’s barely civil enough to be used on the road.

Except it isn’t.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_003

You can drive this car like it’s a Honda Accord. You have cruise control, a decent stereo system, and air conditioning. The clutch is mellow, light, and engages so smoothly that you’d never think the car possesses the amount of power it does. It’s hard to stall out, even. The sound from the exhaust, while not entirely boring, isn’t so loud that it will wake the neighbors. At least the ones who aren’t light sleepers, but normal neighbors. Well, that is until you flip the switch on the center console to open up the exhaust to a straighter flow and less sound dampening. Then you really get a soundtrack worthy of the Shelby GT350’s racing heritage.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_006

However, strip all this badging off, the stripes, everything visual to make this a GT350 with the exhaust in its quieter mode, and most people would think you’re in a normal Mustang GT driving by, save for the slightly unusual tone produced by the flat-plane crank. However, they will likely brush that off as you having a custom exhaust or something.

Let Her Rip
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_010

Then you put your foot into it. As you accelerate you soon realize that you’re passing 6,000rpm and don’t need to shift yet – you’re still 2,000rpm shy of the 8,000rpm rev limiter. That’s when you start to understand this really isn’t a normal Mustang.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_011

Then you take the next corner and expect some front push as most Mustangs have had; but the modern car doesn’t do this anymore. The GT350 is even better thanks to its MagneRide suspension, a system similar to those found in many exotic and high performance cars for instant dampening changes as you drive.

Roll and pitch are all very good in this car, even when you stab the brake pedal so that the Brembo 6-piston calipers clamp down on 15.5-inch diameter drilled rotors in the front and the 4-piston, 14.9-inch rotors in the rear. The rotors’ aluminum hats are quite interesting looking, but serve to reduce the weight over a one-piece, full iron equivalent that you’d see on a GT despite the fact these are both far bigger.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_014

With all of these high performance parts, it’s the technology that helps make this Mustang so easy to drive, even at the limit. Most modern high performance cars are this way: totally drivable despite making so much power. A person with little interest in cars could drive the GT350 and enjoy it with some pace on.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_015

However, with that power coming to the masses, are cars like the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 beginning to lose the appeal they once had? The challenge of driving a powerful car and having the skill do so? One could argue yes, modern power cars are become far more docile. They are tamed for the home market but with the power of a free-roaming and wild animal.

Then again, you can turn all of those things off at the flip of a switch.

Words by Justin Banner
Instagram: jb27tt
Facebook: racerbanner
Twitter: RacerBanner

Photos by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto
larry@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_016
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_036
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_035
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_034
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_033
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_032
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_031
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_030
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_029
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_028
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_027
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_026
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_025
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_024
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_023
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_022
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_021
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_020
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_019
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_018
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_2017_Ford_Mustang_gt350_017
ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

24 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

"this article is a paid presentation for Ford Motor Company".............

2

Full disclosure I wanted to shoot photos and drive this car so I asked Ford to let me borrow it for a few days. I picked up Justin and we went driving. My goodness guys.

3

Why does it even matter? Come to a website about cars and moans about seeing cars... Without money in some form or another this site wouldn't exist.

4

I mean... It kinda matters. It's not really bad, but some people do get touchy about too much sponsored content. (I now know more about csf intercoolers than I ever thought I'd need to know haha)

This however is not a paid presentation lol, so the whole talk is kinda redundant.

Author5

Glad you think we're getting a check from them.

6

I think it does matter.

Whether this is a paid article or not, it reads like one. If there isn't a declaration as to whether individual articles are paid or sponsored by someone, it makes it difficult to take content at face value without a generous pinch of salt. we end up asking ourselves the question - 'Is this really a balanced, honest article, or just one that was paid for?'

I think it really devalues what is generally awesome and varied content here.

Author7

If you have read ANY of my previous content, you see that I disclose any paid portions, including travel and accommodations.

8

Fair enough, but that hasn't been typical of the site as a whole over the course of the last 5 years, and something I believe Paddy has been trying to address recently.

Also, is there a reason why Larry's watermark has been omitted from the photos? Was that a conscious decision? Without them, it looks like they've just been pulled from a press release.

Author9

While Paddy hasn't asked me to do it, putting disclosure on payments for content is something I have always done and is part of the requirements of my Motor Press Guild membership. As far as the watermarks, not sure what happened there. I'll have to ask Larry when he gets back from Texas.

10

I'm glad that you choose to disclose payments, however,I just read MPG's published code of ethics, and it does not require you to this - It is simply a request, and they state that 'It is not our place to enforce ethics policies'.

Interestingly, it asks for any gift over $50 to be REFUSED. If that was the case, Project yankee would never have been finished for SEMA last year, it was made clear that sponsors had gifted the parts. Never mind all the sets of Rays wheels that have appeared on Speedhunters' personal project cars thanks to their partnership.

While you may adhere to a code of ethics, your fellow journalists here have been bending those rules for some time, which is where the distrust lies.

Author11

Ok, when I first joined, it was a requirement. I think they changed their policies with the last administration vote.

However, there is a distinction between gifts and sponsored parts requests as I had a question on that myself when I was looking at getting parts for Project Rob Burgundy and emailed MPG about it. A gift, in the view of MPG, is when you are paid to do a positive review that isn't travel costs, like they give you a car or cash in exchange for a glowing review on their products. The wheels and parts we get from our advertisers are done by our request with an exchange in either ad placement, decals on the vehicles, or something we exchange that the site can provide that isn't a review. It is considered a sponsorship of a vehicle and there is a review process by most companies and its similar to what drivers, teams, and SEMA builders go through for their sponsored parts. So, the wheels for Project Yankee were not gifts, even by MPGs standards.

12

Fair enough, If you had to ask MPG for clarification, I don't feel bad for not understanding myself. I can understand now why they aren't considered a gift as there is obviously an exchange in services. A free gift would be more like the die cast model you picked up when Honda flew you out to review the new Civic Type R.

Unfortunately, gift or not, it doesn't really change anything about how I read articles. I still find myself questioning - are you fitting (INSERT PART MANUFACTURER) parts because you feel they were the best choice, or because they were the only choice from a sponsor that you have a deal with.

This is why it's still difficult to take any review at face value. But then on the other side you couldn't afford to make the content, so it's a trade off obviously.

13

Is it just me, or did Larry Chen forget to put watermarks on the photos?

14

You know when you are in a rush to get stories out sometimes you just forget. I love how much drama this created.

15

Modern cars have to many jobs to do at once. They need to be fast and exciting. Yet quiet and easy to drive at the same time. That simply doesn't work. You don't get the experience anymore these days. That's why stripped versions are in my opinion better. You choose for less comfort but more fun. You should be scared driving with your foot down in a 526 HP car. It should't try to kill you, but if there is a feeling it might, that's what makes driving fun. Fighting for control, while not hoping everytime you get in you'll get home later on. A GT350 must not be a daily driver, or at least not in my opinion. But if you decide to use it everyday it should earn respect from other enthousiasts. These days cars are to overdesigned to suit anyone.

16

"However, with that power coming to the masses, are cars like the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 beginning to lose the appeal they once had?"

I'd say so. You mentioned a couple of qualities that I wouldn't want from a Shelby edition Mustang.
Makes me somewhat, kinda, maybe understand the purpose of Hellcats and the like. I'm not a fan of US muscle, but I'm pretty sure the special models should be unequivocally batshit crazy. That's just me though, I drive a damn subaru lol.

17

Only issue now is how good are any cars with all these saftey nets and computers when you flip the switch to cut it all off. I feel like newer cars are built to be brilliant with all the saftey nets on but turn into pigs with all the tech shut off....

18

New cars seem to have a definite disconnect between car and driver. Sure, hold the button down for 15 seconds and it 'mostly' shuts off the nannies that are federally regulated to be in all new vehicles, but as a driver there is still some disconnect. I feel a vehicle with over 500hp should 'feel' equal parts frightening/exciting. Exciting to push it a little bit harder when you get to enjoy it, frightening enough to keep you paying attention to keep you from hitting a tree.

19

Great article about a great car. With all the restrictions on passenger cars these days - CARB emission standards, airbags, crumple zones, traction control, lane diversion - we would all be driving Leafs if it wasn't for the efforts of companies like Ford. The fact that we can get this kind of performance out of a road legal vehicle speaks volumes for the tireless efforts of the engineers.
Now we just need a head-to-head comparison with the GT350, the Camaro ZL1-1LE and the Dodge Demon!

20

I like cars

21

Muscle cars are cool but, expensive at the same time.

22

Nobody complains when a Ferrari or an AMG has it all, but people get in an uproar when an american muscle car has it all. The consumer doesn't want a snarling beast that scares them to death. Most people don't have the skill, time or money to build the ultimate car. So it's bought not built, and the owner will have to put up with the put-downs from the purists.

23

It's disappointing that all modern cars are turning into such luxurious, perfectly behaved little darlings. But that is what our society is breeding. Cars do everything to cover any possible human mistake now. I suppose there is space to be ok with it because it still allows the hot-rodder spirit to drive us to make these cars into what WE want them to be. I'm just proud and excited to see FORD make such capable, globally relevant sports cars. The horsepower wars are back and pony cars are exciting again!

24

This is all well and good, but I miss the idea of getting a car that is stripped out for the sole purpose of being a sports car. I get that they are trying to hit every fly in the house with this swatter, but they're making it too user friendly in the process. Tear out the power locks and windows, A/C and cruise control. Always go full dump on the exhaust, piss off the neighbors. This is the GT350, not a Hyundai.

OFFICIAL SPEEDHUNTERS SUPPLIERS