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2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang First Ride

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Ford wants this 5.2L flat-plane-crankshaft-powered muscle car to shred club tracks around the country. And it does, as personally witnessed from the passenger seat of the GT350R at Grattan Raceway outside of Grand Rapids, Mich

 

The 530-horsepower V8 snarls in a deep bass like only a few other engines sold to the public. Certainly, louder and with more bravado than any previous Mustang. The brakes alone are simply amazing. Using six-piston Brembo calipers on giant discs the GT350R seemingly stops as fast as hitting a brick wall. When the driver wound out fourth gear on the short straightaway, I watched him pass the first braking cone before he mashed his foot on the brake. That's when I remembered the hybrid HANS device that was suddenly keeping my head on my shoulders. 

This Mustang flies. Ford engineers said that they benchmarked Porsche for its dynamics and performance. Ultimately, on Grattan's two-mile track, Ford says that that the GT350R beats the 911 by .1 seconds. Of course, at first glance, the GT350R doesn't seduce you the same way a 911 does. (Won’t cost you as much, though.) Instead of a gentle kiss through a curve that the 911 provides, the GT350R punches you in the mouth at the end of the straightaway. There is nothing subtle about the GT350R.


Read more: http://wot.motortrend.com/2016_ford_shelby_gt350r_mustang_first_ride.html#ixzz3hLMFshtQ

 

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Wish they would tune and test them at the Famous German Nuremberg track. Would be just another awesome car that shows the Germans are not the only place that can build awesome driving machines.

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yet another first ride from autoblog:

 

2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R First Ride

Ford Performance Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi was in China when he received an interesting text. Half a world away his team was shaking down the newest Shelby Mustang at Grattan Raceway in rural Michigan. The news was encouraging. TheGT350R was keeping pace with a Porsche 911 GT3, even nosing ahead of it during time trials, while the GT350 was running about even with a 911 Carrera S and a Chevy CorvetteStingray.

"That was a good text to get," he recounted a week later as we chatted alongside the track at Grattan. On this scorching summer day, there were no Porsches or Stingrays to be found, but we've come to preview the track-focused GT350R. Ford drivers are at the wheel, and we're riding shotgun. After several hot laps, we're left with a predictable observation: The GT350R is wicked fast and quick as hell.

 

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/07/30/2016-ford-shelby-mustang-gt350r-first-ride/


But the GT350R isn't about straight-line speed or pure power. It's designed to get around a track as rapidly as possible. That means Ford took the 'base' GT350 – which should be more than at home on the track itself – and re-tuned the suspension and aerodynamics. There's a larger front splitter and rear carbon-fiber spoiler. The 19-inch carbon-fiber wheels are stiffer and lighter than comparable aluminum rollers, and they're wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 high performance rubber. Additionally, Ford ripped out the back seats, air conditioning, trunk floorboard, stereo, backup camera, and anything else that wasn't necessary. Buyers looking for a slightly softer experience can opt for the electronics package, which adds some of this stuff back. In its most basic form, the GT350R weighs 3,650 pounds, which is 130 pounds less than the GT350 equipped with the track pack.

Our test car has air conditioning and a fancy touchscreen, but otherwise this pre-production model is indeed raw. We even pass on lunch (though Ford has a massive grill going) until after our track time is done. Like the smell of BBQ that drifts toward the track, riding in the GT350R only whets our appetite. We can't wait to drive it, and as this brief preview demonstrates, it should be worth the wait.

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Keeping pace with a 911 GT3 is impressive all right, especially on a twisty track like Grattan.

 

trackmap_grattan.gif

 

 

So knowing all this, I think the R can actually beat the GT3 at the ring, due to it's much longer sections with gentile sweeps, allowing that 530hp to come alive...

 

nordschleife_zoom.jpg

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