2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 First Drive Review
The 2019 Ford Mustang GT 350 finally has the grip to (almost) tame its V8.
When the GT350 debuted for the 2016 model year, the centerpiece of the new Shelby was undoubtedly Ford’s new 5.2-liter Voodoo V8. High revving and full of character, the 526 horsepower naturally aspirated mill was a great match for a Mustang designed with track prowess in mind.
But while the limited production GT350R showed just how capable the sixth generation Mustang’s platform could be when dialed in for serious road course performance, the gap between it and the standard GT350 proved to be more sizable than the spec sheet initially suggested, as the latter’s more conservative tire and suspension package, in particular, made the standard Shelby feel more like a garden-variety GT with an engine swap rather than a legitimate track weapon. That discrepancy became even more glaring last year with the introduction of Performance Pack 2, an options package that bestowed the GT with more aggressive handling hardware than the 2018 Shelby GT350 was equipped with.
Keen to bring the Mustang performance hierarchy back in line, Ford has turned their attention to the GT350 once again and bestowed it with some updates for 2019. This update has injected new life into the Shelby, delivering the incredibly surefooted – yet street-friendly – machine that we’ve always hoped it would be.
On the other hand, with a new starting price of $59,140, the GT350 also sees a price hike of more than $3000 for 2019. Is the new Shelby worth the price of admission? We headed to the M1 Concourse, a private track facility in Pontiac, Michigan, to find out.