I’ve just completed my first American muscle car review! The Ford Shelby GT350 has been on my radar for some time and recently a kind viewer offered his own personal GT350 for me to drive and review. The full video review is above.
Like many of my European and Japanese car enthusiast friends, I’ve always been skeptical of American muscle cars. I had considered them too cumbersome, too heavy and too one dimensional to be a legitimate alternative to the best driver’s cars from Europe and Japan. My opinion changes as of now, because the Shelby GT350 is one fantastic driver’s car.
Its 5.2 litre, flat plane crank, naturally aspirated, high-rev V8 is the jewel in the GT350 experience. It revs freely, makes an amazing noise and propels you towards the horizon with 526 healthy horsepower. Burning through its rev range while grabbing manual shifts in its 6 speed gearbox is an experience to behold. And contrary to the age old muscle car stereotype, the GT350 can take corners too. Its steering is light and responsive, hiding its approximately 3700 pounds exceptionally well. Its suspension is well damped and extremely European in feel. All of its primary controls are well weighted, precise and positioned in exactly the right places for a purist sport-driving experience. Like the very best Euro muscle cars, the GT350 is one fantastic all rounder.
Philosophically speaking, the GT350 is one of the few cars on the market to continue to hold the naturally aspirated, rear-wheel-drive, manual-only flame. It’s quite similar in this respect to the other great driver’s car of 2016, the Porsche GT4 which I’ve reviewed extensively. This type of uncompromising approach deserves respect.
While fit and finish have room for improvement, especially if the Mustang is to be taken seriously against its European rivals, the driving experience is nothing short of top shelf. I had a lot of fun driving and interacting with the Shelby GT350 and it has made me a believer in Ford. Well done, Ford, for matching or possibly even beating Europe at their own game!