Before I ruffle too many feathers by calling the 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350R Ford’s fastest ‘stang yet, let me set some parameters. Was the 2013 Shelby GT500 with 662hp quicker to 60 mph and through a quarter-mile? Yes. Could that car out-maneuver the GT350R? Not a chance. Set those two vehicles against one another around any non-oval track in the world and the GT350 would spank its sibling.
In many ways, automotive enthusiasts have the never-ending rivalry between Mustang and Camaro to thank for the ultra high performance muscle cars we see today. What once was a horsepower war has now become a battle for faster lap times. It’s a freaky world we live in where a Camaro (in Z/28 guise) can match a Porsche 911 GT3. And the odd matchups will become more bizarre, especially since Ford’s new Shelby Mustang has exceeded even the Camaro Z/28’s lofty performance threshold.
To understand just how much better the GT350/R is than both the track-honed Camaro and the solid rear-axle Mustang Boss 302 that came before it, we joined Ford Performance for a few laps at Buttonwillow Raceway in California.