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Monday, August 17, 2015

2013 Shelby or 2016 Shelby: Which Mustang GT350 Would You Buy?



The 2016 return of the Shelby GT350 is undoubtedly the talk of the town, among Mustang crowds and beyond. Heck, 526-horsepower in a track-tuned package can make any Blue Oval fan’s heart race. 
But interestingly, this isn’t the first GT350 redux since the nameplate disappeared in ’69. Shelby American brought it back in 2011, and over the course of three years gave it the knockout-blow performance it so rightly deserved.

So here’s the question. If you were about to plop down a stack of cash for one of the GT350s, which Shelby would it be? The stunning GT350 of yesteryear or Ford’s new Blue Oval bombshell for 2016?


While the answer may be rather one sided, a quick look at the Shelby American spec-sheet may change your mind. The recipe was simple. Customers would send stock Ford Mustang GTs to Shelby American, which would then outfit them with an array of performance and suspension components. On went aggressive Shelby front and rear fascias, the signature “GT350” decals, Wilwood brakes, a Ford Racing suspension, and Borla exhaust among other mods.

In standard form, that Shelby Mustang’s 5.0-liter V8 would chuck out around 430 horsepower, but two supercharged variants were also offered—one producing 525 hp, the other summoning a colossal 624 hp. These highly-tuned options brought with them aluminum driveshafts, Eibach coil-overs, and even a widebody package…as seen on the late-run 2014 Shelby GT350 pictured above, which is listed on eBay. “Stunning” is a word that comes to mind.


And it’s easy to say the same about Ford’s new factory-effort in the GT350. Beneath the pony car’s aggressive new fascia lies a highly-tuned 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8, which heaves a massive 526 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque. A poke of the right foot unlocks that power, and you can bet zero to 60 mph happens quite soon.

Numerous chassis tweaks differentiate these ponies from the standard Mustangs, and include new lightweight steering knuckles, uprated front and rear antiroll bars, race-inspired floating brakes, and rigid subframe bushings. The big news comes courtesy of Ford’s continuously-variable MagneRide dampers, which ensure all four wheels stay planted and make good use of those sticky Super Sport tires.

In reality, both cars are absolute stunners, but which would you buy?