Almost immediately after the unveiling of the 2016 Ford Mustang GT350, speculation regarding its full performance potential has begun in earnest. And if estimates by Car & Driver’s initial figures are accurate, then the most recent iteration of the Shelby Mustang could be a literal giant killer in its segment when it arrives to dealer lots sometime next year, striking fear into rivals such as the Chevy Camaro Z/28 as well as foreign stalwarts such as the Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911.
While it is officially known that the GT350 will arrive with a naturally-aspirated flat-crank V8 engine and a six speed manual transmission, Ford has so far not released official performance figures for the new engine nor performance data such as 0-60 mph and quarter-mile times. Instead, The Blue Oval has stuck with its rather vague claim that the mighty pony makes “over 500 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.”
Based on 5.2-liter engine’s high 8,200 RPM limit found in the Mustang Shelby GT350, as well as the 505 and 707 horsepower wielded by the Chevrolet Z/28 Camaro and Dodge SRT Hellcat, respectively, the Mustang should make about 510 horsepower, which would put it slightly above the Z/28, but far short of the Hellcat and its monstrous muscle. Unlike the Hellcat, though, the Stang would be able to not only hook up better, but also make much more efficient use of the extra oomph — which should be welcome to those interesting in taking their pony to the tracks or having fun on twisty roads, rather than rocketing down the road in a straight line.
But despite C&D’s best efforts at deciphering the GT350’s mass, the pony’s curb weight is still a murky mystery. That said, the publication believes that the Shelby GT350 will be a mere 10 pounds heavier than the V8-powered Mustang GT, which tips the scales at 3,800 pounds. The minimal weight will most likely be the result of the pony’s advanced dampers and powertrain.
|CURB WEIGHT:||3810 POUNDS|
|0-60 MPH:||3.9 SECONDS|
|1/4 MILE:||12.1 SECONDS|
Lastly, C&D even tackled the swirling debate about how fast the newest iteration of the GT350 could be in terms of track times. Making note of the possible 510 horsepower on tap, as well as the 3800-pound curb weight of the car, C&D estimates that the naturally-aspirated screamer is capable of hitting 60 mph in a brisk 3.9 seconds, with the quarter mile rocketing by at an equally-swift 12.1 seconds.
It’s important to remember, though, that since Ford has yet to share the official numbers for its 2016 GT350, C&D’s findings are not solid proof and are educated assumptions. Even so, they do offer a compelling look into what the Mustang Shelby GT350 could possibly accomplish. Based on these preliminary findings, it appears that Ford has a formidable contender in its stable. Wouldn’t you say?