Last week, Ford Motor Company and its newly-consolidated “Ford Performance” division held a rather small, very special event at Grattan Raceway on the west side of Michigan, inviting members of the automotive press – yours truly included – to get an advance ride in the 2016 Shelby GT350R Mustang.
Our only fear is that the resulting video below doesn’t quite manage to aptly convey the utterly mental performance of the new Shelby GT350R on Michigan’s premier road course.
Of course, the major headline for the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang – beside the independent rear-suspension inherited from Ford’s new sixth-generation pony car – is the 5.2-liter V8. Its flat-plane crankshaft, lightweight valvetrain, reduced-inertia piston/rod assemblies, and general engineering wizardry grants the raspy-voiced mill an incredible 8,250 RPM redline, and one that arrives with a whole lot more urgency than you might expect.
(At the aforementioned event, we were granted an exclusive interview with Eric Ladner – the Engineering Program Lead for this revolutionary new powerplant. You can read the full interview here.)
Obviously, with such a phenomenal engine invoking such immeasurable awe at the front of the car, there was some question as to whether everything else could possibly live up to its sterling example.
Such concerns have seldom been put to bed quicker than by the 2016 Shelby GT350R. Its third-generation MagneRide magnetorheological dampers from BWI – though nothing new to the industry – work absolute wonders for the (admittedly chubby) track star’s confidence. And besides, there’s something elegantly organic about the dampers’ way of directly changing the physical characteristics of the fluid, rather than accomplishing their goals by diverting its flow.
Have you read enough? We don’t blame you. Just make your way down the page to our exclusive on-track video and see the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R in action.