If there’s one automotive “hot list” out there you can trust, it’s Car and Driver magazine’s annual “10Best.” Each year, the editors gather together every significantly-revamped car – along with each defending champ from the previous year’s list – and spend a full week driving, taking notes, bickering and arguing until they’ve produced a collection of the ten most pleasurable driver’s cars under a given dollar amount.
This year – much to the surprise of no one, we’re sure – the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 and GT350R made the list.
Being fundamentally the same car, the Shelby GT350 and GT350R share a spot in the lineup. At the heart of how and why the hot new Mustang garnered the loving affection of the staff was the lauded flat-plane crankshaft. The engine, writes Ezra Dyer, “speaks to wide-band, high-rpm horsepower. This so-called Voodoo engine is built for a track, and not the kind with a Christmas tree and a burnout box.”
Meanwhile, Editor-in-Chief Eddie Alterman remarked that the Shelby GT350 “makes sweet, vigorous love to the road.”
The flat-plane crankshaft is far from the only character-building attribute of the 5.2-liter “Voodoo” engine, of course; Mr. Dyer gets around to mentioning things like the largest-possible 94-mm bore, the hollow intake and sodium-filled exhaust valves, and of course, the 8,250 rpm redline. All of this contributes to the stratospherically-capable, immensely-enjoyable, ferocious, beating heart of the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang, exhibiting a level of passionate exuberance and attention-to-detail previously unseen on a car in the $50,000 price range.
It’s more the heart of a lion than that of your typical Mustang.