At the heart of the Shelby GT350’s success in drawing out Automobile‘s praise was, of course, the 526 horsepower “Voodoo” V8 engine. “The flat-plane V8 is a magnificent piece that makes all the right noises,” said Preston Lerner. The staff evaluated both the “base” Shelby GT350, and the hotter, more track-focused GT350R variant, both of which feature the same potent, high-revving 5.2-liter V8.
Overall, “the GT350R has a very ‘mean American’ feel but balances that with a very good chassis,” said Marc Noordeloos. “It’s a classic pony car but has excellent dynamics.”
The Shelby GT350 Mustang went on sale late last year, with a base price of just $49,995 ($63,495 for the GT350R variant). To be eligible for selection to Automobile‘s 2016 All-Star list, a car needed to be all-new, heavily revamped, or newly significant for 2016 and be available in the US in the 12 months preceding the test. The publication began with a field of 25 eligible vehicles.