Regardless of the financial result of developing a car like the new 2016 Ford Shelby GT350/R Mustang, we’re ecstatic to have it. Its magnificent centerpiece, the 5.2-liter flat-plane crank “Voodoo” V8, easily places among the best performance engines ever conceived by an American outfit, but let’s not give the powerplant all the credit; the rest of the drivetrain, the chassis, and the aerodynamics work just as hard – delivering just as much – as any over-achieving N/A mill out there.
In recognition of all this, Yahoo! Autos has awarded the 2016 Shelby GT350 and GT350R the title of “Epic Ride of the Year” for 2016.
In effect, Yahoo! says, the Shelby GT350 Mustang is the first car to come out of the Blue Oval in a blue moon that can truly threaten General Motors’ reign as the foremost American automaker when it comes to attainable performance machines. Honorable mentions are made of the ST-badged Focus and Fiesta, but these hot-hatches are hardly comparable to purpose-built track monsters like the 2015 Camaro Z/28 or Corvette Z06.
Conversely, the Shelby GT350 Mustang is. Where the GT500 has historically been all about straight-line speed and touring, the Shelby GT350 is more rather built to nail any corner, devour any road course. It’s a massive volley of performance sent hurtling right back at GM, not to mention one of the most exhilarating, responsive vehicles out there.
If we had an “Epic Ride of the Year” award ourselves, we’d likely make the same call.