The Ford Mustang has never been much of a natural competitor for the low-slung Chevrolet Corvette. The former has spent some five decades atop the list of the most iconic American pony cars ever made, while the latter is 100 percent sportscar.
Nonetheless, the Shelby GT350 Mustang takes the historically brutish pony into the realm of the precise track machine – enough so that the staff at Car and Driver decided to stage a comparison test between it and the C7 Corvette Stingray. With the 2.5-mile Willow Springs road course and plenty of country roads to play around on, an intense battle between the incumbent Chevrolet Corvette and its Shelby GT350 challenger ensued for the title of “best everyday American sportscar.”
For this test, Car and Driver used the non-R Shelby GT350 Mustang with the optional Track Pack, and the Chevrolet Corvette with optional Z51 performance package. While neither car was therefore top-spec, both machines had magnetorheological dampers, tires that were roughly equivalent in terms of their stickiness, and manual transmissions (the 6-speed is standard on the Shelby GT350; the 7-speed is optional on the Corvette). Thus, the staff could be sure that each would have plenty of track prowess, while still being sophisticated enough for the road.
One thing worth noting is the appreciable difference in pricing between the two cars. The 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang starts at a very approachable $49,995, next to the Corvette’s $61,395 starting price. As tested, the gap in pricing only widened, with the Shelby GT350 costing $56,970 to the ‘Vette’s $70,830. The extra cost isn’t necessarily wasted, the Chevy delivering more friendly, everyday features than one gets in the Ford, but it’s a wide chasm nonetheless.
So which all-American sportscar was it that won the comparison, taking home the title of “best everyday American sportscar?” Read the full review at Car and Driver to find out.