The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro may be leaner and meaner than ever, but Ford still has plenty of firepower in its Mustang lineup to answer the challenge.
Because while Chevy is just now preparing to launch its standard Camaro models, Ford is about to take the Mustang back into the realm of high performance with the 2016 Shelby GT350.
If the latest Shelby Mustang performs half as well as it sounds in this video from Youtube channel TheDriver, it should be quite a machine. It’s raspy bark is everything you’d want from an American muscle car engine.
That wonderful sound comes courtesy of a 5.2-liter V8 developed especially for the GT350. It’s unusual in that it features both a flat-plane crank and natural aspiration in an era when many manufacturers are relying on supercharging or turbocharging for big power.
It may not have forced induction, but the GT350 will still produce at least 520 horsepower. Final power output and performance figures haven’t been released yet.
The Shelby GT350 is about more than loud noises and power bragging rights, though. Ford wants it to be a genuinely well-rounded car that can tackle a road course as well as a drag strip.
To that end, the GT350 will also be the first Mustang equipped with magnetic dampers, which use an iron-particle-filled fluid that can be manipulated by electrical currents to adjust firmness almost instantaneously.
Ford also claims the GT350 will have the most powerful brakes ever fitted to a production Mustang, with massive cross-drilled iron rotors clamped by six-piston Brembo calipers. Beefier anti-roll bars and other suspension upgrades should further improve handling.
Then there’s the hardcore GT350R, which will feature a more aggressive aerodynamic package, carbon fiber wheels, and virtually no creature comforts. Everything from the radio to the back seat is stripped to help cut 130 pounds in comparison with the standard GT350 Track Pack.
Only 100 examples of the GT350 will be built for 2015, with half getting the Track Pack and the other half getting the Tech Pack option. The GT350R will be even rarer with just 37 units planned for this year.
But even though the GT350 will remain a rare sight for now, you’ll be able to hear one from miles away.