With magnetic dampers and tuned suspension, the Shelby GT350 is a barely tame track pony

Concerning the Shelby GT350 Mustang, most of the attention has been paid to the 5.2-liter flat-plane V8 that sits under its vented hood. The V8 is Ford’s most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever, employing a design usually reserved for exotic supercars, so it’s easy to see why.

But as cool as the engine is, the vehicle’s handling setup might be even cooler.

“When we started working on this car, we wanted to build the best possible Mustang for the places we most love to drive – challenging back roads with a variety of corners and elevation changes, and at the track on weekends,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s VP of Global Product Development. “Every change we made to this car was driven by the functional requirements of a powerful, responsive powerplant – nimble, precise handling and massive stopping power.”

The GT350 builds off the capabilities of the Mustang GT performance pack, adding beefier anti-roll bars and all-new aluminum bearings to stiffen things up.

The Shelby model will also be the first Mustang to equip magnetic dampers — called Magneride — which are filled with a hydraulic fluid impregnated with iron particles. When an electrical current is applied to the damper, the particles rearrange, granting the driver more response and a tighter driving feel. Ford says changes can be made every 7 milliseconds for even more control.

With over 500 horsepower being sent to the rear wheels, you’d better have impressive stopping power. To address this, Ford fitted the most powerful brakes ever fitted to a production ‘Stang. The units consist of two-piece cross-drilled iron rotors, measuring 394mm in the front and 380mm in the back.

Six-piston Brembo calipers bite down on the rotors, and a dedicated ducting system helps keep everything cool under hard driving.

Just 100 examples of the GT350 will be made, 50 of which will be equip the available technology pack, while the other 50 will equip the track pack. Ford plans to build 37 hardcore GT350Rs as well.