Early iterations of the Mustang were anything but performance cars, so Ford brought on Carroll Shelby to breathe some new life into the vehicle. The result was the ever-classic GT350. Half a century later, the 2015 Mustang is easily the best all-around performer in the model's history, and instead of stopping there, they took it one step further. This is the new GT350. It's got 500 hp under the hood, and that's not even the most impressive bit.
This just might be the most hardcore track Mustang Ford's ever produced.
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The engine's as close as you'll ever get to a purebred race motor in a car priced south of the six figure mark. Unlike most of Mustang's rivals, there are no superchargers—they add weight and heft, after all. The 5.2 liter V8 has a flat plane crankshaft normally seen in pure race engines, which is engineer speak for "this engine's extremely smooth and can rev much higher than most other V8s."
That might sound like overkill, but when you have the ultimate dual-purpose vehicle—commuter by week, track racer by weekend—it's imperative to the car's mission. To that end, it's the first Mustang to ever come from the factory with active suspension. Every hundredth of a second, magnets move iron shavings inside the shock absorbers to ensure the car's always on its best behavior.
Every aspect of the car's sheet metal has been tweaked for better aerodynamic efficiency and the interior has all the refinement's you'd expect, plus a few tweaks for the performance-minded driver: the Recaro seats are cloth so you don't slide around under hard braking or cornering, and all-chrome trim has been removed, so you don't wind up with glare in your eyes at a crucial moment.
Yeah, this ride's that serious.
Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. He drove a Mustang for many years before wandering away in search of better handling. This has his attention.