Karl on Cars

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Tag: Ford

The Mustang Shelby GT350R: Best Track Car Ever?

2017-Ford-Mustang-Shelby-GT350R-Profile

The 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R looks great in Lightning Blue

It’s not an overstatement to describe the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R as the most fun I’ve ever had at a race track. The Ford Performance engineers were targeting a car with not only power and poise but also uncompromised at-the-limit communication and confidence. And they nailed it.

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R Engine

The flat-plane V8 engine makes a glorious exhaust note as it revs past 8,000 rpm

Much ado has been made about the GT350R’s flat-plane V8, and deservedly so. The engine revs past 8,000 rpm, creating a glorious exhaust note while offering one of the broadest torque bands you’ll find in a modern, or vintage, automobile. The engine makes 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a slick-shifting Tremec 6-speed that sends power to a mechanical limited-slip differential.

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R Front

The GT350R can be ordered with optional stripes in various colors

The Shelby GT350R’s drivetrain is undeniably impressive, but it’s this Mustang’s handling capabilities that made me fall in love during the Ford GT Owners Rally in Utah. Hammering this car around Utah Motorsports Campus quickly illustrated both its ultimate grip and its confidence-inspiring behavior at the limit of traction.

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New Ford GT Races at Le Mans, and Wins!

Ford GT 2016 Le Mans Front Strait

The Ford GT returned to Le Mans 50 years after its first victory

Fifty years after winning Le Mans in a 1-2-3 sweep, Ford Motor Company returned to the most famous race in the world. This 24-hour test of man and machine, with a 90-plus-year history, remains the pinnacle of endurance racing. Winning the 24 hours of Le Mans is a claim every automaker wants to make — but only 14 can. Winning Le Mans four or more times, which Ford didĀ from 1966 to 1969, has only been accomplished by 6 automakers. So when Ford returned to Le Mans with the new Ford GT in 2016, it was a big deal.

Ford GT 2016 Le Mans Pit Lane

A tour of the Le Mans pit area was one of many perks of this trip

I was fortunate enough to attend the race for the first time that year. It had been on my bucket list forever, and I figured this was the year to make it happen. Happily, the Ford GT Forum felt the same way and arranged a group travel package for owners. By working directly with the automaker the Ford GT Forum was able to secure space in Ford’s VIP suite, which overlooks the front straight at Le Mans.

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