Red meat. America's signature protein has necessarily violent origins. Slaughter, butcher, open flames and iron – you don't need a recently lapsed vegetarian (me) to lay it out for you. Of course the blood and the cuts are all part of the appeal, a reminder with every forkful of beef that we still like to be visceral creatures in an increasingly sanitized world. There is much in the makeup of Ford's Mustang that matches these carnivorous tendencies. Not only does it offer a hint of violence with potential for speed every time the engine kicks over, it's also the motive meal we Americans salivate over more than any other. Ford's pony car is among the most popular car searches online, year in and year out, and truly special versions stress servers and storm forum spaces when they hit the streets. I'll be honest, I've been just as frothed and drooling to see and drive the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 as the rest of you netziens, too. Engineers have hacked and carved away at the stock car, to make a wicked V8 morsel that's bloody-minded and racetrack ready. The flat-plane crank V8 revs to the moon and sounds like a supercar when spinning hard. The palpitating heart of newest Shelby is a 5.2-liter, naturally aspirated V8 engine that bucks the current, popular trends for performance cars, while also breaking new ground for Ford. Fast cars from all over the world have made impressive numbers using turbos and superchargers in recent years, but Ford wanted revs to make its racing machine go right. So the company tossed out the forced-induction formula, and created a flat-plane crank V8 that revs to the moon and sounds like a supercar when spinning hard. The light, strong crankshaft reduces inertial mass in the engine and allows for a mind-blowing redline at 8,250 rpm. Perhaps more importantly it makes for beautiful rising wave of available torque as one digs deeper into the throttle, which feels like fast magic when doing something like climbing the hill to The Corkscrew at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. At 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque, some 102-hp per liter, there's enough power for staggering acceleration whenever you ask for it. Providing, of course, you keep the pot boiling at three grand or more. To call the power delivery below that mark "weak" would be ludicrous, but it does feel more inert there than the cars in the turbo-quick jet set that's so popular these days. And, as I said, the wonderful noises the car makes are worth the price of a little low-end torque. A dual-mode exhaust lets you run quiet if you're driving easy, but I can't recommend either. I drove from Laguna Seca to Big Sur, and the sound of that Italian-accented American voice was never better than when banging off cliff sides and echoing out over the ocean. The pinned-down feeling on the public roads turned to "stuck to the Earth" at track speeds. Ford mated its new …
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|MPG||14 City / 21 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd man w/OD|
|Power||526 @ 7500 rpm|
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