Even so, the car was a blast to drive. It ranged from fully capable commuter to all-out track animal in one package. The wine and cheese mags say it will keep pace with a Corvette, and we have no trouble believing them. Moreover, you can roll down the road with the Kicker system cranked and draw the eyes of anyone that cares about cars. As much of a game-changer as this blower is for the engine, the Kicker system is for the stock audio system. It takes a good thing and makes it great.
So, if you are a student of Mustang history but you want some modern muscle, the GT350 might just be the ride. You'll just need an '11-'12 Mustang and $33,995. If you can't swing the whole package, the blower, suspension, and audio upgrades are the moves that give the GT350 its staying power. 5.0
Horse Sense: Shortly before we got our hands on this '11 GT350 tester, Shelby American announced that for the '12 model year it would offer convertible versions of the GT350. Only 350 '12 GT350s will be constructed, and they'll be available in Performance White with blue Le Mans stripes, Race Red with white Le Mans stripes, or Kona Blue with white Le Mans stripes.
We were short on time before dropping the GT350 off with the next member of the auto press, so we were fortunate that Allen Moore at Moore Tuned (www.mooretuned.com) in Lakeland, Florida, made time on this Mustang chassis dyno. Having experienced the car by the seat of the pants, we were anxious to see how the car stacked up at the feet. Fortunately, we had previously dyno'd a '10 Shelby GT500 on the Moore Tuned dyno, so it provided us to compare the GT350 to its big brother.
Now keep in mind that Mustang dynos are designed to calculate for vehicle weight and aerodynamics, so their loaded numbers are typically lower than those from an inertia dyno such as a Dynojet. In fact, we compared this Mustang dyno to a Dynojet with the same car and its numbers were about 12 percent lower. So don't get all worked up about the numbers. All dynos are a bit different.
What really matters is how the GT350 compared to the GT500 run on this same dyno. It's not pure science, as the cars were run many months apart in different conditions. However, it's clear that the combination of the Whipple supercharger and Coyote engine are a formidable combination. Our previous story comparing supercharged 5.0s and 5.4s was a bit controversial, but as the numbers keep coming in, it's clear that at least stock GT500s have something to fear from a supercharged 5.0. As you can see, the GT350 gives up a little umph down low, but from 3,700 on up, the GT350 beats up on the GT500 pretty badly.
One sign your GT350 is legit...
One sign your GT350 is legit is one of these dash plaques, signed by the man himself and engraved with the car’s CSM number.
Hands-down the most handsome...
Hands-down the most handsome facet of the ’11 GT350 is the unique set of Cragar five-spoke wheels. These classy 19-inch forgings offer stylish clearance for the massive six-piston front brakes.
Our tester featured the optional...
Our tester featured the optional polished supercharger FRPP/Whipple twin-screw supercharger system. This version, in particular, featured the 624-horse, 93-octane calibration, which Shelby describes as the R tune. Not optional are the aluminum coolant overflow and intercooler reservoir tanks and the signature 45th anniversary Shelby GT350 engine cap set. Our tester also featured an upgraded cooling system, replete with a twin-fan heat exchanger and thicker engine radiator.