How can you not love Ford’s most powerful naturally aspirated production engine ever? 526 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque wake this Mustang chassis like intravenous espresso.
Six-piston Brembo calipers up front, and 15.5-inch cross-drilled and vented multipiece rotors are enough to bring this beast 60 to zero in around 100 feet. Active valve technology on the quad tip exhaust increases the air flow through the system, reducing back pressure. It sounds incredible.
The MagneRide Damping System adjusts thousands of times per second. The result? Fantastic stability and confidence through corners. While this article is not about the “R” variant, I might add that a GT350R can hang with a Ferrari 458 on the track.
So far, this is a love fest, huh?
It’s true. We love weekends hustling a GT350 through corners on the scenic back roads of Northern Virginia. It’s a brilliant car, and a bargain, priced in the 60s. But, at that price, it may be your only car. Carroll Shelby said, “Cars are meant to be driven.” He didn’t say “daily.” We’ve established that the GT350 can be driven hard; however, can it be driven every day?
Thank goodness for RECARO seats. While they may be grippy and firm, at least they’re standard now. The other seat option in the GT350 felt like a sport seat covered with egg crate bed-topper foam you got at Target. It was spongy, and soft, and inappropriate. You can get along daily in a RECARO. It’s not your wife’s first choice for plush and posh, but you probably don’t want her along anyway. The kids’ll love ‘em. They’re “racing seats.” Commute comfort is not a problem.
If the daily grind is 30 miles of clear freeway, or just 5 miles up the street, the GT350 is superb. Add in a dash of “stop and go”, and problems arise.
A GT350’s clutch is designed for hustling through gears. Essentially, it’s a like a light switch. There is a lot of travel at the bottom, a lot at the top, and a very small engagement point in the middle. It’s either on or off in an extremely short space. The first time I launched a GT350, the acceleration shoved me into the seat. I rebounded slightly with foot still on the clutch. That little bounce was enough to re-engage the clutch. The car bucked forward. I looked stupid. People laughed.
Learning to modulate the touchy clutch is not a hard task, just keep your heel on the floor. But, the car still has massive power. It wants to run, not crawl. So, creeping along in traffic gets old really fast. Eventually, the GT350 can get fatiguing.
So what of our original question? Can you daily drive a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350?
The answer may surprise you.
It’s not the best. BUT, if you can pull together enough cash to afford only one car in the household, and it’s around $60K, try to make it work.
The car is brilliant.