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2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 – One Angry Beast

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 
iKnowAuto Staff
Having a midlife crisis? May we suggest the 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 as a quick fix to that need to “live life to the fullest” and prove you’re still a pretty cool guy. The Cobra is also a lot less painful than those hair plugs you were contemplating. Kiss your crisis goodbye when you slide behind the wheel of the Cobra and fire up this monster.
DEC 15, 2017

For about $59,000 you can own a legitimate race car that is also an impressive everyday ride. If you’re looking for attention, you’ll get plenty of that along with some awesome driving thrills if you push it. This is the real deal for performance enthusiasts or those who are just impressed they have a car with “launch” mode capabilities.

An Angry Beast Under the Hood.

Let’s talk about potential.

Under that big, sloping hood resides a 5.2L V8 power plant that is based on the standard Mustang engine. But this engine has a dose of Shelby voodoo that turns it into a screaming 526 horsepower monster generating 429 lb-ft of torque. It is so hot (literally) that it has extra coolers for the oil, differential, transmission as well as unique intake and exhaust manifolds to accommodate the high revs.

And the noise. The noise is really cool, almost scary. The Shelby GT350 comes with an adjustable exhaust tone. In normal mode, the engine and exhaust just sound intimidating. Flip the toggle switch to race mode and the rumble that burbles out of the pipes is downright frightening. And you can do this on the fly. Imagine Mr. Midlife Crisis guy, pulling up to a Camaro at a light.

The driver is some kid and he has a hot chick in the passenger seat. You slide the stick into neutral, flip the switch to race mode and step on the throttle. Yes, you still are so cool.

Noise is nice but this beast wants to run. And run it can. The Cobra can hit 60 from a standing start in 4.4 seconds. This will put a grin on the face of a NASCAR driver and scare the hell out of a 40 something CPA. The Shelby GT350 does alright in a straight-away but where it excels is in handling. This is, after all, a sports car.

An adaptive suspension provides for a smooth ride on rough roads making the Shelby GT350 a comfortable daily commuter. But when you want to take a ride on the wild side, the adaptive suspension will allow you to carve up all kinds of curves and corners with a superior grip of the pavement. The solid control and bump-free ride inspires driver confidence, an important feature in a performance car. If the engine wasn’t as impressive as it is, the Shelby GT350’s suspension would be its best feature.

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Front Exterior
2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Rear Exterior
2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Interior 

Eye Candy

It doesn’t take an in-depth examination to realize that the Cobra only vaguely resembles the exterior of a Ford Mustang. While it starts out as a Mustang it gets an aggressive makeover before the Shelby Cobra badge is affixed to the grill and rear deck. Functional fender vents, an air scoop in the bulging aluminum hood, a rear spoiler, and a rear valance with integrated diffuser are just a few of the Cobra touches that distinguish it from its tamer cousin. The two racing stripes originating at the front bumper, over the body, and ending at the rear deck are a dead giveaway as well.

It looks like it’s going fast when it’s standing still.

Comfort and Performance

The moment you slide into the driver’s seat you’ll know you are in a serious performance vehicle, but with a difference. In the bad old days, muscle cars were all about speed with little concern for driver or passengers. If they got a few bruises because they got tossed around, that was the price of performance.

But the seat you are sitting in is a comfortable, well-bolstered, power-adjustable, ventilated, leather-trimmed, Alcantara work of art. Lateral Gs are not an issue inside this passenger cabin. A look across the aluminum-trimmed dash reveals retro-like analog dials and toggle switches. The gear shift is polished aluminum and bears the Cobra logo.

With the engine off, the Cobra definitely has a retro feel to it. Once you push the start button, the technology reveals itself. Dual climate control. The popular Sync3 touchscreen system and navigation, a six-speaker audio system, rearview camera, and message center in the instrument cluster come to life.

The steering wheel is flat-bottomed and wrapped in leather and Alcantara for a sticky grip that even the sweatiest hands will not slip off. The clutch is surprisingly light considering the engine size and the six-speed manual transmission is a short-throw and gives off a satisfying “snick” when it engages a gear.

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

The Shelby GT350 runs about double the cost of a standard Mustang but there really isn’t any comparison. If you are having that mid-life crisis, the GT350 is about $40,000 cheaper than a Porsche 911. If you are a performance enthusiast, you’ll want to be taking this snake to your favorite track or lonesome road as often as possible.