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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Could Be an Affordable Camaro Z28 Killer

It seems like every day brings a new rumor that suggests that the 2106 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 will be more like a higher performance version of the 2013 Boss 302 and if the next generation Shelby Mustang is priced in the ballpark of the previous Boss – Ford could have themselves a bargain budget Camaro Z/28 killer.

It is all but official that Ford Motor Company will roll out a new high performance version of the 2015 Mustang for the 2016 model year and rumors insist that this top of the line performance model will be called the Shelby GT350. Should this be the case, and Ford opts for the GT350 name rather than GT500, it is widely expected that the newest Shelby Mustang will be designed to be more like the Boss 302 than the outgoing GT500.

Boss 302 Inspiration in the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
One of the key rumors surrounding the next generation Shelby version of the Ford Mustang is that it will not chase the previous Shelby GT500, which packed an astonishing 662 horsepower and 631lb-ft of torque. It is believed that the next super-Stang will rely on the same 5.0L V8 that powers the 2015 Mustang GT, but a host of upgrades will allow it more than the 435hp packed under the hood of the GT model. Instead of just packing the 2016 Shelby GT350 with a ton of horsepower, Ford is using this new, more nimble chassis and independent rear suspension system to make this the best handling Mustang of all time.

If some of that sounds familiar, it is because the 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 was marketed as the best handling Mustang ever and in addition to a long list of features that allowed it to out-handle any Mustang before it, the Boss 302 relied on a slightly modified version of the 5.0L V8. Ford said from day one that their benchmark for handling in the 2015 Mustang GT was the previous Boss 302 so with all Mustangs offering the same handling as the “old” Boss – Ford is taking things a step further with the Shelby GT350 and a big part of that is the new independent rear suspension setup. This new rear IRS system should allow the Ford engineers to make the new Shelby a car that will handle like no Mustang before it – and one that could challenge the best handling muscle cars ever.

Taking on the $75,000 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is marketed as the best handling muscle car of all time and this is the car that the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 will need to defeat to be the best. GM showed off their 505hp monster by turning the quickest lap by an American muscle car ever at the German Nürburgring while Ford has previously disregarded the importance of Nürburgring capabilities. However, with videos and images of the next generation Shelby Mustang storming around The Ring, we at least know that the Motor Company is looking to tune the handling abilities on the world’s toughest road course.

Should Ford be able to set up the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 to keep up with (or beat) the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 on a road course like the Nurburgring while relying on the 5.0L V8 from the Mustang GT, there is a very good chance that the best handling new Mustang will be far less expensive than the Camaro Z/28. That killer Camaro starts at $75,000 while the previous Boss 302 Mustang had a price in the mid 40s so even if Ford charged a few grand more than the S197 Boss, it will still be tens of thousands of dollars less than the Camaro Z/28.

I was recently speaking with Eric Trytko of, who happens to be the owner of a heavily modified, high performance Ford Mustang. Eric has extensive experience in the Mustang and racing worlds, and he is among the crowd of people who believe that the 2016 Shelby GT350 will have a base MSRP in the $45-46k range. Should the GT350 be a Mustang GT with a lightly modified engine to make somewhere in the area of 475 horsepower, a more aerodynamic body, a revised braking system and a track tuned suspension system while doing away with things that aren’t needed to go fast, $45,000 seems like a very reasonable base price. Of course, once you tack on things like destination, dealership markup and any options, the price will likely get up into the low $50k range – but that is still a far cry from the Camaro Z/28’s base price of $75,000.

The Camaro Z/28 could have a slight advantage in power, but the Mustang will likely have an advantage in weight that could even out the power to weight advantage of the Camaro. When you factor in the likelihood that the Mustang will almost certainly cost far, far less than the Z/28 – Ford could grab a big advantage in the higher end muscle car segment.


Arthur (not verified)    July 31, 2014 - 12:46PM

I doubt it'll be in the $46k range, probably closer to $50k. And I doubt it'll be able to beat the Z/28 simply because there is no way Ford can afford to put carbon ceramic brakes on the GT350 in that price point, and I doubt Ford will put 305 tires at all four corners.

But with a 200 pound weight advantage over the Z/28, similar engine output, and a good suspension configuration, there is no reason the new GT350 won't be able to keep close to the Z/28. I had planned to buy the new GT (my 6th Mustang), but I've decided to wait for the GT350.

Nick Morris (not verified)    August 1, 2014 - 7:26AM

Don't waste your time with any manual style mustang while having a beverage in the cup holdeR, it's impossible! Whoever designed mustangs never drove it in the real world. Every pothole I hit (this was during a test drive mind you) was felt right in my butt, it was a piece of junk. The 2014 challenger rt base model was much more comfortable and forgiving on those same pothole roads. I hope the new mustang is designed by real people instead of 'umpalumpas' who live in willywonkas chocolate factory cause the 2014 model and those before it sucked!

jmancape (not verified)    September 8, 2014 - 5:07PM

In reply to by Nick Morris (not verified)

your comparing a 2014 mustang with solid rear axle to a 2015 with IRS, and one or I you have never driven yet. and then comparing to an extra heavy sedan underpinning the challenger same as the chrysler 300 and charger, at 4000lbs its a boat cruiser. if your looking to boulevard cruise the dodge is the way to go. you kind of comparing an apple to an orange to a plum.

Nick Morris Is… (not verified)    November 18, 2014 - 3:16PM

In reply to by Nick Morris (not verified)

The Challenger also weighs 50,000lbs, a pot hole isn't going to disturb it dumbass. Stop driving with drinks in your car moron, you deserve to spill in your car if you drive with shit in the cup holder. Cup holders in sports cars are a dumb idea anyways, and you're even dumber for getting rid of a Mustang for a Challenger.

Nick Morris (not verified)    November 18, 2014 - 4:38PM

In reply to by Nick Morris Is… (not verified)

I got rid of my Ford Mustang cause it was uncomfortable..and ergonomically unsuitable for long distance driving. I drove a standard, cause I need the control over the car during harsh winter climates.

2014GTRoadBoss (not verified)    November 18, 2014 - 10:56PM

In reply to by Nick Morris Is… (not verified)

LOL so hard... You're so right! Cup holder is for stowing your cell phone only!

Tie everything else down. Warn your passenger to do the same (lipstick goes back in the purse and purse is stowed under seat). Go through flight safety regulations. Drink your damn drink and leave the cup behind. Taxi to Runway 27 and cleared for takeoff.

And get the leather Ricaro seats for your tender ass. Come to think of it, why are you driving through potholes anyway? My stang's response allows me to vector around them instantaneosly.

Then again, I'm looking at the road (ugh, SE Michigan) and not for my Big Gulp...