Road & Track last week named the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R the 2016 Performance Car of the Year, beating out seven of the world’s best new sports cars. The article appears in the December/January issue that went on newsstands on November 17, and on RoadandTrack.com.
“With a flat-plane crank and Sport Cup 2 tires, the GT350R is a Mustang turned up to 11,” said Larry Webster, editor-in-chief of Road & Track. “Not only does the car have soul and harness so much firepower with such ease, but the real achievement here is that it’s so approachable. It’s a car you can’t help but love.”
The Mustang Shelby GT350R was the winner by a runaway vote. According to Road & Track, “The only way the team at Ford SVT could get 526 horsepower from 5.2 liters—the fabled 100 hp per liter and then some—was to reengineer the whole thing into a bit of an insane race motor.” The magazine goes on to say that the “GT350R is the Mustang that all Mustangs have been waiting to become.”
To be eligible for the Performance Car of the Year honor, a car must be new for this year or feature significant functional changes and live at the very top of the street-car performance pyramid with a competitive lap time. Additionally, cars must connect with the driver on both road and track and engage a visceral, emotional reaction from the man or woman holding the steering wheel.
Road & Track’s testing process takes place over the course of one week during which the editors and writers evaluate the year’s best cars on both road – from Berea, Kentucky, down to Cookeville, Tennessee – and track – the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Other cars in the running this year were the Bentley Continental GT3-R, Cadillac ATS-V, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Dodge Viper ACR, Ferrari 488 GTB, Mercedes-AMG GT S and Porsche Cayman GT4.
The Mustang Shelby GT350R succeeds last year’s Performance Car of the Year winner, the Porsche 911 GT3.