News: GT350 vs. GT350R Performance

0 GT350 vs GT350R Dyno Featured

Numbers Game

How does the 2016 Shelby GT350 stack up to the GT350R?

By Steve Turner

As you know by now, the first rear-wheel dyno numbers for the Voodoo 5.2-liter engine hit the Internet last week. Despite spinning the rollers on a 100-degree dyno room at K&N Engineering, the latest Shelby GT350 put down solid peak numbers of nearly 467 horsepower and 374 lb-ft of torque. Technically, the numbers were 466.78 and 373.75, but they were rounded up, and what’s a little power among friends? Well, if you were left wondering if the GT350R brought more to the table, wonder no longer…

The base GT350 is a stout performer, putting down 466.78 horsepower and 373.75 lb-ft of torque and runs a 12.4-second quarter mile at over 117 mph.
The base GT350 is a stout performer, putting down 466.78 horsepower and 373.75 lb-ft of torque. It runs a 12.4-second quarter mile at over 117 mph.

That’s right, the crew at Motor Trend got their hands on both flavors of GT350 and they put an R on the dyno too. It cranked out 471.02 horsepower and 375.72 lb-ft of torque in that hot dyno cell. Clearly you are paying for a lot more that just a handful of extra horsepower and a couple of extra lb-ft with the R-model, but it is interesting that there is a measurable difference.

We would chalk it up to the free-flowing, non-resonator exhaust on the R-model. If you think it has something to do with those spiffy carbon fiber wheels, we were told by the owner of Carbon Revolution (the manufacturer of said wheels) that a chassis dyno is not an accurate way to test the benefits of the lightweight wheels. He got into some physics stuff that’s way over our heads, but that leads us to believe the power difference comes from something more traditional.

The more aggressive R-model produces rear-wheel peaks of 421.02 horsepower and 375.72 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers are good enough to propel the GT350R to a 12.1-second quarter mile at over 119 mph.
The more aggressive R-model produces rear-wheel peaks of 471.02 horsepower and 375.72 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers are good enough to propel the GT350R to a 12.1-second quarter mile at over 119 mph.

In any event, the power differences between the two models are minor. What we’d really like to see is a same-day, same-dyno comparison of a 2016 GT350, a 2016 Mustang GT and, just for fun, a 2013 Boss 302. We’ll likely have to wait for those kind of antics until the car hits the streets, but for now we are more revved up than ever to see how these car respond to modifications.

Perhaps even more interesting than the dyno data is that the magazine also recently released its quarter-mile times (as measured with a VBox) for both the GT350 and GT350R. The standard GT350 ran from 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds and to the quarter-mile stripe in 12.4 seconds at 117.8 mph. With a tick more power, less weight, and far stickier tires, the GT350R moved out to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and eclipsed the quarter mile in 12.1 seconds at 119.6 mph.

As you would expect, the graphs are near mirror images, with the GT350R (blue) just edging the GT350 at some points. It would be interesting to look at the raw data to examine them more closely, but the lighter weight and the tires of the R likely make a bigger difference that the tick of extra power.
As you would expect, the graphs are near mirror images, with the GT350R (blue) just edging the GT350 at some points. It would be interesting to look at the raw data to examine them more closely, but the lighter weight and the tires of the R likely make a bigger difference than the tick of extra power.

Naturally, most hardcore Ford performance fans won’t be happy until they see someone bolt on slicks and sidestep the clutch at 8,250 rpm. However, we can now see that Ford’s cutting-edge corner carver acquits itself pretty well on the drag strip too.

You can discuss the two cars’ performance over on our forums right here.

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