If you’re reading this then it’s fair to say you already know about the 2017 Mustang GT350 and the GT350R. You’ve also most likely read a bunch of existing reviews and know most of the specs by heart. That’s why for this go around we’ll be addressing this car (a 2017 Mustang GT350) a bit differently. You see, I own a Mustang, a 2013 GT to be exact, and I’ve spent a lot of time and money transforming it into a street driven track car. How much money you ask? A little less than it would cost one to buy a new, base model 2017 GT350 at your local Ford AutoNation dealership (around $57,000.00). I then drove both my built 2013 and the 2017 GT350 back to back and while there were some similarities in regards to handling and such, every Mustang fan out there should be praising Ford for building this car because even with all the work I did, this new 2017 GT350 is the one I want.
2017 Ford Mustang GT350 Exterior:
Take a step back for a moment and look closely at both the front and rear of the 2017 Mustang GT350. Notice that large heat extractor on the hood; those vented front fenders, the aggressive front fascia and the big air inlets where the fog lights usually go. Out back there’s a lower diffuser with quad exhaust ports, a trunk mounted deck-lid spoiler and 19” alloys wearing 295/35-series Michelin Pilot Super Sports up front with a 305/35-series tire out back.
The changes to the GT350 and GT350R are subtle compared to that of the standard Mustang GT. But they’re just enough to let the keen eyed observer know that something special is going on. Other points of note would be the twin racing stripes, massive six-pot Brembo brakes on two-piece rotors and Cobra badges in the front grill and on the blacked out rear tail panel. This is a nicely done exterior package that helps set the GT350 apart from other models in the Mustang lineup.
2017 Ford Mustang GT350 Interior:
If there was ever an area where the Mustang lacked initiative, it was inside the cabin. It used to be that one was greeted with a sea of plastic, hard surfaces and materials that felt subpar at best. With this GT350 Ford has not only made improvements, but given us an interior near worthy of the “as tested” price of $60,365**. From the onset almost every material has been upgraded or improved upon. The high-backed monogrammed cloth/alcantara Recaro seats have deep bolsters with a pass through for harnesses. The Cobra badged flat-bottomed steering wheel utilizes leather, alcantara and beautifully done white stitching while also offering tilt and telescoping adjustments.
The center stack has a dual climate control system that can be operated by either manual dash controls or through Ford’s SYNC 3 system. The use of a traditional key has also been replaced in favor of a start button that resides next to a series of toggle switches, the likes of which control the hazard lights, traction control system, launch control and the dual-mode exhaust (this is a good switch). A nice touch to the center stack is also the inclusion of an Oil Pressure and Oil Temperature gauge. Those who track their cars will find these extremely handy. Track apps are accessible through the LCD screen positioned between the analog tachometer and speedometer.
Visibility is decent, but not great and the rear seats are useful for only the smallest of folks. Once on the road, however, you’ll notice that interior noise levels are quite good for a performance car, even when the dual-mode exhaust is active. One last bit (to make you feel good) is the plaque on the dash that signifies your unique chassis number – nice touch, Ford.
2017 Ford Mustang GT350 Performance:
At the heart of the 2017 Mustang GT350 and GT350R is the 5.2L Flat-Plane Crank V8 that kicks out 526-hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. The big key though – it revs to a whopping 8,200-rpm. Truth be told, revving a big liter American V8 up that high is a bit unnerving, but do it once and you’ll soon realize that this thing sings one heck of an addicting tune, albeit a bit buzzy. The power delivery is very linear with peak torque coming at 4,750-rpm and peak horsepower at 7,500-rpm.
On track the GT350 is a honey of a car. It has sticky Michelin tires all around, sledgehammer Brembo brakes on 15.5” rotors up front, an extremely competent suspension thanks to the new independent rear end and wonderful magnetorheological shocks. It handles beautifully, has a nice ride and overall, can be driven daily with no issues. It also won’t overheat and has enough electronic goodies to keep you off the wall if you get goofy with it. And while I would hope most owners would take their GT350s on the track, I fear the vast majority will never see track duty. Make no mistake – this car is capable and when placed in the right hands has the capacity to run with many high-dollar sports cars.
2017 Ford Mustang GT350 Safety:
With a Top Score rating of “Good” from the Independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2017 Ford Mustang GT350 is also extremely safe and secure. Features such as airbags throughout the cabin, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, a rearview camera, post crash alert (SOS) and MyKey which allows one to limit performance, along with a host of other safety features, mean the GT350 will help to keep occupants safe.
2017 Ford Mustang GT350 Overall:
This is the car Mustang enthusiasts have been waiting for. Gone is the solid live axle, gone are the jokes about Mustangs being subpar on the handling front, and gone are those who might scoff at the thought of driving a Pony car.
Mustang fans, your car has arrived.
Drop by your local AutoNation Ford dealership today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $60,365.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.