Over the weekend I went by our great Rally/club dealer sponsor, Pundmann Ford to pick up some parts for our Mach 1. I stopped by to say hi to Tim Pundman while I was on our way out and he asked me if I have driven a GT350 yet. I told him I hadn’t and he tossed me the keys to a pre-owned Avalanche Grey 2016 GT350. WOW, my lucky day! How could I say no? Salesman Brian Peters took Karen and I out and showed us how to change the exhaust sound and also how the different driving modes worked. Awesome.
I was going to write this as a comparison but actually I can’t tell you another Mustang to compare it with. I have driven new Mustang GT's with the performance package and I expected it to be similar to that overall. I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the GT350. It is for sure the most balanced car I have ever driven. With the 5.2 engine and the RPM range it has, it pulls forever, and with the active exhaust it just keeps sounding better! The braking is just as extreme as the performance of the engine. The handling is tight without being rough with the MagneRide system. Like all 2015 up Mustangs they took a giant leap forward with the independent rear suspension compared to older solid axle Mustangs.
I just went for a short drive but I can tell you the car is confidence inspiring, the more you gave the GT350 the more it rewarded you with predictable handling, control, power & braking. As powerful as the car is I never felt like I was losing control no matter what I threw at it. I went around a cloverleaf ramp and was shocked at the speed when I glanced at the speedometer because it hugged the corners without any loss of stability. Like I said, it was a short drive but the car makes you feel like a better driver; I can only imagine what more seat time would do. I understand why so many people with GT350's take them to track days. We have a couple GT350's in the club including a GT350R; now I know you guys are having a blast!
When I brought the Shelby back to Pundmann one of the salesman asked how it compared to my GT500. Well they are completely different cars, where the GT500 is about brute horsepower the GT350 is about overall balance. My GT500, to me, feels like at any time it will bite you when the engine power overwhelms the suspension and chassis, and is almost scary when you try to use the full potential of the car. The GT350 is so balanced you don’t feel like it will get away from you if you push it; you get rewarded with more performance.
Driving the GT350 made me very anxious to try out the NEW 2018's that will be hitting lots soon; the active exhaust and MagneRide suspension from the GT350 are available options on regular Mustang GT's. Also more horsepower and a 10 speed automatic transmission! It’s a great time to be a Mustang fan! Well done Ford! I can not wait to drive a 2018 Mustang.
Thanks to Pundmann Ford for being a great partner with the SMMC and letting me sample the GT350. If you are in the market for a GT350, a new or used Mustang or any other Ford, please remember that Pundmann Ford provides additional "bonus" deals for SMMC members on sales, parts & service.
Mitch & I recently had the opportunity to test drive a 2015 Mustang GT with the Performance Package.
We both enjoyed the responsive steering and feel of the close range shifting. The one we drove was black with black leather & fully optioned. Pundmann Ford had this in stock.
Love the 50th dash badge. The seats were very comfortable. Also, the feel of the steering wheel & shifter was good (I know, sounds weird but we notice things like that in cars). If you haven’t been in a newer Mustang, the interior of the 2015 – quality, feel, gadgets & overall look - is amazing. We did notice a lot of wheel hop, not sure if totally from the cooler temps or the IRS (independent rear suspension).
It was a super fun drive!!!! We can’t wait for more Ford and Mustang performance vehicles & testing those out too. If you get the chance, even if not in the market right now, you should take a test drive & see the innovative upgrades Ford has done to the Mustang.
Don’t forget SMMC members have X-Plan pricing and Pundmann Ford offers a lot of extras to our members for sales, service & parts.