Mustang GT350 vs GT350R: YouTuber Compares Ford’s Top Ponies

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YouTuber SpeedPhenom shows how the two mightiest Mustang fastbacks on the market differ in rather unexpected ways.

If you want the hardest-running Ford Mustang on sale today, you should be looking at the Shelby GT350, but you are faced with the question of whether to get the “regular” Shelby GT350 or the more track-ready GT350R. Austin, aka Speed Phenom on YouTube, brought together each of those cars to spend time behind the wheel of each, getting their real-world input on the differences between the two 526-horsepower Mustang fastbacks.


The video begins with a bit of moving footage of the a pair of new Shelby Mustangs running in tandem, followed by Austin introducing us to the two Shelby Mustangs. One is his white GT350R and the other is a Shelby GT350 owned named Don, and the two flat-plane-powered pony cars are parked alongside some undisclosed twisty road in California.

Duel Shelby GT350 Mustang Fastbacks INtro

While they are talking about the differences between the GT350 and GT350R, a variety of high performance cars blast around the sweeping turn. There are also some not-so-high performance vehicles, including a Subaru BRZ that almost ate the hill when the driver spun coming out of the turn.

BRZ Spins

During this introduction, the two owners discuss the key differences between the two Shelby Mustangs when they are parked, such as the extreme aero bits of the “R” and the carbon fiber wheels. The two also look at some of the unique upgrades that Don has made to the GT350.

Shelby GT350R Mustang Low Front

The only functional change that he has made is a K&N air filter, but he has also dressed up the engine bay a bit, so this is basically a comparison between a stock GT350 and a stock GT350R.

The next stage of the video shows the two Shelby Mustangs racing along the twisty road, with Austin riding shotgun as Don drives his GT350 and the GT350R serves as a high-speed camera car. It is clear that Don loves his Shelby Mustang as he gushes about all of the things that it does well, as he slips quickly along the curvy road. It seems that his only real complaint is the lack of responsiveness with the clutch pedal.

Don Driving the Shelby GT350 Mustang

GT350R vs. GT350 

Next, Austin moves to the driver’s seat of Don’s GT350 and as you might imagine, he has nothing but good things to say about the non-R version of the Shelby Mustang. He points out that the GT350 is one of the best bargains on the market today when it comes to amazing handling, big power and a relatively low price tag.

Auston Drives the Shelby GT350 Mustang

He points out that it is a ton of fun to drive, even when not being pushed hard and he talks about how the two handle and ride differently, with the R being a bit stickier in the turns thanks to the better rubber while the non-R Shelby Mustang has a more refined ride quality while still hugging the road.

Shelby GT350 Mustang on the Road

After each of them take turns driving the Magnetic Shelby GT350 Mustang, they talk about the things that stuck out the most. Of course, they talked about how the GT350R grips the road a bit better and feels a bit lighter, but the thing that they talk about the most is the feel of the clutch.

The GT350 doesn’t engage until the last inch or so of pedal travel, while the GT350R clutch grabs much sooner. Also, the clutch pedal in the R has a heavier feel and those are two aspects that we don’t learn about in reading the spec sheets.

Twin Shelby Mustang Fastbacks Overhead

The video ends with some more high-speed footage of the two Shelby Mustang roaring along the curvy road, letting us hear the sweet sound of the flat-plane V8s as the cars work their magic.

Crank up your speakers and enjoy!

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"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

Rall can be contacted at [email protected]

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