Nearly every major automaker on the face of the planet tests their cars at the perilous 12.9-mile Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany. Chevrolet set a new performance benchmark for big American pony cars at the circuit known famously as ‘The Green Hell’ when they put their 3,800 lb Camaro Z/28 around the track in 7:37.47, but Ford has reportedly topped their crosstown rivals.
The Mustang Shelby GT350R, just one of the three major performance debuts the Blue Oval celebrated at this past North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is serious business. Between its 500+ horsepower 5.2-liter flat plane crank V8, aggressive aerodynamics kit and carbon-fiber wheels, we could tell right away Ford was gunning for the track-star Z/28. A new report from Evo magazine indicates they’ve succeeded, after lapping the ‘Ring in 7:32.19.
That said, there is some controversy here.
For one, the source for this claim is unknown, and video evidence has yet to be seen, but the hottest sixth-gen Mustang yet seems to have all the right hardware for track day duty. Ford ditched the rear seats and stereo in the GT350R, along with the air-conditioning, and also added sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and aggressive aerodynamic pieces. These are similar to the modifications Chevy applied to their Z/28, all in a package which could potentially weigh less than 3,500 lbs.
And there is another counterpoint to the claim that the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R being quicker around the world’s most notorious race track. The Camaro guys have been open with saying that the Z/28 is entirely capable of putting itself around the ‘Ring faster than in 7 minutes and 37 seconds, which was done in the rain. In fact, the Camaro Z/28 is said to have ran the Nürburgring in 7:31 in the dry, but the cameras weren’t rolling so “it didn’t count.”