Driving Zone Showdown: Porsche 911 Turbo vs Shelby GT350 Mustang

Welcome to Driving Zone Showdown where we pit two competing vehicles head-to-head to see what each is made of.

A Porsche versus a Ford Mustang? We can hear you laughing from here. Surely a Mustang (capable as it is within its own class) wouldn’t be able to stand up to one of the all-time kings of street legal speed, right? Well, if we told you now that’d be ruining the point of the article, wouldn’t it. Read on.

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo

The Porsche 911 has been an icon for the company ever since its first introduction. Originally conceived as a faster, more powerful replacement for Porsche’s first model, the 356, the 911 made its debut at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. The original name of 901 was protested by Puegot, subsequently leading Porsche to use the 911 designation when it finally began production a year after the car’s debut. The 911 would arrive on American shores in 1965. It has since gone on to make a name for itself on the road, on the track and even off the road and track as a modified rally car.

And now we see its most recent form, as a true symbol of modern engineering and a commitment to producing a car that both revels in its heritage and yet still maintains its place as a leader at the top of the pack. You want a car that will blow the doors off of nearly everything else that rolls up next to it on the line? There are few options in this class more prepared to do so than the Porsche 911 Turbo. Whether you’re redlining the RPMs, leaning into the curves of a road or track, or simply zipping past every other slower, more lethargic car on the highway, no car has quite the history of performance and style like that of the 911 Turbo.

Dimensions & specifications
Wheelbase: 96.5; overall length: 177.4; width: 74.0; height: 51.0
All vehicle measurements are in inches.

Engine: 3.8L twin turbo Boxer six-cylinder – 520 hp at 6,000-6,500 rpm and 487 lbs-ft of torque at 1,950 -5,000 rpm.
Transmission: seven-speed PDK
EPA Fuel Economy: 17 city/24 hwy.
Cargo capacity: 4.0 cubic feet (front)/9.2 cubic feet (rear)

Safety features
Dual front airbags, Porsche Side Impact Protection System, dual front seat knee airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, Porsche Stability Management with anti slip regulation, automatic brake distribution, electronic dynamic traction control, brake assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, Porsche Communications Management, navigation, Bluetooth hands free phone system, HomeLink programmable garage door opener, Bi-Xenon high intensity discharge headlamps, Porsche Dynamic Light System, daytime running lights, remote central door locking, engine immobilizer, alarm system, and tire sealing compound/air compressor.

Basic: 4-year/50,000 mile
Corrosion: 12-year/unlimited
Roadside Assistance: 4-year/50,000 mile 24-hour

The base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2016 Porsche 911 Turbo starts from $157,100 for the 911 Turbo and $182,700 for the Turbo S. Destination charges add $995.

2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang

Outside of Henry Ford, there is no name more synonymous with that of a Ford automobile than Carroll Shelby. During his 89 years alive, Shelby was a prolific entrepreneur, racecar driver and an American automotive designer. Known for his original design and development of the AC Cobra, Shelby also branched out and worked with Ford Motor Company on the customization of its Ford Mustang beginning in 1965 with the Shelby GT350. The name brand was revived in 2007, but went dormant.

Not anymore.

Ford Motor Company has reintroduced the world to the Shelby brand with an iteration of the car that started it all between these two icons of the automotive industry with the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350.  But while this car’s roots are in the past, its features are very much planted in the present day. For instance, the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 features the most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever created in the history of Ford Motor Company. The new 5.2L engine is the first-ever production V8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft, an architecture typically found only in racing applications or exotic European sports cars. What does that mean for you, the driver? It means this sucker has some real kick to it, one that you’re guaranteed to feel whether you’re on the track or starting out your morning commute.

Dimensions & specifications 
Wheelbase: 107.1; overall length: 188.9; width: 75.9; height: 54.2
All vehicle measurements are in inches.

Engine: 5.2L flat-plane crank V8 – 526 hp at 7,500 rpm and 429 lbs-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm.
Transmission; six-speed manual
EPA Fuel Economy: 14 city/21 highway.
Cargo capacity: 13.5 cubic feet

Safety features
Dual front airbags, dual front seat side-impact airbags, dual head curtain side-impact airbags, driver’s side knee airbag, active glove box, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, AdvanceTrac vehicle stability control, traction control, TORSEN limited-slip rear differential, electronic line-lock, rear view camera, SYNC communications system, perimeter alarm, Securilock passive anti-theft system, remote keyless entry, intelligent access with push-button start, automatic high intensity discharge headlamps with wiper activation, tire mobility kit, and individual tire pressure monitoring system.

Optional safety features include universal garage door opener and navigation system.

Basic: 3-year/36,000 mile Bumper-to-bumper
Powertrain: 5-year/60,000 mile
Corrosion: 5-year/unlimited
Hybrid components: 8-year/100,000 mile
Roadside Assistance: 5-year/60,000 mile 24-hour

The base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350 coupe starts from $47,795. Destination charges add $900.

Final verdict? We’re not really sure that anyone should ever be forced to pick between such titans of automotive engineering and style. But if one were to be faced with such a decision, there’s no wrong answer. One is sleek and light on its feet while still not lacking in performance and power. The other is the very definition of “American muscle” in a way most cars could only dream. The only decision truly comes down to how you want to flex what you’ve got.


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