For most of the people reading this review, it is a fantasy. Something that we dream about while waiting for the clock on the wall to close in on the “5”, signaling the end of yet another workday that is your life. Even if you had the $61K needed to make the purchase, you still have to pass through the purchasing process of actually getting one, and that is a long list of people who got there before you did. Until Ford drops a GT350RH for rent, this is as close as most of us get. This is the ultimate shame, because after driving it, I discovered what the “R” stands for, and it isn’t race. It is to warn that you are about to have a religious experience.
At the Texas Auto Writers Association Spring Roundup at the Texas Motor Speedway on May 2nd, I had the chance to get into the GT350R, one of only two made available to the press. The other was at Buttonwillow Raceway in Southern California for a similar press event. I made about 7 laps on the infield road course, and every single second was absolutely thrilling.
Gripping the stick of the Tremec 6-speed and rolling into the throttle, puts 526 blazing horsepower into the tires, propelling this rocket down the front straight. As the speedometer touches the 110 mark, the 6-piston Brembo brakes clamp down onto the 15.5” rotors, pulling the needle down to about 65, before cranking the electronically-managed steering wheel to the right for turn one. As soon as we hit the apex, I roll back into the throttle, pitting my helmet against the top of the Recarro seat, which is doing a great job of holding my guts in my body cavity. Pulling nearly 1.25 Gs is hard on the human body. Soon, the GT350R is racing into the chicanes of the 1.36-mile flat-plane road course, pushing nearly 80 MPH, buzzing the rumble strips, three in all, and then speeding towards the sweeping right-hander that ends in another wide chicane and back onto the front straight for the next lap.
After the third lap, we managed to chase down a 2016 Viper GTC. Over the next two laps, the GT350R clung tightly to race-bred Viper. With 645 horsepower on tap, the Viper had no problem pulling away in the straights, but the magnetic ride control of the GT350R made up any lost distance in the corners. I am not a professional racer by any means, but the GT350R is so easy to drive, it sure makes you feel like it. This is a fast car that has the potential to give any factory-built track car a run for its money.
The GT350R is without a single doubt one of the best cars I have ever driven, a top 5 all-time track experience. Finding one of these cars available is nearly impossible, but that will change as time progresses. Cashing in your 401K, selling off your kid’s toys, putting a third mortgage on the house, any of those would be worth it for A GT350R, it is that good.
As a side note, no spectators were harmed in the filming of this video.