Ford has given us our first look at the next shiny thing, the 2016 Shelby GT-350 Mustang. As they say, the legend returns.

It’s new 5.2 liter flat-plane crankshaft V8 will offer over 500 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 they have ever produced.

What’s the big deal? By design a flat-plane crank places each rod 180 degrees from the other, instead of 90. This moves the firing order back and forth evenly between the cylinder banks.

The result is a much more exotic sound and a free-breathing engine that will come only with a six-speed manual transmission. A standard Torsen limited-slip differential comes in at the rear to keep the tires planted.

Chassis stiffness is increased with a unique injection-molded carbon fiber composite radiator surround which is sure to get a lot of hype and attention. Front track has been widened slightly too.

Suspension gets revised springs and bushings and a slightly lower ride height. Driver adjustable MagneRide dampers allow for stiffness settings to tune from street to track. You can also set it in auto and let its brain make the call.

Brakes up front are huge 15.5” two-piece cross-drilled rotors and near 15” at the rear. Brembo provides six-piston calipers up front and four piston calipers are found at the rear.

Wrapped around those huge brakes are staggered width 19” lightweight alloy wheels mounted with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires custom designed just for the GT-350.

A new hood is lower and sloped differently to reduce drag. A unique front fascia gets a more aggressive splitter which along with a ducted belly pan has more downforce at speed.

Air extractors can be found on both the hood and the bulging fenders. All of which not only makes this car look mean and nasty for the guy with checkbook, but Ford says is aerodynamically functional.

A much more subtle than expected deck-lid spoiler backs up a general lack of overly styled elements show this car is walking the talk, staying close in the foot prints of the original GT-350.

Inside things do dial up a bit more starting with special to the GT-350 Recaro seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and a specific gauge cluster.

A driver control system has five drive-modes that tune the ABS, stability and traction control, steering wright, throttle, MagneRide dampers and exhaust sound to your liking.

We have it good people. Ford will be telling us more very soon, so stay tuned. For now, just listen to that wicked sound.

For a more in-depth look and photos, see our report on