Poll: Lexus RC F or Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang?

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Which high-performance coupe would YOU rather own, the Lexus RC F or Shelby GT350 Mustang?

Admittedly, these cars aren’t exact rivals; drivers are unlikely to cross-shop a Lexus and Ford. The RC F is an indulgent two-door with a premium cabin and other high-end amenities, the Shelby is an all-American muscle-machine that’s as loud as it is proud.

That’s not to say the Lexus can’t run; don’t make that mistake. Power is provided by a 5.0-liter gasoline-fueled V8 that delivers 467 horses and 389 lb.-ft. of twist. This engine rips to a redline north of 7,000 RPM, all the while making scintillating sounds, a refined rumble that’s sure to arouse all your senses.

Sending that juicy goodness to the RC F’s broad rear wheels is an eight-speed automatic, the sole transmission offered in this car. Making sure you don’t roast the tires (unless, of course, you want to) is a standard Torsen limited-slip differential. Stepping up from here, you can also opt for an available Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD), which is driver-selectable and can react to inputs or changing road conditions in just 1/1,000th of a second.

As for the Shelby, its main attraction is a 5.2-liter engine. Also of the V8-persuasion but fitted with a flat-plane crankshaft so it builds revs explosively, this impressive piece of work is rated at 526 ponies and 429 lb.-ft. of twist, an appreciable bit more than what the RC F offers. Also, it’s capable of spinning north of 8,000 RPM.

Unlike its Japanese rival, this Mustang is only available with a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox, so you’d better know how to use three pedals before attempting to ride this pony. Helping the GT350 handle like a world-class sports car are standard magnetic dampers. With various settings, these fancy shock absorbers can smother potholes and expansion joints or eliminate body roll while circling a race track, the choice is yours.

As for performance, these two cars are probably quite evenly matched. The Mustang has more horsepower and torque, plus a near-200-pound weight advantage, but the Lexus has more gears in its transmission. Which one is faster? We can’t say for sure, but we’d LOVE to do some testing to find out.

Pricing is another Mustang advantage. A base Shelby can be had for $57,000 and change; the RC F starts a little beyond 65 grand, though you get a much nicer interior, more luxury amenities and legendary reliability, so that extra cash isn’t necessarily wasted.

Which of these cars would you rather own, the luxurious Lexus or muscular Mustang? Check out their detailed specs right here and make sure to vote in the poll down below.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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2 of 4 comments
  • Cody Beisel Cody Beisel on May 17, 2017

    I'd take the Lexus if either one had to be my only car simply for its reliability and refinement. If it was supposed to be my second car and I didn't care about reliability I'd take th stang in a heart beat. Given the option however I'd save my money and buy a camaro ss for much less then both cars.

  • Toyopet13 Toyopet13 on May 23, 2017

    I think the GT350 is a way cooler car especially if you track it. However, I'd go with the RCF. Mustang drivers are either young and dumb or old and wise. I'm right in the middle and seeing how I'll never track the car, I would take it since it's luxurious, comfortable, and fun enough for road use. I'd just have to sacrifice being put in the bucket of old and wise since that's how Lexus owners are perceived...