Mustang Shelby GT350 vs Mercedes CLK55 AMG Cabriolet is an Odd Matchup

By now you're probably aware that the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 has a flat-plane crank 5.2-liter V8 that produces 526-horsepower, 429 lb-ft of torque, and a sound that stirs the emotions of even the most jaded automotive journalists. If you were not, now you are, and you're welcome. But here's something you're most likely unaware of, unless you're a die-hard Mercedes-Benz enthusiast, in which case you can skip ahead. From 2002-2006, Mercedes offered a drop top with a 5.4-liter V8 producing 362-horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, the CLK 55 AMG Cabriolet, one of the great sleeper cars of the early 21st century. RELATED: See Photos Of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
You have to imagine that the driver of the Mustang must have initially got a good chuckle out of being pitted against a Mercedes convertible, but he probably wasn't laughing when it jumped out to an early lead. The A209 CLK55 AMG has a 5-speed automatic transmission that can be set to hold lower gears longer, and combined with the very respectable amount of torque on tap, it's not surprising that the car gets up and goes the way it does. Of course, the GT350 catches up by the time it reaches the top of third gear, and then goes on to leave the CLK in the dust, but still, you have to admit the Mercedes at least made it interesting for a moment. It's unusual to see a convertible pull up to the line at a drag strip, but it's even more unusual to then see that convertible actually perform admirably. The car in this video is over a decade old, and who knows how many miles it's logged as a daily driver. Yet it still hangs in there, even besting the Mustang off the line, a testament to the overbuilding of these CLK 55 AMGs. Now if this had been the incredibly rare, 481-horsepower CLK63 AMG convertible that replaced the CLK55, this video would tell a different story. RELATED: Supercharged Mustang GT vs Shelby GT350