This isn't just a comparison test between a pair of high-performance cars. 

This is a fight between the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and the 2020 Toyota GR Supra. It's a battle between big and small, displacement versus refinement, three pedals versus two paddle-shifters, old school versus new. America versus Japan.
It's a fight that has been in the works for more than 50 years. Carroll Shelby's first Mustang GT350 was built in 1965, constructed in a small industrial building in Venice, California.
That model was long gone by the time the first Toyota Supra hit the street in the late 1970s, and it was already a valuable classic when the fourth-gen Supra, with its 2JZ twin-turbo inline-six, started slaying Ferraris in 1993.
Now, with the return of the Supra for 2020 albeit with more than a little help from BMW these two legends are finally rolling off assembly lines at the same time.
The Matchup

Both of these cars have engines in front driving the rear wheels, and that's about the extent of their mechanical likeness. Just like its ancestor, the much larger and heavier Shelby is all V-8 thunder and manual gear selection.
Code-named Voodoo, its V-8's 5.2 liters of double-overhead-cam greatness is famous for its flat-plane crank and 8250 rpm redline. It breathes air atmospherically, makes 526 hp, and sounds like the demon love child of an American muscle car and a Japanese superbike.
Every GT350 gets a six-speed manual gearbox. Our test car cost $64,860.
For 2019, Ford has dialed up the GT350's chassis, basically creating a GT350R with a back seat.
To maximize grip, its standard magnetorheological dampers have been recalibrated, and its front springs are 10 percent stiffer to reduce dive under braking.
Its rear springs are now six-percent softer, and there's a stiffer anti-roll bar than before. Ultra-grippy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires have replaced the previous Pilot Super Sports. Our test car also was equipped with the optional Handling Package, which includes camber plates atop its front struts, and our test car arrived looking as if there was more negative camber dialed in than on Joey Logano's NASCAR Ford Mustang at Watkins Glen.
Created in partnership with BMW, Toyota's newest Supra is for the first time a two-seater. It's also a mechanical doppelganger for the equally fresh BMW Z4. Like its most desirable forebearer, the Supra is packing a boosted inline-six, although this time there's one turbocharger instead of two. BMW's 3.0-liter is rated at 335 horsepower, which makes this the most powerful unmodified Supra ever. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered. Our Launch Edition model rode on a set of 19-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sports, and the bottom line on the sticker read $57,375.

On the Road

With the Toyota packing 191 fewer ponies than the Shelby, and the Mustang wearing larger and stickier rubber, you might imagine that this would be a beatdown. But dig a little deeper into the specs, and you'll see that the Supra weighs 446 pounds less than the 3821-pound Mustang and its wheelbase is nearly 10 inches shorter. The Supra, which is about the size of a Porsche Cayman, is also more powerful than Toyota is telling us. Or is it BMW?
We recently strapped a Supra to a chassis dyno where it registered 339 horsepower and 427 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, which means the engine is considerably stronger than its official “at the crank” ratings. It also means it's packing more torque than the Mustang's V-8, which is rated at 429 lb-ft before any power is lost turning its transmission and rear axle. And that shove hits down low, at just 1600 rpm, which explodes the Supra off the line and out of tight corners.
The straight six redlines at 6500 rpm but pulls strongly to its 7000-rpm fuel cutoff, and its quick shifting eight-speed will hold gears in manual mode.