The GT500's party piece is its Predator V8 engine. With 5.2 liters of capacity, it would already be a good motor, but that wasn't enough. A 2.65-liter Eaton supercharger was added to boost output. 760 horses are sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and, to make tire warmups and burnouts easier, the car has a line-lock function. Another aid in getting the car going is launch control, and when activated, Ford claims 0-60 mph times around 3.3 seconds, which is even faster than the Camaro ZL1's 3.5 seconds. This astonishing acceleration keeps the GT500 flying through the quarter-mile with a time of under 11 seconds. If you have a road long enough, the GT500 will keep going all the way to 180 mph. However, Ford's engineers and publicity people have been adamant that the GT500 would be more than just a dragster. As we found out during our test drive of the car, the magnetorheological dampers that are fitted as standard, along with various modes for the steering, suspension, and exhaust, all allow the ultimate Shelby to be scalpel-sharp in the corners and, when you dial everything back, it's a car you can live with on the street.
It's easy to assume that the GT500 uses an upgraded version of the GT350's unique flat-plane-crank engine - after all, the ingredients look almost identical: 5.2 liters, V8, and supercharged. That's the basic recipe for 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque. However, this Predator engine uses a more traditional cross-plane configuration. If it sounds like all that power being sent to only the rear wheels is a bit of a handful, it probably is - which would explain why Ford wants you keeping both hands on the round bit in front of you. Although many have decried the decision to equip the GT500 with a seven-speed Tremec dual-clutch transmission, those who have driven the car have all but unanimously concurred that it was the right decision. The gearbox shifts with lightning-fast ferocity when you need it to, but can be smooth on the daily commute when that's what you want.
The paddles behind the wheel help you take some control, but in general, you can leave it to its own devices and it'll do the job far quicker and better than a mere mortal can manage. This is something of an achievement, as Ford has a questionable past when it comes to dabbling in dual-clutch 'boxes. To say that this one is better even than their ten-speed SelectShift auto is remarkable indeed. Even so, we can't help but wonder how much more fun we'd have with a manual. Yes, it'd probably make us markedly slower on a track, and Ford says that the GT500 is an all-out assault weapon for lap-time leaderboard dominance. Once you're in the driver's seat, however, going as fast as possible will be the only thing on your mind, and the Predator V8 will egg you on to rev it out and then blip it down again.
|Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Trims||Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Engines||Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Transmissions||Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Drivetrains||Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 MPG/MPGE|
|Shelby GT500||5.2L Supercharged V8 Gas||7-Speed Automatic||RWD||14 MPG|
With a 2.65-liter supercharger that has nearly double the capacity that most city cars' engines can boast, it's no wonder that the GT500 is a less-than-viable option if you want to impress a Prius-driving eco-warrior. Its official EPA figures show that it returned 12/18/14 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles - which means that while you'll be forking out on gas instead of dinner for two, you have to pay a gas-guzzler tax on purchase as well. By comparison, the Camaro ZL1 is significantly better, with figures of 13/21/16 mpg on the same cycles. On the plus side, life is about taking in the moment just as much as it is about feeling the rush of adrenaline, and with the GT500's 16-gallon gas tank, you'll be taking the moment in roughly every 224 miles or so.
|Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Trims||Shelby GT500|
|Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Tank size||13.5 gal.|
|Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||12/18|