Watch the GT500 carve up the Hockenheim GP circuit in style.
Although Dodge has once again asserted itself as the pony car horsepower king with the new Challenger SRT Super Stock and its monstrous 807-hp supercharged V8, the Ford Mustang still holds an edge over its rival by being far less cumbersome through the corners. In the case of the Mustang Shelby GT500, its fine handling is matched by a 760-hp supercharged V8 to make this a capable track tool, too.
To prove the point, Sport Auto decided to take the GT500 for a hot lap around the Hockenheim GP circuit to see if the coupe can overcome its hefty curb weight of over 4,000 pounds. The short answer is yes, it can.
Riding on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires and with the driver using the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the GT500 managed an excellent time of one minute and 54.6 seconds. That puts the top Mustang in some pretty accomplished company; it's faster than all-wheel-drive machines like the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe and, even more impressively, the Audi R8 Spyder Performance.
The Mustang crossed the line at exactly the same time as the Porsche Cayman GT4. Although the GT4 has "only" 414 hp, it's nearly 1,000 lbs lighter so is the far more agile car with one of the best chassis setups in the business.
The Mustang's time proves that it's much more than a dragster, while most of the other cars with similar lap times are significantly more expensive.
With ever-tightening emissions regulations and the imminent banning of combustion-engine cars, these pointless but enormously fun blasts with the sound of a gas engine as it's pushed to its limits should be enjoyed while we still can. Then again, if the Mustang Mach-E 1400 is anything to go by, maybe the track stars of the future will be more exciting than we imagine.