650 Horsepower and 200mph. Sweet Glory Hallelujah.
Yes, that title is correct, as Ford has revealed full details and pictures of the refreshed 2013 Shelby GT500. And yes, it now has an output of 650hp, 600lb-ft of torque and has a top speed of more than 200mph. Try to remain still. And just as Chevrolet is about to launch their mighty Camaro ZL1, Ford just had to go ahead and perform some major surgery to their own V8 and increase it from 5.4-liters to 5.8. Oh bless them. And according to Ford, this engine is now "the most powerful V8 in the world."
Ford has optimized almost the entire powertrain, such as new cross-drilled block and heads, updated camshaft profiles, a carbon fiber driveshaft, upgraded clutch, transmission and axle. The larger V8, as previously mentioned, now has 650hp - a 100hp increase over the 2011 model. Total weight comes to 3,850 pounds and it also stays exempt from the gas-guzzler tax. So how exactly did Ford engineers manage to get so much additional power? They added a larger, more efficient supercharger that can flow more air through the engine.
The entire cooling system has also been significantly updated, which now includes a larger cooling fan, fan shroud with high-speed pressure-relief doors, a more efficient charge air cooler, a higher-flow intercooler pump and an intercooler heat exchanger with volume increased by 36 percent. Engineers have also revised the gearing to the six-speed manual, which now offers upgraded gears, bearing and housing so it can properly manage the torque. There's also an improved torsen limited-slip diff, a new launch control system, and a new Brembo braking system.
Like the base V6 and GT models, Ford has also done some exterior cosmetic work to the front and rear fascias. For the GT500, the front fascia and splitters were modified to handle the extreme loads at 200mph. In turn, it now offers 33 percent more effective aero loading at 160mph when compared to the 2011 model. Engineers were also able to ensure the car has proper downforce for optimum performance at all speeds. They determined how to harness the air that was moving around and through the car to improve the cooling system, maximize downforce and minimize drag.
Handling wise, the GT500's driving dynamics have also been improved to account for the extra power. As before, the traction control system and electronic stability control help drivers achieve maximum performance, but both can be disable in controlled track situations. Riding on 19-inch wheels up front and 20-inchers out back, other options for buyers include the Performance Package, SVT-designed Bilstein electronic dampers, and a Track Package. Final pricing hasn't been announced, but we expect an increase over last year's model, which started at a little under $50k.
Even if Ford jacked up the price another $5-$10k, that would still be an incredible bargain for 650hp and over a 200mph top speed. We just want to say it one more time because it sounds so sweet: 650hp and over a 200mph top speed. The 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will have its live reveal this week at the L.A. Auto Show.
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