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Ford Debuts The 650-Horsepower 2013 Shelby GT500 In LA 15
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, Ford, Kurt, News, Pony Cars on 11 15th, 2011

The 2013 Shelby GT500. Image: Ford Motor Company

Things were going so well for General Motors. The Camaro had been consistently out-selling the Mustang, and the announcement of a track focused, 580-horsepower, take-no-prisoners Camaro ZL1 meant that it would soon be game over for Ford. While Chevy was busy wind tunnel testing the ZL1, however, Ford’s engineers spent a few sleepless nights tweaking the new Shelby GT500. The result is the 650-horsepower 2013 Shelby GT500, and we’re back to advantage, Ford.

The 2013 Shelby GT500. Image: Ford Motor Company

Unlike other websites, we’re not ready to crown the Shelby GT500 as the king of the pony cars just yet. Sure, it’s got more horsepower (OK, a lot more horsepower), it’s likely to be a few hundred pounds lighter than the baby-got-back Camaro ZL1 and it even comes with more track focused options than the car it replaces. Still, the outgoing GT500 wasn’t exactly the ideal car for track days, since driving it fast meant beating the snot out of it. The old Shelby responded to brute force, not finesse, making it a difficult car to lap consistently in. Worse, it wasn’t particularly amusing on a racetrack, even if it was relatively fast.

The 2013 Shelby GT500. Image: Ford Motor Company

Ford says the new Shelby GT500 has received upgraded brakes, gearing and suspension, in addition to the horsepower boost. There’s a bigger radiator, a larger intercooler (for this year’s bigger blower), aero enhancements that actually add downforce and available Performance and Track packages.

The 2013 Shelby GT500. Image: Ford Motor Company

Opt for the Performance Package, and you’ll get electronically adjustable Bilstein dampers and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Add the Track Package, and you’ll get an external oil cooler, a rear differential cooler and a transmission cooler, to ensure that high speed running doesn’t cause problems.

The most powerful production V-8 in the world. Image: Ford Motor Company

As for that high speed, the new Shelby GT500 may well be capable of 200 miles per hour, and Ford is quick to point out that the aerodynamic changes for 2013 give the car 33 percent more effective aero loading at 160 miles per hour. In other words, the new Shelby GT500 is more than just an image car, designed to run primarily from stoplight to stoplight.

The most powerful production V-8 in the world. Image: Ford Motor Company

There’s no doubt that it will give the Camaro ZL1 a run for its money, but we’ll hold off on crowning a new king until we’ve had a chance to drive both cars back to back. Preferably on a race track, where the limits of each can safely be tested.

All You Need To Know About The New Camaro ZL1, Except Price 9
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Camaro ZL1, Automotive, Camaro, Chevrolet, Kurt, Muscle Cars, News, Pony Cars on 09 9th, 2011

We’re still months away from the launch of the king-of-the-hill Camaro, but Chevy is leaking just enough information through various outlets to keep fans fired up about it. We now know how much power the car will make, we know that it will use GM’s superb magnetorheological (yes, that’s really a word) suspension, and we know it will be as track-ready out of the box as any car weighing around two tons can be.

First the engine: the ZL1 gets the LSA V-8 as the Cadillac CTS-V. Thanks to a revised intake, improved supercharger airflow and a higher efficiency intercooler, the engine will make 580 horsepower and 556 ft-lb of torque. Just for reference, that’s 24 more horsepower than the Cadillac CTS-V, with the exact same amount of torque. If you want to compare that against the Shelby GT500 Mustang, the Camaro has a 30 horsepower advantage and puts up 46 more ft-lb of torque; on the down side, the ZL1 will also be heavier than the Shelby, although GM hasn’t released the Camaro’s exact weight just yet.

The ZL1 gets the same Magnetic Ride Control suspension system found on the Corvette ZR1 and the Cadillac CTS-V. Delphi also licenses it to Ferrari for the 458 Italia and to Audi for the R8, so the ZL1 is in good company. If you’ve never experienced it, believe the hype: the suspension does an amazing job of blending handling with ride comfort, and can be easily adjusted from a street setting to a track setting.

The ZL1 has a track-centric stability control program, called Performance Traction Management (PTM), with five user-selectable modes:

PTM 1 – Traction and stability control on, suspension set to Tour (for wet conditions)
PTM 2 – Traction control set to Sport 1, stability control on, suspension set to Tour
PTM 3 – Traction control set to Sport 1, stability control on, suspension set to Sport
PTM 4 – Traction control set to Sport 2, stability control off, suspension set to Sport
PTM 5 – Traction control set to Race, stability control off, suspension set to Track

The final mode, PTM 5, also includes a launch control feature for cars equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox.

As for the rest of the car, think “heavy duty” and you get the picture. Expect to see both transmission and differential oil coolers, as well as brake cooling ducts. The ZL1 uses an electric power steering system, too, ensuring that absolutely no horsepower is wasted in driving an old-fashioned power steering pump.

Pricing hasn’t been set, but keep in mind that a 2012 Shelby GT500 with no options lists for $49,605 with the destination charge factored in. The Camaro looks like it will be a lot more car, but GM knows they can’t charge a lot more money for it. We’ll go out on a limb and guess that the ZL will start just under $52k, but we’ll know for sure by the end of the year.

Source: Motor Trend via Camaro5

More Mustang Coming For 2013 17
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Ford Mustang, Automotive, Ford, Kurt, News, Pony Cars on 08 17th, 2011

For 2013, expect styling similar to the 2012 Shelby GT500. Image: Ford Motor Company

It’s no secret that Ford is planning something big for the Mustang’s 50th anniversary in 2015, but the automaker still needs to sell cars to consumers between now and then. The current design was facelifted in 2010, and the Mustang received new engines in 2011. As good as the new V-6 and V-8 are, expecting the Mustang to soldier on for four years with no changes is asking a bit much. The trick for Ford, then, is making the 2013 and 2014 Mustangs better, without diluting interest in the upcoming 2015 Mustang.

If sources are correct, it looks like the Mustang will see subtle but significant changes for 2013. Expect to see a more prominent grille, similar to the one used on the Shelby GT500, and expect the 2013 Mustang to use LEDs around the headlights. The angled taillights that debuted in 2010 will be binned, replaced by flush taillights more along the lines of the original 2005 design.

The best news? The Mustang is rumored to be getting more power, in both V-6 and V-8 trims. How much isn’t clear, but we wouldn’t expect to see a major jump from today’s 305 horsepower (V-6) and 412 horsepower (V-8). On the other hand, the new Camaro gets 323 horsepower from its V-6 and 426 horsepower from its V-8, so Ford will surely look to narrow (or close) that gap.

Look for the 2013 Mustang to debut as a concept at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, with sales starting early next year.

Source: Mustangs Daily via MotorAuthority

Mustang Sales Losing Ground To Camaro 17
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Chevy Camaro, 2012 Ford Mustang, Automotive, Chevrolet, Ford, Kurt, News, Pony Cars on 06 17th, 2011

The 2012 Camaro ZL1. Image: © GM Corp.

Last year, the redesigned Chevrolet Camaro squeaked by the Mustang to take the top place in the pony car sales wars. Not content to rest on their laurels, Chevy built excitement for the Camaro by announcing the ZL1 and host of special edition versions, in both V-6 and V-8 flavors. Ford countered with the Boss 302 Mustang, a track day terror that’s also surprisingly civil as a daily driver. Ford didn’t boost V-6 or V-8 horsepower for 2012, because they did that for 2011. With both cars so evenly matched, why is Ford losing ground month by month to Chevy?

One reason is availability of the 3.7-liter V-6 used in the Mustang. The engine is also used in the F-150 pickup, and new truck buyers are opting for V-6 engines over V-8s, primarily for their better fuel economy. Today’s V-6 engines make power comparable to V-8s of just a few years back, so the choice is a logical one. Mustang buyers are thinking along the same lines, and demand for the V-6 variant has grown from 40 percent of sales in 2010 to 51 percent of sales in 2011. Here’s where the problem comes in: Ford sells nearly seven times as many F-Series trucks as they do Mustangs, so guess where the lion’s share of the 3.7-liter V-6 engine allocation goes?

Ford’s attempting to increase production of the engine to meet demand, and inventory levels of the Mustang V-6 are roughly half what they were this time last year. It doesn’t look like that will improve any time soon, so if you’re in the market for a V6 Mustang, you may need to shop a little harder than you expected to.

Source: Automotive News