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Ford Explains The Engineering Behind The Shelby GT500: Video 6
Nov
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, Ford, Kurt, video on 11 6th, 2012

2013 Shelby GT500

There’s a lot more to building a 200 mph Shelby GT500 Mustang than simply bolting in a 5.8-liter supercharged V-8 rated at 662 horsepower and 631 pound-feet of torque. Without aero enhancements, lift at speed is a very real (and very dangerous) problem, and driveline improvement are necessary to ensure the driveshaft doesn’t explode at high rpms. As a flagship Mustang, the Shelby GT500 also has to feel a bit more refined than the rest of the herd, something the old GT500 fell short of (especially in regards to shifting).

To help the new Shelby GT500 achieve its performance potential, Ford engineers gave the car a larger clutch to handle the engine’s torque, then optimized the clutch pedal assembly for better feel. Next came the shift linkage, which was revised for smoother and more positive gear selection.

Underneath, the Shelby GT500 gets a single-piece carbon fiber driveshaft that reduces both vehicle weight and inertial weight. The hollow carbon fiber tube uses splined connectors that are pressed into place, ensure better strength than a joint bonded with adhesives.

Up front, the GT500’s fascia has been revised to reduce drag (permitting higher speeds), but more importantly it’s also been changed to reduce lift at speed. Airflow into the engine is a key factor, too, since keeping under-hood temps where they belong can be a challenge on a race track.

While the GT500 is a strong performer out of the box, owners who track their cars will want to add the Performance Package for its Torsen limited slip rear differential and the Track Package, which includes improved cooling.



2013 Ford Shelby GT500 First Drive 6
Sep
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, featured, Ford, Ford Shelby GT500, Shelby, Shelby GT500, Test Drives on 09 6th, 2012

Could you imagine the excitement when I had the chance to drive the all-new 2013 Shelby GT500 packing in a monstrous 662 horsepower and being the last Shelby production vehicle that the late Carroll Shelby was able to sample? It is like a non-stop road-going rollercoaster that only pauses when the gas tank is depleted of its premium fuel – always a big smile on my face.

You would be hard pressed to walk onto a dealership lot and find anything near 662 horsepower without a hefty 6-figure price tag. The all-new 2013 Shelby GT500 is the epitome of an American muscle tradition that has probably reached a paramount in a time when big V8 engines are at the end of their era. For now, we shall let the good times roll on and soak up as much of what the new 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 has to offer.

The new 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, interestingly enough to say, isn’t a car for just any enthusiast. It is for the enthusiast who has a live self-conscious of piloting a fun-machine that can instantly turn into a nightmare if they don’t have a certain level of respect for what it can and can’t do. Speaking of respect, the new Shelby GT500 is the king of Mustangs sporting the most powerful production V8 engine around. The new aluminum block 5.8-liter supercharged V8 engine is a masterpiece with a total of 662 horsepower at 6250 rpm and 631 lb-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm.

A $3,495 performance track package option, found on my GT500 test vehicle, allows all of this power to feed the rear wheels by means of a Torsen limited-slip differential. The performance track package also includes sportier springs aided by electronic adjustable Bilstein dampers with Normal and Sport select modes via cock-pit button, larger anti-roll bars, external engine oil cooler, rear diff cooler and transmission cooler.

The suspension setup is actually pretty remarkable rivaling the Camaro ZL1’s magnetorheological suspension system. In Normal mode, the GT500 has a civilized ride with excellent dampening over most driving conditions. In Sport mode, the Bilstein dampers are set to an aggressive dampening setting giving the GT500 a harsh and responsive ride but adapted specifically for those track days. Although I did not take the GT500 on a track, I could easily see it being quite a handful even with the Sport suspension setting and traction control left in the on position.

The new Shelby GT500 gets forged 19-inch wheels up front and 20-inch out back wrapped in sticky Goodyear Eagle Supercar G:2 tires, built specifically for the GT500. To put it lightly, the new Shelby GT500 is on the verge of its limits of tire adhesion even with these remarkable tires. Disabling the driver-nannies completely will easily burn up the rear tires all through 3rd gear. Although, the traction control system puts forth its excellent programming as to not instantly sap wheel spin provided it detects the GT500 going in a straight line. A slight bit of lateral slip is allowed, but with 662 horsepower the system is apt to bringing things to a crawl when the slippery rear-end starts to oversteer.

The new Shelby GT500 is fierce in a straight line, however, its tracking ability is diminished by requiring the driver to continually modulate the throttle when hitting twisty roads or track turns. Unlike the GT500’s Mustang Boss 302 sibling, the GT500 has a tender spot with so much available power throughout the RPM band. I would not go as far as to say the GT500 is not a track-worthy vehicle. I would, however, conversely admit that it takes a “seasoned” race car driver to lay down consistent track times.

It may be a good gesture for Ford to give new owners of the Shelby GT500 some track lessons before letting them loose on public roads in this beast, which is capable of reaching 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and run down a full quarter mile in 11.7 seconds at 135 mph. One thing to note, 60 mph can be reached in just 1st gear and the coveted top speed of 202 mph can be reached in 5th gear. I would not recommend trying the latter yourself. Gearing ratios are pretty good with the slight exception of 6th gear. 6th gear is extremely tall, landing the engine at a low 1400 rpm when cruising around 60 mph. 6th is strictly a highway-cruising over-drive gear to help the GT500 achieve its 24 mpg highway figure. City mpg, as expected with a 600+ horsepower vehicle is estimated at 15 mpg but I saw a diminished 13 mpg all day long during my “spritely driving adventures.” At 100 mph, you will be sitting at a nice low 2000 RPM – don’t ask me how I know this, just go with it. In the end, 6th gear is basically keeping new buyers from paying a gas guzzler tax.

A new Launch Control system, enabled by a dashboard button, allows the driver to pre-set a starting RPM for a virtually effortless mad dash to 60 mph and beyond. With Launch Control enabled, you select 1st gear, lay on the throttle at a stop and dump the clutch letting the ECM unit modulate the throttle and rear brakes to limit wheelspin. The system works well but does require you to dial in the right RPM range for the best launch depending on your surface conditions. You will want to try the system more than once, twice, or maybe even three times selecting different RPM increments. Don’t worry, the beefed up (strengthen case, internal bearings and helix angle of gears changed for handling extra torque) TREMEC 6-speed manual transmission, the only transmission choice for the GT500, and dual-disk ZF clutch with increased clamping load and performance friction material, will stand up to the job just fine. Just be sure to check those 285/35ZR-20 tires in the rear after each run for enough left-over tread.

Just like the Shelby GT500 predecessors, the new 2013 GT500 gets proper interior treatment that basically revolves around the optional ($1,595 option) ‘Shelby Man Leather’ Recaro bucket seats. The Recaro seats provide excellent lateral support with appropriate bolsters surprisingly proving to be fairly comfortable on long hauls. The steering wheel is accented with leather and alcantara wrapping. Using Ford’s latest dashboard cluster with center color LCD screen allows the driver to display different live gauges, such as boost, oil temp, air inlet temp and other vehicle information. There are track apps within the LCD screen for timing 0-60 mph, 0-100 mph, quarter mile and even 8th mile times. The track apps even let you record braking distance and g-forces, too. Setting position is a bit too high for my taste but over time you tend to get used to it after your back continually gets depressed to the seat-back after feeling the furry of the supercharged V8.

SVT engineers put forth their best efforts to make the new Shelby GT500 a contender in the performance world without bloating the vehicle with unwanted weight. The over-all vehicle weight is down to 3,852 pounds with a 56/44 – front/rear weight distribution split.

On all GT500s you get a light-weight carbon fiber driveshaft (to handle 200 mph and save weight), massive 15-inch Brembo vented brake rotors up front clamped down on by six-piston calipers, and 13.8-inch vented rotors using single-piston calipers in the rear. Pop open the aluminum hood of any new Shelby GT500 and you will take notice to the blue powder-coated valve covers, a large cold-air intake, a massive blower with its pulley wrapped by an extra-wide belt (no slipping here), and the signature of the solo engine builder.

When pitted against the competition, the Shelby GT500 fairs well in a straight line as mentioned earlier. Track affairs will basically come down to drive competency while the GT500’s less-powerful Mustang Boss 302 has more of a track aptitude in comparison. Nevertheless, the new 2013 Shelby GT500 is the most horsepower you can find in a new car at a starting price of just $54,200. Adding the highly recommended track package for another $3,500 still puts this 662 horsepower beast in a horsepower-bargain category.

The new Shelby GT500 may go down in history as we slowly start witnessing an era where massive horsepower numbers are no longer at the forefront of automakers agenda. EPA regulations and greenhouse gas minders will probably see to it that vehicles like the GT500 go the way of the dinosaurs. For the time being; get it while the getting is good, and it is good!

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Copyright: 2012 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Shelby GT500 $54,200 / As-Tested $63,475
  • Engine: 5.8-liter DOHC Supercharged V8 662 horsepower @ 6250 rpm / 631 ft-lbs. torque @ 4000 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 107.1 inch
  • Total length: 188.2 inch
  • Total width: 73.9 inch
  • Total height: 55.1 inch
  • Track: f/r-61.9/62.5 inch
  • Legroom: f/r-42.4/29.8 inch
  • Headroom: 38.5/34.7 inch
  • Turning circle: 33.4 ft.
  • Gas tank: 16 gallons
  • Curb weight: 3,850 lbs.
  • EPA mileage: 15 mpg/city, 24 mpg/highway
  • 0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds


Chris Harris Drives America’s Fastest Muscle Cars: Video 6
Jul
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Camaro ZL1, 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, Chevrolet, Ford, Kurt, video on 07 6th, 2012

Generally speaking, car reviewers from Europe or the U.K. view American cars with great disdain. “Too big,” they cry, or “too softly sprung,” or “too poorly bolted together.” In decades past, we’d have had a hard time countering their argument, replying only, “yes, but at least we’ve perfected the electrical connection.”

These days, no one selling cars in the United States builds a bad product. Even our blue-collar sports cars (muscle cars, actually) like the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro have improved to the point where you can take properly-equipped models from the showroom to the track and turn some truly impressive lap times. Unlike the muscle cars of old, the new generation comes packing suspension, brakes and cooling systems that work as well as the obligatory big V-8 engine under the hood.

You’d still think that elitist journo Chris Harris would be like a fish out of water behind the wheel of the 2012 Camaro ZL1 and the 2013 Shelby GT500, especially slogging through Manhattan traffic. He’s not, and we find him strangely complementary of both cars in the video below. We won’t spoil it, but we’ll tell you this much: one is more refined and better for use as a daily driver, while the other is harder edged, and ultimately leaves Harris wondering how he can export a copy to Britain. We’ve known all along that the new Mustang and Camaro are great cars, and now it looks like the rest of the world is beginning to figure this out, too.



2013 Shelby GT500 Finally Pegs 200MPH: Video 7
Jun
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 200mph, 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, Ford, Ford Shelby GT500, GT500, Shelby, video on 06 7th, 2012

We previously posted a closer look at the new 2013 Shelby GT500 where the engineers at SVT attempted to push the GT500 to 200 mph. In their enduring attempts on the hot desert, they fell short of 200 mph by only a few miles-per-hour. As a follow-up, Ford has released a video of the Shelby GT500 pegging the 200 mph mark on the Nardo test track in Italy.

It was always in the playing cards to actually hit 200 mph since the new 2013 Shelby GT500 is said to have the capability to reach such a speed. This means everything to the marketing team at Ford who now have a much easier task of touting their 662 horsepower pony car to finicky enthusiasts. Check out the exclusive video of the 200 mph GT500 run below.



Videos: A Closer Look at the new 2013 Shelby GT500 30
May
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2013 Ford Mustang, 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, Ford, Ford Shelby GT500 on 05 30th, 2012

A few recent reviews of the new 2013 Shelby Mustang GT500 have somewhat downplayed the vehicles over-all demeanor in terms of lacking inspiration. Whatever conclusion you may get from the new Shelby GT500, you cannot deny the massive 662 horsepower 5.8-liter V8 engine’s enthusiasm. With that much power on tap, and a decent 24 mpg estimated highway fuel consumption to boot, this makes for one of the best V8 engines to come off of a mass-production assembly line.

Another particular aspect about the new 2013 Shelby GT500 is its ability to reach a speed of 200 mph. The engineers at SVT, Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, show their faces in the exclusive videos below giving us a taste of what the new Shelby GT500 is all about. Not to mention, they show us the GT500 hitting a few mph shy of the 200mph mark in the middle of a hot Desert.



Jay Leno Drives The 2013 Shelby GT500: Video 22
May
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, Ford, Jay Leno, Jay Leno's Garage, Kurt, video on 05 22nd, 2012

The best part of being Jay Leno isn’t the ability to get a seat at any restaurant in America, any time you want. Instead, it’s having manufacturers bring you new cars to drive before anyone else (even us journalist types) gets their hands on them. Leno has a thing for Mustangs (and Fords in general), so it’s a given that Ford would would send its chief engineer from SVT with a pair of 2013 Mustangs to visit Jay Leno’s Garage.

Leno gets the honor of being the first “civilian” to drive the new, 662 horsepower Shelby GT500. While the limits of such a car can only be probed on a racetrack (or the Autobahn, as Leno points out), the comedian and uber-car-guy finds the GT500 docile and comfortable enough to use as a daily driver. He’s not happy, however, that it produces more horsepower than his Ford GT, and we suspect he’s already got a 2013 Shelby GT500 on order.

We haven’t driven the 2013 Shelby GT500 yet, but we’ve heard some good things about it. It’s much like the earlier models, with significantly more grunt and (thankfully) an improved shifter. If it were us, we’d opt for the Boss 302 with the Laguna Seca package over the Shelby GT500, since we favor the road course over the drag strip. The $10k cost savings pays for a lot of track days, tires and brake pads, too.



Ford Releases Power Figures For The 2013 Shelby GT500 27
Apr
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, Ford, Kurt, News on 04 27th, 2012

The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. Image: Ford Motor Company

Last November we told you that Ford would launch a revised Shelby GT500 for 2013, complete with a 650-horsepower supercharged V-8. It turns out we were a bit wrong about the Shelby’s horsepower; according to the latest information from Ford, the new Shelby GT500 will actually produce 662 horsepower and 631 pound-feet of torque, which makes the car’s 5.8-liter V-8 the most powerful production V-8 in the world.

Think about that last fact for a second – the most powerful production V-8 in the world graces the engine bay of a Mustang, not a Ferrari or an Aston Martin or a Maserati. It beats the Camaro ZL1 by a significant 82 horsepower and 75 pound-feet of torque, and it even beats the Corvette ZR1 in output, at a little more than half the price (although we’re pretty sure the ZR1 will still be faster around a racetrack).

If that wasn’t impressive enough on its own, the new Shelby GT500 will even avoid a gas guzzler tax rating, and actually delivers better fuel economy (by one mpg city and highway) than the car it replaces. Compared to the Camaro ZL1, the Shelby GT500 will return one more mpg around town, but a significant five mpg more on the highway. Not that any buyers shop either car for its fuel economy, of course, and driven as intended fuel economy in the single digits is likely.

Ford is still claiming a top speed of “200 mph and beyond,” which is seriously impressive given the car’s blue collar roots. We’ve driven early GT500s on the track, so we can’t wait for a turn behind the wheel of the 2013 version, which (on paper at least) sounds like the most serious muscle car ever built.

Chevy, the ball is now officially in your court. Let’s see what you can do with the 2014 Camaro ZL1.



2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Pricing Posted 16
Mar
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, Ford, Kurt, pricing on 03 16th, 2012

The 2013 Shelby GT500. Image: Ford Motor Company

Ford’s 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 promises to deliver a mind-warping 650 horsepower and a 200 mph top speed, both in stock form. You can’t take delivery of one just yet, but now we know what the pricing on Ford’s latest uber-Mustang will be. The Shelby GT500 coupe will start at $54,995, including the required $795 destination charge, while the Shelby GT500 convertible is priced from $59,995, including the same destination charge.

Ford’s configurator for the new Shelby models is up, too, allowing you to build the GT500 of your dreams. Major option packaged include the $3,495 SVT Performance Package, which gives you a Torsen limited-slip differential, adjustable Bilstein dampers, unique rear springs, unique wheels and a few interior upgrades. If you want navigation, you’ll need to add the $2,340 Electronics Package, which also gives you HD Radio and dual-zone climate control. Get crazy checking option boxes, and you can add about $10k to the base price of a Shelby GT500.

That’s still not bad, and we’d be hard-pressed to name another car that starts from $55k and delivers a 200 mph top speed. While it’s likely that the new GT500 will be faster than the Camaro ZL1, no one has run a side-by-side comparison yet, so it’s still just bench racing. If you’re a Ford guy, the GT500 is clearly superior to the Camaro ZL1 (which starts at $54,095, excluding destination charge). If you’re a Chevy guy, you’ll insist the ZL1 is faster until you personally get beaten by a new GT500. Who’s right? We’ll know for sure in a few weeks.



Ford Debuts The 650-Horsepower 2013 Shelby GT500 In LA 15
Nov
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.



2013 Shelby GT500 Getting Bigger V8? 5
Oct
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, Ford, Kurt, News on 10 5th, 2011

The Shelby logo. Image: Ford Motor Company

MustangsDaily and MotorAuthority have been doing some digging through the recent agreement between Ford and the UAW. Buried in the new contract is funding to upgrade Ford’s Romeo, Michigan engine plant to build an all-new, blown 5.8-liter V-8 engine. Better yet, the contract specifically says that the new engine will replace the supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 currently used in the Shelby GT500, eliminating any doubt as to which vehicle will benefit.

While there’s no word yet on how much power the new engine will produce, speculation has it making as much as 600 horsepower, in order to one-up the 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL-1 (which makes 580 hp). Spy shots of the 2013 Shelby GT500 also seem to show bigger brakes and better cooling, so Ford may be leaning towards making the 2013 Shelby GT500 a more competent track animal than it is today. Look for more details as the Shelby hits the auto show circuit later this fall.

The new contract between Ford and the UAW also calls for the creation of 12,000 new hourly-wage jobs, and many of them will come from “on-shoring” jobs previously exported to Mexico, China and Japan. The deal has Ford investing some $16 billion in the U.S. over the next four years, which will certainly contribute to any kind of economic recovery.







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