|2013 Ford Shelby GT500. Photos courtesy of Ford.|
Most people do look at the engine of the 2013 Shelby GT500 first, and why not? It’s a 5.8 liter V8 block teamed up with supercharger to thump out a maximum 662 horsepower and 631 pound-foot of torque, making it the most powerful production V8 to have ever been manufactured in the world. One of the secrets of the car’s lightning- fast acceleration is the fact that 395 pound-foot of torque is available just above 1,000 RPM, providing an instantaneous thrust not found in many other cars. Only a six-speed manual transmission is available with the car, giving the driver ultimate control over engine revs and performance. Even though the Shelby GT500 was designed with performance in mind, gas mileage is rated at 24 mpg for highway driving.
The 2013 Shelby GT500 is not just about blistering power. Several parts were added to the standard Ford Mustang to handle the increased acceleration abilities of the car, keeping it going straight on the track or road, instead of sitting in a flaming heap off the pavement. The car has been outfitted with an aggressive front splitter and rear spoiler that literally help keep the rubber on the road as the car climbs toward its 200 mph top speed. A MacPherson strut setup helps with handling in the front, while the rear wheels are guided by a solid axle. The car also features functional hood vents, an extra-wide air dam and a gaping opening where the grill normally would be found, all to feed enough air to the car’s engine compartment.
A whole sleuth of standard features and equipment in the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 makes it a joy to drive, both around town and on the racetrack. Brembo brakes give the car superb stopping power, and a standard launch control system helps with quarter-mile races. The weight of the car is kept lower by the use of some carbon fiber parts, such as the drive shaft. A Mustang Track Apps program is accessible through the car’s touch screen, allowing the driver to measure the car’s acceleration, g-force performance through turns and braking performance. Those who opt for the optional SVT performance package receive an even stiffer race-inspired suspension as well as suspension dampers that can be quickly adjusted by switches inside the car.
Both the driver and passengers will appreciate some of the creature comforts offered in the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. Keyless entry, air conditioning, automatic xenon headlights, fog lights and cruise control all come standard. 19-inch wheels are standard in the front along with 20-inch wheels in the rear, with high-performance tires wrapped around all four wheels. The upholstery is a mixture of leather and faux-suede, including around the steering wheel. An eight-speaker sound system is also standard, as well as an auxiliary jack for use with MP3 players. Those who want an outdoor experience can opt for the convertible version of the car, which comes with a soft top.