Ford is boasting that the ultimate Ford Mustang – Shelby GT500 – will offer the highest horsepower production V8 when the new 2013 model goes on sale next year. The 5.8-liter V8 aluminum-block supercharged engine is claimed to be rated at 650 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. The heavy 3,850-pound car also will be exempt from the gas-guzzler tax, a Ford p.r. claim that awaits EPA certification. We’ll skip the debate here about how socially responsible this type of street legal car is.
“It might just seem like we’re putting a bigger engine into the car. But it’s been a balanced approach through and through,” said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief engineer. “We’ve completely redone the car to be even more sophisticated in terms of handling and control than the prior model.”
A larger, more-efficient supercharger force feeds more air through the engine allowing it produce the 650 horsepower or 112 per liter of displacement. The cooling system now includes a larger cooling fan, fan shroud with high-speed pressure-relief doors, a more efficient intake charge air cooler, a higher-flow intercooler pump and an intercooler heat exchanger with volume increased 36%.
Traction improvements include:
- Torsen limited-slip differential: The optional Performance Package includes a limited-slip differential that helps the rear suspension deliver maximum torque and traction better and longer under track conditions.
- Launch control: A new launch control system lets drivers set the desired launch rpm depending on tire temperature, street surface or other conditions. SVT’s launch control is integrated with both the engine control and traction control, although it doesn’t appear as sophisticated as the one used on the Camaro ZL1
- Brembo braking system: A new Brembo brake system offers drivers enhanced stopping distances. New six-piston calipers in front along with larger front and rear rotors help improve brake fade. New brake pads that are more aggressive also help the car achieve high deceleration.
The 2013 Shelby GT500 offers two new sets of forged-aluminum wheels including a unique wheel for cars with the optional packages. The 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are coupled with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 tires on all vehicle configurations.
Available as part of the optional Performance Package, Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers are controlled by a button on the instrument panel. Normal mode gives what’s said to be a more comfortable ride over rough pavement. Sport mode is a performance calibration, delivering improved response time on the track it’s claimed and less body roll while cornering and pitch under braking.