While Carroll Shelby is no longer with us, the cars that bear his name will forever be high points of the car culture. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed every Shelby we’ve gotten our hands on over the last three decades, and by now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the latest… the 662-horsepower Shelby GT500 mustang, so without further ado, it’s time to let it loose!
It’s clear to us that the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, and its 662-horsepower, is a rapid response to the recently launched 580-horsepower Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Take that, Bowtie Boys! And while they are hard at work searching for some more horsepower, we’ll take this Blue Oval Shelby Mustang to the track to see what it’ll do!
Burnouts are fun, but they don’t help lower ¼ mile times. Fortunately, the GT500 comes with launch control to help, and it’s even programmable, so you can dial in the perfect setting depending on track conditions, or whether you’ve got slicks or streets in the rear. With the stock tires in place, and a launch RPM of 25-hundred dialed in, we still struggled to get traction off the line. But, get everything right and you’ll see 0 to 60 rocket past in 3.5 seconds, and the ¼ mile vanished in 11.7 seconds at 126 miles per hour. Both times about a half second faster than the ZL1. Through 2nd gear and into 3rd, the engine pulls strong, and the shifter has a super-mechanical feel with nice, short throws; but you can call us crazy we still prefer the BOSS 302’s shifter. No automatic is available. This is the first Mustang with a claimed top speed of over 200 miles per hour and its one insane thrill ride!
But, on the street the Shelby can be a little too much of a thrill ride, with so much horsepower on tap, accompanied by a stiff suspension and super grippy tires, you’d better be on your game. The front suspension combines MacPherson struts with “reverse-L” lower control arms, and in back you’ll find a 3-link solid axle with coil springs. Opt for the SVT Performance Package and the suspension gets new Bilstein Electronically Selectable dampers. Braking also gets updated with Brembo 15-inch rotors and 6-piston calipers up front. It took only 110 feet to woah this overgrown pony to a halt. Even people that don’t know Mustangs can sense that this car is truly something special.
With the “piece de resistance” under the hood. A 5.8-liter supercharged chunk of reciprocating aluminum that pumps out 631-pound feet of torque to go along with the 662-horsepower. You’ll run out of adjectives long before this engine runs out of steam. Room is tight, so expect a few scraped knuckles if you plan on doing anything in here, and the sound is simply incredible.
The inside of the Shelby is pretty tight too where the Mustang’s coupe comfy interior remains mostly unchanged, save for some awesome leather Recaro’s with white stripes, a cool cueball shifter, and special SVT 20th anniversary lighted door sills. Rear seat time is best kept to a minimum.
The exterior mods are much more extensive, and this beast certainly looks tough as nails. The front end is wide open and ready to suck in as much air as it can, to feed the monster block under the heavily domed hood. Wheels are forged 19’s in front and 20’s in the rear, wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G’s and between them, Shelby GT500 rocker stripes are proudly displayed. In back, there’s a large spoiler and of course sequential LED tail lights up top, while down below lies big, quad stainless steel exhaust tips.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings however, are far from incredible, but not as bad as you might expect - 15-City and 24-Highway. We used a little bit of restraint to manage 19.9 miles per gallon of Premium in mixed driving. Still the Energy Impact Score is below average with annual oil consumption of 18.3-barrels of oil and yearly CO2 emissions of 8.2-tons. Now all of this performance for a price of just $54,995 seems a little unbelievable, but we’re not complaining. And even if you add all of the additional goodies you won’t be much over 60-grand.
The cool part about our jobs is that we get to drive cars like the GT500; the not-so-cool part is that we eventually have to give them back. The 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is clearly one very special Mustang that every member of our staff would love to own. It’s a heart throbbing tribute to one amazing car guy.
Torque: 631 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds
1/4 mile: 11.7 seconds @ 126 mph
EPA: 15 mpg city/ 24 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 18.3 barrels oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 8.2 tons/yr