2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 08, 2012
FAST FACTS
  • New supercharged V-8 engine good for claimed 200-mph top speed
  • Upgraded drivetrain, suspension, steering and braking components
  • New performance-enhancing option packages
  • Updated styling and wheel designs

Introduction

Stuff a 662-horsepower, supercharged, 5.8-liter V-8 engine under the hood of a 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, and you've got a car equipped with the most powerful regular production V-8 engine in the world, according to Ford.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is equipped with substantially upgraded mechanicals, but it looks similar to last year's model. An aluminum hood covers the new supercharged engine, while the revised grille and new front splitter are designed to give the Shelby GT500 additional downforce, leading to greater stability at higher speeds. The car is also equipped with a new quad exhaust system and new forged aluminum wheels.

Interior Features

Leather seats with Alcantara inserts and racing stripes are standard on the new Shelby GT500, and the driver grips a leather-and-Alcantara steering wheel rim. Unique gauges, aluminum pedals, and a short-throw shifter with a cue ball-style shift knob are also standard on the Shelby GT500.

Optional Features

Though the new Mustang Shelby GT500's base price is just under $55,000, Ford offers several options on this model. Recaro sport seats, navigation system, premium Shaker Plus audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a panoramic glass roof are a few of the options available on the GT500.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Shelby GT500 is equipped with a supercharged, 5.8-liter V-8 engine developing 662 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 631 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,250 rpm. According to Ford, this is the most powerful production V-8 engine in the world, one that will get the GT500 to a top speed of 200 mph.

A 6-speed manual gearbox with a 3.31:1 final drive ratio delivers all that power to the rear wheels through a carbon-fiber driveshaft. A standard launch control system helps to ensure that the Shelby GT500 gets off the line as quickly as possible, while a special performance-tuned version of AdvanceTrac stability control provides a greater handling limit, Ford says. Sizable 14-inch ventilated Brembo front brakes clamped by 6-piston calipers improve the Shelby GT500's stopping capability.

To improve grip and handling, Ford offers an optional Performance package for the new Shelby GT500, which adds a limited-slip differential and Bilstein electronic dampers. An optional Track package includes an external engine oil cooler, rear differential cooler, and transmission cooler.

Fuel Economy

Official EPA fuel-economy figures are not finalized as this preview is published, but Ford says the 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 will not be assessed a gas-guzzler tax.

Safety

The Mustang Shelby GT500 does not have side curtain air bags, but it does come with dual front and dual side-impact air bags. Additionally, a 4-wheel-disc anti-lock braking system and AdvanceTrac traction and stability control are standard, along with MyKey technology which allows the owner to program speed warnings and limits, among other things.

The more powerful 2013 Shelby GT500 is structurally identical to the 2013 Mustang models, the coupe version of which receives an overall 4-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2013 Mustang coupe receives "Good" ratings for frontal- and rear-impact injury prevention, and an "Acceptable" rating for side-impact protection. The Mustang convertible receives a "Good" rating in all parameters. Roof-strength tests have not been performed on the Mustang.
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