Shelby and SVT Create the Most Powerful Production Mustang
The collaboration between Shelby and Ford`s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) is yielding an instant collector`s Ford Shelby GT500 that builds 475 horsepower in its 5.4-liter supercharged V-8.
True to the original GT500, it will be available both as a coupe and as a convertible when it goes on sale in the summer of 2006.
"It`s one thing to put 450 horsepower in an exotic supercar," says Shelby. "It`s another to put that much power in something as affordable as a Mustang. The fact that they not only met their goal but pushed on to 475 horsepower is a remarkable achievement."
As expected of anything with Shelby`s name on it, the heart of the car is what`s under the hood. The Ford Shelby GT500`s supercharged 5.4-liter, 32-valve V-8 evolves from Ford`s experience with tuning its modular, or MOD, engines. Output is a brawny 475 horsepower.
The engine is force-fed an air-and-fuel mixture via a "Roots-type" supercharger providing 8.5 pounds per square inch of boost. The Ford Shelby GT500 uses a cast-iron engine block. It borrows from the Ford GT program aluminum, four-valve cylinder heads, piston rings and bearings, adding a high level of performance durability to the drivetrain. "Powered by SVT" camshaft covers add the finishing touch to the engine.
Helping put the power to the pavement is a 6-speed manual gearbox. For the performance driver, its evenly spaced gears mean less "stirring" is needed to find the "sweet spot." This gives a rewarding experience throughout the engine`s broad torque curve. The heavy-duty transmission has proven itself a willing companion to Mustangs in both road and track environments, including recent road-going Mustang Cobras and the new race-winning Mustang FR500C.
Power Requires Control
The Ford Shelby GT500 continues a legacy of all-around performance that made the original a world-class racer on tracks and road courses around the world.
The Ford Shelby GT500 starts with the solid Mustang underpinnings. The all-new Mustang was designed from the beginning with performance derivatives in mind, providing an exceptionally rigid, well-engineered starting point for GT500 chassis engineers.
SVT engineers retuned and upgraded key chassis components. Improvements such as revised shocks, spring rates and upgraded stabilizer bars help the Ford Shelby GT500 stop and turn with the same authority as it goes.
The Snake is Back
One glance shows this is not the typical Mustang Cobra. A sinister-looking front-end design includes wide upper and lower fascia openings with a functional air splitter. The upper intake sports the famous Cobra logo floating off-center in place of a centered galloping pony found on other Mustangs. On either side, slanting headlamp openings add to the dramatic front appearance.
The "GT500" script emblazoned on the gas cap emblem is joined by an updated version of Shelby`s classic Cobra logo that is repeated on the grille and the headrest.
The bulging hood has heat extractors protruding near the leading edge, combining to provide improved airflow and aerodynamics. As air passes over the hood, hot air from the engine compartment is drawn out through ducts attached to the hood extractors.
Inside, too, upgraded levels of flair and function abound. The locations of the speedometer and the tachometer are swapped to provide performance-oriented drivers with a better view of shift points while changing gears. Front seats have received additional lateral support to help keep the driver optimally positioned during cornering. The interior is offered in a choice of two colors, Charcoal Black or Charcoal Black and Crimson Red. The charcoal/red offering features Crimson Red seating surfaces and door panel inserts. Seating surfaces are leather with both interior treatments. Snake logos embossed in the seat backs finish the package.
The Ford Shelby GT500 will be built at the Ford-Mazda joint venture, AutoAlliance International, in Flat Rock, Michigan.
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