Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2013

September 9, 2013
By

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015

Excuse me while I try to maneuver my spleen back into its proper position.

Certainly, there are few road-legal instruments as capable as the 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 of rearranging your internal anatomy.

But this is one procedure you don’t want to be anesthetized for. Frankly, it wouldn’t matter if you were. If this powertrain isn’t capable of waking you up, don’t worry: You’re already dead.

To order your new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 rival with a brand new 5.8L V8 Supercharger engine for only US$23,000.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015

When you see the numbers “662” and “631” filling the horsepower and torque boxes of a car’s specification sheet, you expect an NHRA-like acceleration curve. This is an interesting car to drive, not least because of its ability to actually slow time down. Without even “trying” to launch the Ford Mustang Shelby, a remotely aggressive step on the throttle from a rolling start—don’t even worry about dropping the clutch or dialing up launch control—and, hey, wait, what the . . . bang, boom, squawk, whooooooooooosh there went your face. Turn around, pick it up, reattach it and do it all over again.

Of course, your acceleration is traction limited in oh, the first two and half gears or so, which means there is skill involved both in exploiting the power to the maximum and keeping the car in one piece, or at least pointing in the proper direction. In a very strange way, the power and torque ratings are so high that the actual experience is a letdown in a kind of demented sense, because of that whole time-slowing phenomenon.

To order your new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 rival with a brand new 5.8L V8 Supercharger engine for only US$23,000.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 front view

The Ford Mustang GT500’s engine and already almost urban-myth of a 200-mph top speed are the main talking points on this car, but it handles aggressive cornering on the street well, though the ride is firm and unforgiving, as it should be. The steering ratio (15.7:1) isn’t quick, but it makes this reasonably hefty monster predictable and easy to control. The hard-shelled Recaro sport seats are the interior’s best feature, though to my fingers the leather used to trim them is not impressively luxurious. They hold you in perfect driving position, however. But I lamented the lack of a telescoping steering wheel repeatedly. I was able to find a good driving position, but could have found a great one if only the wheel extended out rather than simply tilting up and down.

To order your new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 rival with a brand new 5.8L V8 Supercharger engine for only US$23,000.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015

To order your new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 rival with a brand new 5.8L V8 Supercharger engine for only US$23,000.

This car receives an endless number of envious stares. Engines revved at stoplights; it moves car-people to salute you. My biggest disappointment with it is that, after you become accustomed somewhat to its pure performance, it doesn’t boast a lot of features to make me feel like I’m driving something incredibly special. The interior—and no, I wouldn’t buy any sports car based on the interior, but it’s worth mentioning—is basically the standard Ford Mustang Mustang fare, a good amount of hard plastic and average materials and center stack design. It just seems to fall short in what is supposed to be—and is—Ford’s King pony car. It’s a situation analogous to the Corvette ZR1, which essentially comes trimmed not much better than lesser Corvettes. Simply, it’s a letdown. The price tag, of course, makes this easier to swallow.

Another issue I had, and this is probably a personal thing, but the car employs the same audible ding-dong chime as every other Ford product when you open the door with your key in the ignition, etc. I feel a bit silly for even mentioning this, but hearing the same chime repeatedly in the Ford Mustang GT500 as I hear regularly in my friend’s two-year-old Focus was an oddly disconcerting experience, because I associate that sound with many “regular,” run-of-the-mill conveyances. Hearing it in my time with the Ford Mustang Shelby just seemed wrong on every level.

But hey, you can drown it out with one quick tap on the gas.

To order your new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 rival with a brand new 5.8L V8 Supercharger engine for only US$23,000.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 interior

You want to know what’s difficult? Driving this Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 in heavy rain, that’s what. Let me first say that I’m a Mustang fan, and would in almost every case take one over the competing Camaro. Which V6 model? Give me a Mustang. Given the choice between a Ford Mustang GT and Camaro SS? I’ll go with the Ford Mustang GT, thank you very much. However, when it comes to the matchup between the hottest factory-tuned models, I would be going with the Camaro ZL1 over the Shelby GT500.

But without a doubt, there’s a lot to like in the Ford Mustang GT500. The power from the supercharged V8 is incredible. Getting that much scoot for $63,000 seems too good to be true, but here it is in the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Just breathing on the throttle will break the rear tires loose. Unleashing the engine’s full fury requires a dry and straight piece of tarmac in good condition, which is difficult to find around Detroit.

To order your new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 rival with a brand new 5.8L V8 Supercharger engine for only US$23,000.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 dash

However, I did manage to find a couple patches of smooth road during my night. Roll onto the throttle a bit and the speedometer needle will sweep past legal speed limits almost instantly while you get pinned into the Recaro seat. The whine of the supercharger is a pleasing audible tone, and the six-speed manual gearbox offers tight and precise shift action. Brakes are strong—and they need to be.

Around town on reasonably good-condition pavement, the Shelby does well. It’s a stiff ride, which I don’t have a problem with. There’s hardly any lean in curves to speak of, and the steering responds and feels great with nice weight tuned in. But when you encounter bumps mid-corner with the suspension loaded, the rear end gets jumpy for not the most comforting feeling. Even in straights at higher speeds, the rear will dance around when rolling over ruts.

I don’t have too big of an issue with the interior. The optional Recaro seats kept me happy with their great side support, and everything in the interior is of decent quality. Could they have done more to make this super Mustang’s interior feel a bit more special? Sure, I guess so. But I think the feeling drivers experience when they hit the throttle is more than enough. If you do that and are still complaining about the cabin surroundings and audible chimes, then I certainly can’t help you.

To order your new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 rival with a brand new 5.8L V8 Supercharger engine for only US$23,000.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 engine

This car is quite an achievement from a performance standpoint. It’s so pure and unapologetic, and that’s something I respect. If my performance-driving preference veered more toward drag racing, I would be all about this car. But I’m always going to spend my spare time at a road course and not a drag strip, which is why I would take a Camaro ZL1 over the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. The independent rear suspension and magnetic dampers are too much to overlook for me.

The 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is the new bang-for-buck king. At $63,080, that’s about $10k per 100 horses. If someone can find cheaper speed that that, please let me know because I’ll buy it.

The exterior of the Shelby is ominous at worst and straight evil at best. The dark wheels, dark taillight covers and open grille all say hoon to me. I’m not sure about the rear spoiler though—it’s too long and has too much angle. I’m assuming it’s all for high-speed stability, but I’d order the Ford Mustang GT spoiler if possible, or no spoiler at all. I do appreciate the extra strip of black plastic with a tiny lip on the back. It probably added a few extra pounds of downforce. I like that commitment to speed.

The Recaro seats are spectacular, and held me in place securely around cloverleaf entrances on the expressway and other high-g maneuvers. The golf ball-sized shifter falls right in hand and has a nice, short throw. Some might call it notchy, but I enjoy a little click that lets me know I’m fully in gear. I do like the suede inserts on the steering wheel; I just wish it were all suede, instead of multi-surface.

Alright, the engine in the Ford Mustang GT500 has a slight, subtle whistle at low speeds, which just gets the driver excited for the upcoming ride. Stab the pedal in first, second or third and keep a steady hand on the wheel, because traction will be lost. Last night’s drizzle had me being extra careful.

The traction-control system is fully defeatable, allowing drivers to toast the tires at any time. It does have a sport mode, though I didn’t get to use it much. On the track, it would probably be the go-to setup. I also didn’t use the launch control—not because I didn’t try, but I just couldn’t figure out how to work it.

I’ll end with a little ratio talk. Each horse in the Ford Mustang GT500 has 5.8 pounds to lug around. By comparison, the Chevy Camaro ZL1 comes in at 7.1 pounds, making the Ford a better bang for your buck.

To order your new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2015 rival with a brand new 5.8L V8 Supercharger engine for only US$23,000.

2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Base Price: $54,995

As-Tested Price: $63,080

Drivetrain: 5.8-liter supercharged V8; RWD, six-speed manual

Output: 662 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 631 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,852 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 18/15.1 mpg

Options: Equipment group 821A SVT performance package including Torsen differential, 19-inch painted forged-aluminum front wheels, 20-inch painted forged-aluminum rear wheels, Bilstein adjustable dampers, unique rear springs ($3,495); Ford Mustang SVT track package including external engine oil cooler, differential cooler with pump, transmission cooler with pump ($2,995); Recaro leather-trimmed sport seats ($1,595)

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Aggregate Rating
4 based on 15 votes
Brand Name
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2013 Rival
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Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2013 rival with a brand new 5.8L V8 Supercharger engine for only US$23,000.
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USD $23,000
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