The ultimate Ford Mustang - Shelby GT500 - raises the bar high on performance with the introduction of the new 2013 model that goes on sale next year delivering 650 horsepower and a top speed of more than 200 mph.
"SVT keeps the Shelby GT500 on the cutting edge of technology and takes muscle car performance to new heights," said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development. "We encapsulated every aspect of performance in this car - whether it's 0-60, top speed, racetrack or quarter-mile times. Beyond that, the daily driver also will find this car perfectly fits his or her needs."
The 5.8-liter V8 aluminum-block engine produces 650 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful production V8 in the world. The 3,850-pound car also stays exempt from the gas-guzzler tax.
Nearly every part of the powertrain has been optimized for producing the additional horsepower, including a new supercharger, new cross-drilled block and heads, updated camshaft profiles, a new carbon fiber driveshaft and upgraded clutch, transmission and axle.
A larger, more-efficient supercharger flowing more air through the engine is key to helping produce the massive 650 horsepower. The new TVS series 2300 creates 2.3 liters of displacement and is a unique design to the 5.8-liter engine.
The entire cooling system has been significantly updated on the new 5.8-liter engine. It now includes a larger cooling fan, fan shroud with high-speed pressure-relief doors, a more efficient charge air cooler, a higher-flow intercooler pump and an intercooler heat exchanger with volume increased 36 percent.
Nearly every gear on the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was revised to manage the torque and use more of the power in a way that makes it more driver-friendly. Engineers considered more than 35 gearing combinations, finally deciding on one that delivers less torque all the way through the wheels to the ground and still enables the car to achieve fuel economy targets.
A key piece of the driveline, the six-speed manual transmission, offers upgraded gears, bearings and housing so it can properly manage the torque. The final drive ratio is now 3.31:1 for optimized overall vehicle gearing to complement the massive torque. Every gear besides fourth was optimized for competing performance metrics. The clutch has increased torque and rpm capacity and uses a dual-disc design.
"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."
Other keys for improved traction management include:
Significant aerodynamic work was done on the new Shelby GT500 to ensure the car has proper downforce for optimum performance at all speeds. Engineers were able to determine how to harness the air that was moving around and through the car to improve the cooling system, maximize downforce and minimize drag.
The front fascia and splitters were modified to handle the extreme loads at 200 mph, resulting in a car that tracks more securely and feels more planted to the road at higher speeds. It offers 33 percent more effective aero loading at 160 mph compared to the 2011 model.
The new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's driving dynamics have been improved, now working in concert with all the new content on the car.
Handling, all AdvanceTrac settings and steering assist levels within selectable steering have been tuned to account for the updated content. The previously available unique traction control system and electronic stability control settings help drivers achieve maximum performance on both the street and the track.
Both systems can be completely disabled in controlled track situations where maximum driver skill is utilized, or fully engaged for maximum safety during normal driving or in less-than-ideal traction conditions. Intermediate sport mode allows drivers to push their cars hard at the track without completely disabling the safety systems, permitting more aggressive driving before the traction control and electronic stability control intervene.
"We took a completely different approach with this car so drivers can choose their settings instead of a computer making the selection," Hameedi said. "Nearly every system the driver interacts with can be tailored to his or her situation including the Bilstein electronic adjustable suspension, launch control, AdvanceTrac and steering assist levels."
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.
Taking it one step further
Sometimes Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 customers want to enjoy their car on surface streets. Other times they just want to let loose on the track. Two new optional packages on the 2013 model give them the choice.
Available as part of the optional Performance Package, SVT-designed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers are accessed on the dash with a simple push of a button. Normal mode gives customers a more comfortable ride over road irregularities. Sport mode is all about performance, delivering improved response time on the track and less body roll while cornering and pitch under braking. The Torsen limited-slip differential also comes with the Performance Package.
"The adjustable shocks let us develop our car on the track without any compromise," said Kerry Baldori, Ford SVT Global Performance Vehicles chief engineer. "Before, we had to tune the car with street implications in mind. Now we can go as extreme as we want on the track setting and still offer the customer a comfortable ride on the road."
Enthusiasts can upgrade their Performance Package with an additional Track Package for all-out performance. The option comes with an external engine oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler for further durability. The coolers play an essential role in preventing crucial components from overheating under high-speed conditions.
The 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will be built at AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.
Friends of Carroll Shelby, including Ford Motor Company, Shelby American, Ford Racing and many others have built a unique 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra as a tribute to the late Carroll Shelby.
Ford is also announcing a renamed road at its Product Development Center in Dearborn, Mich., as a tribute to Shelby as well. Cobra has been the consistent performance label as Shelby worked with Ford for most of the last 60 years, and Shelby was instrumental in the creation of Ford performance vehicles including Cobras, the GT40 and Mustangs since the mid-1960s.
The unique tribute car was unveiled by Ford Motor Company board member Edsel Ford II, Ford's group vice president for sales and marketing Jim Farley, and Shelby American president John Luft at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion where Cobra is the marque of show for 2012.
"Even at 89 years of age, Carroll was an inspiration to us all," says Farley. "This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Shelby Cobra. The one-off car we have created represents the very idea he had about making the 2013 Shelby GT500 into a true Cobra."
Using the 662-horsepower 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 as a foundation, "Friends of Carroll" created the one-of-a-kind 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra wide-body Mustang that now generates more than 850 horsepower with the help of a Ford Racing 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger.
Putting that much power to the ground requires plenty of traction, so the 13-inch-wide rear wheels are wrapped in massive 345-section high-performance tires for extra grip.
Ford Motor Company teamed up with Shelby American for several key components on the Carroll Shelby tribute car. Shelby American provided a specially designed hood, new rear wide-body kit, Shelby Wilwood brakes and new 20x13-inch rear and 20x10-inch front wheels. The bodywork is finished in the same Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White stripes that graced so many of the Cobra roadsters built in the 1960s.
"Carroll Shelby changed the performance world forever," says Luft. "And while he was proud of Shelby American's achievements, Carroll was far more interested in the next car we would build. You will find the spirit and influence of Carroll Shelby in every future vehicle we build just as you'll find it in the rear wide-body kit and hood integrated into the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra."
"You might also know that Carroll was a philanthropist, noted for supporting causes that moved him," adds Farley. "In that spirit, this car will be taken on tour around the country, and hopefully will be used in a special way at the end of its tour - a way Carroll would appreciate."
Before the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra hits the road, it will be shown at the Ford display in the expo area at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.