LA Auto Show 2011: Ford Announces 2013 Shelby GT500

After the “Terminator” Cobra was discontinued when its platform was replaced for the 2005 model year, a gap was left in Ford’s Mustang lineup.  Starting with model year 2007, Ford’s Special Vehicles Team (SVT) began building the Shelby GT500.  Based on a Ford Mustang, but tweaked from hood to rear spoiler, the GT500 has held the spot of top factory Mustang.  At the LA Auto Show this month, Ford pulled the wraps off of the 2013 Shelby GT500.  Read on for the laundry list of tweaks Ford’s engineers made, as well as the official press release.

While the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will have 580 horsepower and 556 ft-lbs of torque from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8, the new GT500 will feature a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 putting out a whopping 650 horsepower and 600 ft-lbs of torque.  That’s alot of power to put to the ground, so a revised suspension and stickier tires were called for.  Pulling that duty will be optional electronically-adjustable Bilstein shocks and Goodyear Eagle® F1 SuperCar G: 2 tires, respectively.  A button on the dash is used to select between Normal and Sport suspension modes, the former for street use, the latter for track use.

The rest of the drivetrain needed to be modified as well, from the gearing in the transmission to the Torsen limited-slip differential.  Extra cooling was added to keep engine temperatures down, including a larger fan, fan shroud and intercooler components for the supercharger.  Speaking of the supercharger, it’s a newly-designed 2.3-liter unit from TVS, specifically created for the engine in the 2013 GT500.  Helping get the GT500 up to speed is a new Launch Control system, which takes into account tire temperature, road surface and other variables to help drivers get the most performance out of their cars.  Bringing the GT500 back down from speed is an optional Brembo brake package, including larger front and rear rotors, more aggressive pads, and six-piston calipers up front.

Outside, a new aerodynamics package is good for 200 mph, says Ford.  All these changes will lead to a fast car, both in straight lines and in the twisties, good news for automotive enthusiasts.  Ford has yet to announce when the 2013 Shelby GT500 will go on sale, but I’d bet we’ll see it in showrooms sometime in Spring 2012.  Check out the gallery in the mean time for a preview.

by John Suit

Source: Ford

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