Six hundred and fifty horsepower. Six hundred pound-feet of torque. Over 200 miles per hour. With specs like these, you don’t need long-form introductions. This is the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, and all we can say is, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has officially been put on notice.
The heart of the new Ford stunner is a 5.8-liter, aluminum-block V8, complete with a larger, more efficient supercharger. Nearly the entire powertrain has been upgraded for 2013, including a new cross-drilled block and heads, updated camshaft profiles, a carbon fiber driveshaft and upgraded clutch, transmission and axle. The cooling system has also been upgraded, and the new six-speed manual transmission now has a final drive ratio of 3.31-to-1 – optimized to handle the massive amounts of torque put down by the new engine.
Further enhancements can be had in the GT500 Performance Pack, which incorporates SVT-designed Blistein electronic adjustable dampers with ‘normal’ and ‘sport’ modes and a Torsen limited-slip differential. What’s more, the Track Package adds an external engine oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler. Like the current GT500, 19-inch wheels are standard up front (20-inch rollers are found out back) and a Brembo braking system keeps everything in check when its time to control all that force. The whole package weighs in at just 3,850 pounds – 270 less than the Camaro ZL1 – and Ford says it will not be subject to the dreaded Gas Guzzler Tax.
Visually, not too much has changed from the current GT500, save some minor aerodynamic tweaks like an ever-so-slightly revised front fascia with new air splitters, as well as a minimally tweaked rear end. Inside, it’s the same levels of comfort and refinement that you’ll find in the rest of the Mustang lineup, albeit with new Recaro front buckets.
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