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Ford Announces Shelby GT500

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Ford has officially announced a brand new Shelby GT500 and I am super excited about it!  The new pony car is set to hit showrooms this fall and will join its sibling, the GT350, an amazing car on its own.  Let me start off by saying that I am not a “Mustang Guy” and am not really a muscle car kind of guy either (I appreciate models here and there but I don’t put myself in either category), but even still I am super excited for this new Mustang and what it should be capable of.  Let’s dive in to the numbers as I’m sure that’s what most car people are here to see.  Ford hasn’t announced the specific details yet but has stated that the car will make more than 700 horses and will do so by starting with a supercharged 5.2-liter aluminum alloy engine built by hand. To keep the intake air cooler and deliver a lower center of gravity, Ford inverted a 2.65-liter roots-type supercharger with air-to-liquid intercooler tucked neatly in the V8 engine valley.  Like Shelby GT350, the aluminum alloy block features weight-saving wire-arc cylinder liners and high-flow aluminum cylinder heads, plus larger forged connecting rods, improved lubrication and cooling passages. Beneath that, a structural oil pan adds strength, reduces vibration, and features a patented active baffle system to keep oil where it’s needed.  This Mustang is full of all sorts of bits harnessed from the Ford GT and Mustang GT4 resulting in the all-new Shelby GT500 being the quickest street-legal Mustang ever.

“With its supercar-level powertrain, the all-new Shelby GT500 takes the sixth-generation Mustang to a performance level once reserved only for exotics,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance vehicle programs. “As a Mustang, it has to be attainable and punch above its weight. To that end, we’ve set a new standard among American performance cars with our most powerful street-legal V8 engine to date, plus the quickest-shifting transmission ever in a Mustang for all-out precision and speed”.

To channel power and torque to the unique carbon fiber driveshaft, Ford Performance leveraged learnings from the tuning of its Ford GT supercar’s dual-clutch transmission.  Ford selected a TREMEC® 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is capable of shifts in under 100 milliseconds – markedly faster than any manual gearbox. This dual-clutch transmission is designed for a number of drive modes, including normal, weather, sport, drag and track, and activates features like line-lock and launch control through selectable Track Apps.  The GT500 will also come with Brembo brakes (massive 16.5-inch (420-millimeter) two-piece rotors with larger, stiffer Brembo six-piston calipers), track-bred Michelin tires, next-generation active MagneRide suspension and optional carbon fiber wheels.

Ford set out to improve this car in many ways over the already capable Ford Mustang GT350, for example the double front grille opening provides 50% more cooling pack airflow as compared to the Shelby GT350.  The cooling is just one of the items on the list as power, braking and handling are all improved as well.  Another major note is aero, “…with the most advanced aero components and downforce we’ve ever offered, every millimeter of Shelby GT500’s fastback design is aimed at improving performance,” said Melvin Betancourt, Ford design manager.  Not only is the design beautiful and menacing as it should be on a car such as this, but it is all functional as well as it channels a design inspired by modern fighter jet aircrafts.  The car’s wider front fenders and stance housing Shelby GT500-specific 20×11-inch wheels proportionally align to its rear fenders that hug up to 20×11.5-inch wheels. A standard new rear spoiler and updated composite materials in the rear diffuser result in added thermal management.

Ford leveraged their motorsports technical center in North Carolina and its wind-shear rolling wind tunnel (where top-tier racing teams test) to perfect the design of the Shelby GT500.  A massive 31×28-inch louvered hood vent features a removable aluminum rain tray for better air extraction and increased downforce.  Honestly it just seems like Ford took the time to just offer more all around in a time when most companies just slap superchargers on their cars to add power but leave everything else lacking upgrades.  This makes me believe that the Shelby GT500 should be not only fast in a straight line but should also perform quite well on the track.  And if nothing else it will look absolutely beautiful whatever it is doing.  I will update you as more information becomes available…

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d.pecenkovic
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Damir Pecenkovic is a passionate car enthusiast, photographer, race car driver, graphic designer, computer nerd, video editor and basketball player all rolled up in to one. Damir is currently the owner of DecalCutter.com and ShutterVelocity.com and is the founder and previous Editor in Chief of Performance Tuner Magazine. Damir currently drives the #19 Mazda MX-5 Miata for Circuit94 Racing. Damir loves to discuss cameras, computers and cars so jump in and join the conversation.

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