Ford’s Shelby GT500 Mustang has always been a mover and a shaker; even more so in the coming year. The 2013 model year GT500 has been SAE-Certified at 662 Horsepower and 631 lb.-ft. of torque. That makes it the most powerful production V8 engine in the world. Better yet, almost every vehicle system in the car has been optimized including powertrain, brakes, gearing and suspension. With an estimated top speed of more than 200 mph, the 2013 Shelby GT500 is sure to leave an impression on those lucky few who get to spend time behind the wheel.
- SAE-Certified at 662 Horsepower and 631 lb.-ft. of torque
- Top Speed of 200+ mph
- Nearly every vehicle system has been optimized including powertrain, brakes, gearing and suspension
- New downforce- generating front grilles, aggressive splitter, new quad exhaust system and two new forged-aluminum wheels
- Optional Performance Package with SVT-designed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers and a Torsen limited-slip differential. The offering can be coupled with a track package for all-out racetrack performance
Tweaked for Performance
That said, the GT500 is sure to ignite excitement out on the track. With a top speed of more than 200 mph, it’s fast. “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.”
Other elements of the GT500 have also been modified for the 2013 model year. For instance, 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.
Engineers also worked to revise the GT500’s torque management in a way that makes the car more driver-friendly. Ford says engineers considered more than 35 gearing combinations, finally deciding on one that balanced torque being transmitted all the way through the wheels and grip to the ground. The final drive ratio is now 3.31:1 for optimized overall vehicle gearing. Every gear, with the exception of fourth, was optimized for competing performance metrics. The clutch has increased torque and rpm capacity and uses a dual-disc design.
Traction Management Improvements
- Torsen limited-slip differential: When customers order the optional Performance Package, they will get a Torsen limited-slip differential that helps the rear suspension deliver maximum torque and traction better and longer under track conditions
- Launch control: A new launch control system lets drivers set the desired launch rpm depending on tire temperature, street surface or other conditions. Unique to SVT’s launch control is that it is integrated with both the engine control and traction control
- Brembo braking system: A new Brembo brake system offers drivers enhanced stopping power to help keep their car under control, both on the road and the track. New six-piston calipers in front along with larger front and rear rotors help improve brake fade. New brake pads that are more aggressive also help the car achieve high deceleration and further robustness for more driver confidence
Of note, the 2013 GT500 Mustang will continue to be exempt from a gas-guzzler tax.
Exterior Refinements For the Sake of Performance
The car also features 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 come equipped with Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G: 2 tires on all vehicle configurations.
Suspension Improvements and Optional Packages
“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.”
Driver’s looking for even more performance can opt for the optional SVT Performance Package. Slightly revised for the 2013 model year, this package comes with SVT-designed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers accessible from the dash with a 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.”
The 2013 GT500 also comes with an optional Track Package for what Ford calls “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.
2013 GT500 Mustang Pricing and Availability
The GT500's main competition is the recently released 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1. The car will produce approximately 580 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque thanks to its supercharged 6.2L engine. We're talking zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 184 mph. It will be available in either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Camaro ZL1 coupe is said to cost $54,995. It will go on sale in the spring of 2012, as a 2012 model. The Camaro ZL1 Convertible will go on sale in the summer of 2012, as a 2013 model.
Source: Ford Motor Company