By on November 27, 2006

07shelbygt500_01.jpgYou know that bumper sticker “He who dies with the most toys wins?” While it might be perfectly at home affixed to the bumper of a BMW M6 or a Lamborghini Gallardo, such a wholesome piece of braggadocio would be hopelessly out of place stuck to the bumper of the thuggish Shelby GT500. A more appropriate piece of signage might be, “My muscle car can beat up your supercar.” If we are being honest, the sticker would read “I did your Mamma and she liked it.” 

From certain angles, a lay person would have no idea that the Shelby GT500 is the most powerful and expensive Mustang ever to scream out of Flat Rock. The obvious tell is the gaped-maw with its deep, parking-block hostile air dam, and the pec implant known as the power dome hood. But the snakes on a ‘Stang are the best giveaway. The Shelby’s sheetmetal is festooned with no less than four cobras. Keen eyes will also clock the goofy-wide 285 tires nestled snugly in front of the rear-diffuser. The ten-spoke 18” wheels are sharply dressed and the blue skunk-stripes sufficiently gauche. The whole package adds up to a life-size Hot Wheel.

07shelbygt500_06.jpgOnce inside, Mustang aficionados will feel right at home, with a few noteworthy exceptions. A giant Cobra hisses humorously from the center of the steering wheel, adding animal animus to the two angry serpents stitched into the hard leather seats. If you have any doubts about the GT500’s patriotic fervor (and why would you?), just set the adjustable gauge colors to red, white and blue. The SVT badge in the center of the tach (switched from left to right for visibility) is the interior’s coolest feature. When you reach your (selectable) shift-point, it glows a fiery orange. Might I suggest 4,300rpm?

So how does a vehicle that lays down 89.999% of its righteous 500 horsepower sound? Like the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse in an echo chamber. How does it feel? Like a head butt. Release the clutch and there is a moment of hesitation, almost as if the rear tires are asking, “You’re not serious?” And then BAM, you’re going 60, then 80, then much faster– until finally you are standing on the perfectly chosen 14” Brembos praying that nothing crosses your path before the speedo is once again displaying double-digits. The insane shrieking from the supercharger and the feeling of certain death from the abysmal suspension setup only makes you pray harder.

07shelbygt500_02.jpgFoMoCo alleges that the Shelby hits 60mph in 4.5 seconds. I wager that you actually hit 60mph in 3.5 seconds. Again, the GT500 seems to muck about for a full second before it decides to go anywhere. Some blame is due to the ridiculously antiquated live rear-axle. Over certain pieces of pavement you are left wondering what happened to the ox. Fault also lies in the fact that 58% of the lardy 3920lbs. ride up front. Unlike the equally unbalanced RS4, there is no German precision engineering holding down the fort. What happens is entirely between you and your right foot.

It’s true: the GT500 isn’t clever, engineered, refined or dignified. It’s just plain old mean. If you were to autopomorphize Jack Lambert, you’d wind up with a GT500, missing teeth and all.  I have never ridden in a cruder modern vehicle. It bangs and lurches and drunkenly slurs all over the road, especially when you are pointed straight ahead. Case in point; the headrests feature more squish than the rest of the seat.

07shelbygt500_04.jpgLuckily, Ford’s go-faster crew have replaced the Mustang’s floppy, last-century five-speed with a short-throw six-speed Tremec device. While it’s a highly effective cog swapper, the gearbox feels as if it were crafted from bone and piano wire. Do I care? Hell no. The GT500 is more exciting to drive than any vehicle in memory. You like cars that wag their tails? Brother, have I got a dog for you! With the traction control (stupidly) switched off and a few degrees dialed into the tiller, you will swear on your mother’s eyes that a ski is mounted east/west where the rear wheels should be. Donuts? I was doing éclairs. They were delicious.

At heart Shelby’s GT500 is the modern muscle car that pistonheads have been clamoring for since Buick put the GNX out to pasture. Mindless, irresponsible power coupled with antisocial handling equals a big, dumb grin. At just a hair over $40,000 (not counting the well earned, $1300 gas-guzzler fine), the price is right. For what you ask? A two-plus-two that doesn't quite equal four, that can't take down corners with half the grace of cars with half the horsepower, whose engine note signals to anyone within earshot that the GT500's driver is a politically incorrect speed freak whose heart pumps premium unleaded? Yup.

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160 Comments on “Ford Shelby GT500 Review...”


  • avatar
    Arragonis

    “…live rear-axle” *(Snigger)

    But would I if I could, oooh yes.

  • avatar
    chanman

    “Donuts? I was doing éclairs. They were delicious.”

    I vote this the best line in a TTAC review yet!

    Holy crap, 3900+ pounds? Funny, it doesn’ *look* fat. What’s the chassis made out of, lead?

  • avatar
    phil

    this thing sounds like about 7/10 of a viper but with no handling ability whatsoever. maybe a weekend of burnouts and dragstrip runs, but after that what’s the point?

  • avatar

    Some people’s drug of choice is low-end torque, plain and simple. Something in the brain enjoys the simple pleasure of being thrust back into the seat at the whim of one’s right foot. Any skill involved? No. But there’s no skill involved in eating donuts, and people love to eat them.

    Otherwise, there’s little point to the car. A Corvette, down 100 horses but also down over 700 pounds, lists for just $2,000 more and even this difference is largely wiped out when you adjust for feature differences.

    http://www.truedelta.com/prices.php

  • avatar
    Zarba

    I suspect Any numberof tuner shops have a suspension setup for the GT500 already.

  • avatar
    carguy

    With an Aluminum block and IRS this really could have been a contender. But all is forgiven – it sounds great, goes like hell and is a timely reminder that there is still someone at Ford that hasn’t forgotten how to have fun.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Michael,

    “Otherwise, there’s little point to the car. A Corvette, down 100 horses but also down over 700 pounds, lists for just $2,000 more and even this difference is largely wiped out when you adjust for feature differences.”

    Rarely have you ever typed anything so off the mark. You need to think in terms of football. The Corvette doesn’t play the same position.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Are Porsche people working at Ford now? There are already so many variants of the new Mustang, I can’t even keep up.

    Very entertaining review.

  • avatar
    shabster

    Gotta agree with Chanman:

    “Donuts? I was doing éclairs. They were delicious.”

    Great line, nice review.

    Hal.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    Okay, so the Mustang is fun. But it’s so “old school.” This is currently Ford’s most iconic passenger car and yet it’s decidedly neanderthal. Heck, at least the ill-fated Dodge Challenger will have Mercedes suspension bits.

    Why must bean counting always come first at Ford? Why can’t the brand stand for great engineering and forward thinking? Really, what’s so hard about designing a modern Mustang?

  • avatar
    ash78

    Really, what’s so hard about designing a modern Mustang?

    Making the V6 version affordable (and fleet ready). I don’t have the numbers, but based on what I see around town, I’d guess that’s 80% of the unit sales and most of the profits for the entire line. I agree it should have IRS as a bare minimum, but most entry-level “flash over substance” people buying the base model probably don’t even care. The mustangs (1980s+) have always struck me as a bottom-up type design, rather than a top-down. Your average well-off high school chick does not lust after the GT500 and settle for the V6…she wants whatever she can get so she’ll look cool and have a Mustang. Designing to that market means that the upgraded versions are often compromised (parts bin, solid axle, etc). My $0.02 worth of supposition.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Steven,

    Two thoughts

    1) Sometimes fun is enough. In the case of the Shelby, it is more than enough.

    2) Why not steal the chassis from Aston Martin’s V8 and call it a Mustang? You own the damn company?

  • avatar
    penguinpwrdbox

    To me, this is just another sad example of American Engineering. In a world of seemingly endless automotive technology – such as that mentioned in the RS4, the best we here in America can do is still just “fast in a straight line” Greater displacement = fast. We know. We’ve known for almost half a century. In the modern days of automotive engineering, brute force is only appealing to dragsters and your neighbor with the IROC-Z.

    I’m actually offended they had the nerve to associate Carroll Shelby’s name with this thing. Ugh.

  • avatar
    Sid Vicious

    I suppose to Ford it’s very convenient that “Quintessential American Pony/Muscle Car” also means iron block, solid rear axle etc. In other words – cheap.

    There a large pool of buyers out there that still talk about rear axles in terms of “inches” that also feel that there’s no way an axle shaft with CV joints can handle the torque blah blah. Of course, if you’re modding it for strictly 1/4 mile performance, this may make sense.

    Whereas Chevy has continuously (if slowly) evolved the Corvette, Ford seems stuck in the 60’s, putting in just enough “stuff” to meet the minimum legal and social (traction control) requirements.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Some of you are really missing the 500hp for $40,000 part.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    Supercharged 03 Cobra SVTs are capable of fragging IRS diffs at will. With significantly more power on tap, the GT500’s live axle choice is a good one.

    Some of you are really missing the 500hp for $40,000 part.

    Yep. With a 60,000 mile powertrain warranty. Still think they could have included an aluminum block. That 70+ pound weight advantage over the nose would transform it from a one trick drag pony to a sweetheart road car (even more than IRS).

  • avatar
    UnclePete

    It does look cool, but I’ll stick with my ’06 GTO, thanks. Plenty of power (400 hp), IRS, switchable traction control to get your hoon on and an average of $12,000 less to buy. Yes it is bland looking but I prefer stealth.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    The GT500 exemplifies American design and engineering. A whole lot of fast for not a whole lot of dough as long as you go in a straight-line. Do a Google or a Youtube on “Top Gear Mustang” and there is a very good review and fairly honest review of the 2005 Mustang.

    Ford knows exactly what it’s doing with the Mustang although I think they could have done better on the 500 on the suspension bits. Mustang GT’s are fast, cheap and look good. Your average 18-28 year old is the target demographic and it does everything they want for a price they can afford.

    Start adding good engineering, IRS and various computer controls and you may have a great car but you won’t have a Mustang. I’d never buy one, I’m more finesse than brute force but I think Ford knows what it’s doing with this model more than anything else.

  • avatar
    miked

    I’m glad FoMoCo makes this car. This is exactly what American sports cars should be. Who cares if you can barely keep it going straight, this car is about just getting a silly grin every time you step on the gas. I think that more models like this could be used to save Detroit. They should be going back to quintessential American muscle – the stuff they used to be good at.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    The current Mustang has almost identical dimensions to a recent T-Bird, which which was built on a shortened Lincoln LS platform. The T-Bird had IRS.

    Does anybody know if the Mustang is based on a decontented T-Bird platform? If so, would the cost of IRS have been that great?

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    If so, would the cost of IRS have been that great?

    Ford admitted that IRS cost about $1000 on the last-gen Mustang Cobra.

    Developing that IRS to take 500+ lb-ft sledgehammer hits of abuse day in/ day out over 60,000 miles at Ford’s powertrain warranty risk is a different story.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    Remember that the last-generation Cobra was a limited production model, so economies of scale wouldn’t have been so hot. The IRS on the last T-Bird was shared with Lincoln LS and Jag S Type — all of which used fairly performance-oriented V8s.

  • avatar
    penguinpwrdbox

    Am I reading this correctly? Are you guys serious?

    “American Muscle” is a relic from a bygone era. There is no longer a need, or a reason to create gas-guzzling hogs that can’t do anything but go fast in a straight line. These cars have the fit and finish of a lego set. If anyone needed to know why Detroit is in the toilet, you need look no further than this car. The big three continue to churn out the same, rehashed crap they have for 50 years. And then they wonder why they have the problems they do.

    The American consumer doesn’t want this car. $40K for 500hp? Cool. But what the hell can you do with it? Nothing. You can take it to the drag strip. You can wrap it around a telephone pole. You can pay exorbitant insurance premiums. And for what? A Ford?

    in a world of incredible engineering advancement, we’re lauding independant rear suspension? Don’t encourage them…

  • avatar
    1984

    IRS would make a heavy car heavier.

    IRS is not as strong. It could be made strong but that would be even more weight.

    Live axle will hook better in a strait line.

    IRS is expensive.

    The benefits of IRS would make the Mustang handle better but it would never handle as good as a lighter car with IRS so what is the use anyway.

    Mustang is fast, cheap and sharp. Remove those aspects and you find yourself in a superior car but an absolute sales failure. I believe it is called the Pontiac GTO.

  • avatar
    Sid Vicious

    Yeah – So I’m really asking and not trying to be smart: Do Corvette, the Italians or Germans have a problem with grenading rear axles? Or is the cost to get to near “bulletproof” too much?

    I just wonder how the Vette can do it in near this price range. Becasue the tranny is mounted aft?

    Speaking of warranty – even with a solid axle I think that Ford will be replacing a few. At least those on cars that don’t crash into trees the first 1,000 miles.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    penguinpwrdbox,

    The GT500 is hardly “the best we here in America can do” when it comes to precision. The GT500 fills its niche perfectly, but if you want tight handling, just look to the lightweight material intensive, low Cg, front-mid engined Corvette. It had items like magnetorheological adjustable shocks in 2003, 4 years before Audi and Ferrari, among other things.

    The RS4 plays to a different crowd, and for near $80k, it damn well better have “German precision engineering,” ie an intelligent AWD setup “holding down the fort.”

    Jonny sums it up well with the Jack Lambert analogy, but in stock trim, the GT500 barely scratches the surface of what it is capable of. Add a smaller blower pulley (or better yet FRPP’s new 3.3L Whipple supercharger), headers, an ECU reflash, and a pair of drag radials, and you are looking at one of the fastest straight line cars in the country, period….two ton weight be damned. All with no internal engine mods, thanks to the stout factory longblock with forged internals and heads cribbed from the Ford GT supercar.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    1984, I disagree that IRS makes a car heavier. The opposite has historically been the case when IRS is built into the platform rather than added on. Ford clearly could have done the former by using the T-bird platform.

  • avatar
    penguinpwrdbox

    Dr. V,

    I really can’t get behind the ‘Vette either. IMHO, GM is just as guilty as Ford and DCX when it comes to making high displacement junk.

    Yes, the RS4 is twice the price. Bad analogy. I should be shot for that’n.

    For $8K more, you could have a 335i, with twin screws, and be able to take that power ’round a bend without wincing.

    As far as the mods go, if one were seeking to create a purpose-built drag car, this thing is gold. But, how many of us would do that? How many of the millions within Ford’s demographic would have that in mind? I’d say you could count them on one hand.

    By far, the most amusing thing about this whole debacle, is the rediculous commercial with the guy that freights his ‘Stang to Germany because he “couldn’t find a speed limit in America he liked”. What a joke. Bottom line, it’s just more of the same…

  • avatar
    Ar-Pharazon

    RE: ‘the American consumer doesn’t want this car’

    I bet ya a box of eclairs that these babies are already close to being pre-sold out. People bitch about focusing brands and giving people what they want. I guarantee that this car is focused on the target set of people, and giving them just what they want. Don’t really see how any one person here is qualified to speak to what ‘the American consumer’ wants, anyway.

    Carroll Shelby was quite involved in this program, and he gave it his thumbs up. Again . . . speak for yourself, not for others.

    Not only do some folks here want to tell the car companies what they should be doing, then now want to tell the whole American public what they should be wanting. Thanks, but no thanks.

  • avatar
    1984

    Steven T

    Historically no RWD vehicles have had an IRS and then been strait up been replaced with a live axle… so I’m not sure how that comparison can be made.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    [Corvette] had items like magnetorheological adjustable shocks in 2003, 4 years before Audi and Ferrari, among other things.

    GM/Delphi supplies Ferrari (and others) with the high-tech mag shocks. They work VERY well, IMO.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    1984, you’ve got it backwards. Consider the previous-generation Mustang, which was built around a live axle but IRS was retrofitted on the Cobras.

    Retrofitting doesn’t maximize IRS’s packaging advantages, which have been used by some manufacturers (including Ford of Europe in the 1980s) to reduce weight without having to go to FWD.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    penguin,

    Your personal bias is showing here. Go drive a new Z06 around a racetrack, down the 1/4 mile, and then on a nice leisurely interstate cruise, and you’ll find it excels at all three, while getting 26+ mpg on the interstate. The Euro snobs are even impressed by its top shelf Nurburgring lap times.

    The 300 horse 335 TT is a nice rapid, refined sedan, but hardly in the performance league of the “high displacement junk” you refer to. I own an E39 M5, and love the car, but like the 335, it is targeted a bit more toward cushy cruising than Vettes, and yes, even the GT500.

    Actually, even the GT500, when driven with judicious use of the throttle instead of in all out attack mode, will corner quite reasonably at 6 or 7/10ths. Granted, it’s not an M3 CSL or a Boxster, but don’t let the fact that it can leave 50 yards of rubber like a circa 1971 musclecar fool you into thinking it corners on its door handles.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    In the GT500’s defense, it handles and brakes better than 99 of 100 cars on the road. It lapped VIR ( http://www.caranddriver.com/features/11755/the-lightning-lap.html) faster than a Nissan 350Z and within one second of BMW’s mighty M6. Come to think of it, the M6 is pretty similar (500hp, 3900 lbs, 2+2). You’d think the M6 would be significantly faster for $63,000 more. AND the M6 has IRS.

  • avatar
    1984

    Steven T

    And the cobra as a car and the rear axle is heavier. I’m not sure what you are trying to say here?

    I have been an ASE technician for several years and have personally removed a variety of rear suspensions. I have not run across a RWD IRS suspension that was lighter than a comparable old diff-and-tube live axle.

    Live axle just has no content.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    The issue with IRS vs a live axle is more one of unsprung mass….though the assembly may be heavier, the IRS’s advantage is that the entire diff doesn’t bounce around, but rather is solidly mounted to the chassis.

    The SN95 IRS is a poor example, having been cost/space engineered into an existing outdated chassis. The new S197 Mustangs have a highly evolved, well located live axle that is superior in straight line traction and quite acceptable over smooth pavement. As Eric pointed out, the GT500 has quite reasonable lap times for a new car in its price range. This car is more than a one trick pony, for sure…..but it’s hard not to fantasize about an Al blocked car with the battery in the back and about 500 lbs less mass to accelerate. That would indeed be one wicked “musclecar.”

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Does anybody know if the Mustang is based on a decontented T-Bird platform? If so, would the cost of IRS have been that great?

    The Jag/LS/Tbird platform modified for Mustang duty was too expensive (DEW-lite) or something like that. Ford took some global Mazda platform to make the S197, probably saved a lot of coin in the process.

    My problem is that the SN-95 Cobra had an IRS, less weight, similar straight line performance and didn’t look like Disco Stu’s replacement for his 1978 King Cobra.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    I took a friend for a ride who had recently replaced his E39 M5 with an RS6.

    He was blown away by how fast the Shelby was. i think his exact comment was, “What Torque!!!” He also couldn’t believe that I had the Nanny on, as the Shelby let’s the rear step out a few feet (and step it will) before it starts interfering. He commented how his German cars shut off the fuel among other unpleasantness during attempted hoonage.

    Not the case in the Shelby, though in a pinch, the traction control will save your bacon.

    Also, forget all this talk about IRS vs. ox-carts — the Shelby GT500 has the most important attribute a car can have. Soul.

    And by the bucket-full, too.

  • avatar
    Jon Furst

    I’m sure this car will sell as much as Ford intended it to, and will make them a tidy profit. If nothing else, everyone’s been talking about this and the Shelby GT-H in the last few months.

    And let’s face it, the people pining for an IRS in this car would be no closer to buying it if it were so-equipped. I wouldn’t pay $40k for a Mustang if I won the lottery, but I get that people are going to like this car.

    I don’t necessarily agree with Lieberman that the Corvette and the Shelby GT500 are playing different positions. Both of them are pretty likely to be garage queens.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    The Shelby GT500 has the most important attribute a car can have. Soul.

    Great point.

    Soul, and an intoxicating American exhaust note.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    The Ford Mustang has thrived for over 40 years on a very simple formula. Big horsepower, good looks and easy on the wallet. Any time Ford has messed with this formula, the results have been disappointing (Mustang II, Mustang SVO for a couple of examples).

    Ford has offered us more “modern” takes on performance (SVT Contour and Focus, Probe, T-Bird) and none have resonated with consumers like the `Stang.

    Does anyone complain that a Jeep remains a Jeep or that Porsche keeps the basics of the 911 the same?

    The Shelby Cobra keeps true to the formula (looks hot, goes like stink and gives you 500 iron-fortified ponies for $40K).

    If you want a all-wheel driven, independently suspended, turbocharged, aluminumed performance car, there’s plenty of other choices out there.

    The Mustang stays true to itself and it will thrive as long as it continues to do so.

    If it Ain’t Broke…

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Eric Miller,

    you cannot hear the exhaust note over the shrieking madness of the blower.

    Though… I’m sure anyone outside the vehicle will get an earful.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    “The American consumer doesn’t want this car. $40K for 500hp? Cool. But what the hell can you do with it? Nothing. You can take it to the drag strip. You can wrap it around a telephone pole. You can pay exorbitant insurance premiums. And for what? A Ford?”

    You’re kidding, right? When I read the article and the price quoted was the MSRP, I chuckled to myself. These cars are selling in the mid $50K’s not a little over $40k. Dealers were auctioning off these cars as soon as they knew how many they were getting. While the mark up wasn’t as high as the mark up on a Ford GT (Over 100%), it was still 30% to 50% over MSRP. I’m sure Ford will have no trouble selling every Shelby GT500 it wants to make for several years to come. It will be the status symbol that Mustang junkies lust after like previous generation Cobra and Saleen Mustangs.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    You cannot hear the exhaust note over the shrieking madness of the blower.

    Drive the convertible version and you can hear more of the exhaust and less of the blower.

    Porsche keeps the basics of the 911 the same

    Yeah, except for the air cooled thing. And the weight. Oh, and the nannies. But otherwise it’s the same.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    I drove the convertible version.

    No thank you.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Any time Ford has messed with this formula, the results have been disappointing (Mustang II, Mustang SVO for a couple of examples).

    Except the Mustang II sold well, especially in the first year.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Steven T.:
    November 27th, 2006 at 11:38 am

    Why must bean counting always come first at Ford? Why can’t the brand stand for great engineering and forward thinking? Really, what’s so hard about designing a modern Mustang?

    This is so on-the-mark! Anything that looks like a Mustang just makes me yawn. Even my Prius is more shapely! Er…okay, maybe not.

    Anyhow, I’ve always preferred my sports cars with sleeker lines and sexier curves…as it where. The ‘stang is just..boxy looking to my eyes.

    And all strapped in, I’ve never felt secure inside one.

    Finally, I don’t eat donuts or eclairs, thanks. Too much sugar in the food, and the line, but I’ll forgive you on that one. :)

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    ZoomZoom,

    I don’t think the Shelby is aimed at Prius drivers.

  • avatar
    cretinx

    It should be noted that the solid rear axle is actually beneficial to straight line acceleration – hence why the Camaro Z28 with the LS1 is faster than a Vette at the quarter mile, despite weighing more.

    Ford kept the solid rear because die hard Mustang fans were complaining that an independent rear would hinder it at the dragstrip.

  • avatar
    Alex Rashev

    This is awesome. Great review.
    Anyone who argues against classic american muscle should test-drive one. No handling and sophistication in the world is worth the feeling of driving a rabid hurricane on steriods.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    cretnix,

    That is NOT why the Shelby has a live-rear.

    It has a live-rear because underneath the snakes is a $17,000 rental convertible.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Jonny,

    There are about eleventy billion Mustang quarter milers who would disagree with you on that one. Live axle is cost effecitve, sure, but the legions of complainers when the axle hopping 99 model came out with IRS were certainly heard by the Ford engineers.

  • avatar
    cretinx

    And that $17,000 rental convertible basis is why the car is so “cheap” – they did discuss going to an IRS with the Cobra but the cost would have been too much, and yes, there was public outcry against it – part of the fun of a muscle car is trying to control it.

    Of course, anybody with a half a brain can hit up the used car lots for a depreciated GT and then go to the aftermarket, and destroy a Shelby for half the price (tires/wheels/suspension/brakes/heads/cams/pipes/blower or a couple of turbos) . . . but you won’t get the street cred or the warranty.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Dr. V8,

    So?

  • avatar
    Ryan

    The GT500 is interesting and all, but I’m more interested to see what comes out as the GT350. Perhaps that’ll be the light(ish), nimble(ish) road racer that many seem to wish the GT500 was.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Jonny,

    So, you’re wrong….that’s all. ;)

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Even as a Euro-snob (Saabs, BMWs, Audis for me….), I love the Mustang convertible. It is pure American power and design, and while not tremendously sophisticated, it is quite competent. I love the Shelby more than the GT but can’t afford the price difference.

    It is what is it, and above all (I love the way Johny phrased this)….it has soul.

  • avatar
    rashakor

    The Shelby and by extension the Mustang are niche cars that please a crowd of entusiasts (a twisted version of the “Less is more motto”; we like crude powerful speed freak machines!!!!). Nothing is wrong with them and the formula that makes them succesful sales is proven.
    Heck they are pure unadulterated ‘Merican rokkits!!!

    The problem with Ford is actually the REST! Please Ford give us as well targeted vehicles in their niche (note that these can include IRS, Alu-blocks and other considered more modern features) than the Shelby and we will buy.

  • avatar
    chaz_233

    As uncle Bob would say, “if you don’t get it, it’s not for you.” Want an unreliable high tech gizmo? The Euros got plenty of those, or you can get the Japanese knock-offs. Quit complaining about the Mustang not being something it’s not meant to be.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Dr. V8,

    The truth Hertz.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Only if the GT500 isn’t in your Budget.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Still, turning a low-rent born-to-be rented V6 into a knuckle-dragging basically super supercar is quite an Enterprise

    (I give up… anyone got something for Avis?)

  • avatar
    Hoosier Red

    I’ll reveal my bias that I drive a Corvette, and if money were no object, I’d drive some really rare, interesting Corvettes. However, I really enjoyed reading that review. Very well written.

  • avatar

    (I give up… anyone got something for Avis?)  Avis you vould stop vit the bad puns.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Remember the Alamo!

  • avatar
    ash78

    Zero to Thrifty in 3.5 seconds.

    I’d buy that for a Dollar.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    Where’s your National pride!? This is an American supercar for those on a Budget!

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Oh, you stole my “Dollar” quip. Drat! :)

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    So how much do they want for a Cobra? Over $40K? Not for the very “Thrifty,” no?

  • avatar

    You know, let’s talk about the weight thing…

    1. First of all, don’t misunderstand me-I like lighter, flickable cars as much if not more than over-muscled bruisers.

    2. But, as often as the car’s weight is mentioned, check the poundage on other current production V8 coupes regardless of price. There’s no shortage of entries over 3600 pounds, and even the M6 with all its tech is nudging two tons.

    Welcome to modern chassis rigidity and crash standards.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Zanary — true, true EXCEPT the Z06 gets her done at a very trim 3,147lbs.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    But the Z06 can’t hold 4 passengers. (not that the back of a Stang or 6 series is much to write home about)

  • avatar

    I’ve just got the keys to a GT500 coupe. Stand by for counterpoint…

  • avatar
    ktm

    I find it funny that the MSRP is just a hair of $40,000. I wish that reviewers would post actual, dealer prices. I fully expect to see $10,000+ mark-ups on these cars. You will never buy this car for MSRP.

    penguinpwrdbox, you can get a 335i for under $40,000 and have 4 doors.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Dr. V8,

    If by hold “hold passenger” you mean like a holding holding cell at a local jail, yeah, the Shelby can do that.

    RF — now we’re talking.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    ktm,

    Would you really be interested in how much a Shelby costs in Los Angeles?

    I think this is more of a region by region issue.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Jonny sums it up well with the Jack Lambert analogy, but in stock trim, the GT500 barely scratches the surface of what it is capable of. Add a smaller blower pulley (or better yet FRPP’s new 3.3L Whipple supercharger), headers, an ECU reflash, and a pair of drag radials, and you are looking at one of the fastest straight line cars in the country, period….two ton weight be damned. All with no internal engine mods, thanks to the stout factory longblock with forged internals and heads cribbed from the Ford GT supercar.

    Kenne Bell is already on it. He just introduced an aftermarket supercharger, and supported only with the addition of cold spark plugs, fuel pump booster, enlarged throttle body and intake netted 810 hp and 745 ft/lbs of torque.

    Aluminum blocks are nice, but can they reliably stand up to this much power? IRS’ are nice, but will they take the repeated abuse of being launched like there’s no tomorrow? I can only think of one IRS setup that could take this much power (Mk IV Supra). Folks who plop down the coin for this kind of car most likely won’t be found cruising the twisty roads. They’ll be prowling stoplights and dragstrips, thumbing their collective noses at ‘refined’ sports cars.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Jonny Lieberman:
    I think this is more of a region by region issue.

    I’ve seen this “regionality” on the markups before…which really doesn’t make much sense, since the value of the markup should never exceed the cost (actual + time) of taking a drive/flight elsewhere to buy the car at a lower price. I’ve seen $5k and $10k differences before–the T-bird comes to mind. In 2004, my father-in-law drove 3 hours and bought one for $8k less than local dealers wanted for it. Greedy fools.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    When the Honda Fit first rolled onto our shores, LA Dealers were tagging it with a $1500 markup.

    San Francisco dealers were asking for $5,000 over MSRP.

    And getting it.

  • avatar
    ktm

    Jonny, if you say MSRP I would be surprised.

    A colleague of mine picked up a 2006 Magnum R/T about 6 months ago. He lives and works around the Lake Elsinore area. When shopping, he really wanted a Magnum SRT-8 and visited his local dealerhip which had one. The dealerhip had a $20,000 markup!

    In 2003, when I first arrived in Irvine, I was in the market for a new car. The Evo VIII, STi and 350z all came out that year. All three cars carried at least a $5,000 markup. Fortunately for me I found a 2003 350z that a dealership that sold it to me at MSRP.

  • avatar
    lzaffuto

    I keep waiting for the inevitable post that “having a live rear axle is the exact same thing as someone putting an upgraded 2mm thicker rear sway bar on a car with an IRS” that seems to pop up in every Mustang thread…

    … Oh darn I guess I did it for them.

  • avatar
    Alex Rashev

    Soooooo, 40 years later, we’re back to 3800lb rigs and ungodly supercharged horsepower.

    So much for complicated new technologies – in the end, primitive brute force still delivers the best bang for the buck.

    God made all essential things simple, and all complex things unnecessary ;)

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    I don’t get this one or the other mentality.

    My friend was asking me which i would rather have, the Shelby or the RS4, price (and imaginary salary) not being an issue.

    I honestly cannot say — I think there’s room in my dream garage for both.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    So how bad was the GT500 convertible?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    As it stands, the GT500 hard-top shakes and shudders constantly — yet it sort of works.

    The convertible was just a mess.

    However, I only had a short test-drive and there were cops everywhere.

    I do remember that it felt horrible around town (whereas the hard-top just feels groggy) but once we opened it up, the whole package seemed to gel.

    Plus it was missing its skunk stripes.

    Hmmm… I’ll see if FoMoCo feels like handing another one over…

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    Sajeev: “The Jag/LS/Tbird platform modified for Mustang duty was too expensive (DEW-lite) or something like that. Ford took some global Mazda platform to make the S197, probably saved a lot of coin in the process.”

    Do you have any more specifics on that? Mazda has a live axle RWD that lent itself to federalization? The Mustang has virtually the same dimensions as the T-bird — why wouldn’t they have taken out some of the goodies and called it a day?

    1984: “I have not run across a RWD IRS suspension that was lighter than a comparable old diff-and-tube live axle.”

    IRS can be more physically compact than a live axle, so if you build a floorpan around it you can save some meaningful space, which can translate into weight savings.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    i suppose as a halo vehicle its OK to do this sort of thing. Everyone seems to be doing it. Damn the torpedos! Full steam ahead!

    Would I own one? It I got one as a gift, i’d drive it for a while, i guess. Then id probably get tired of feeding it.

    Also i get tired of looking constantly in the rear view mirror. This car screams “arrest me”.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The Mustang has virtually the same dimensions as the T-bird — why wouldn’t they have taken out some of the goodies and called it a day?

    I found the info here. Dimensions don’t mean much, that’s just more or less sheetmetal. Its the suspension hard points that matter.

    Its cheaper to reskin a Global Ford/Mazda chassis to fit a live axle than to re-do the Tbird for both a live axle and MacPherson Strut front setup. That chassis was too expensive for an $18,000 car.

    It would be nice to have an optional IRS for the small group of Mustangers who road race (the tooling is right there from the last gen Cobra, which originally came from the 1989 Tbird) but I guess that wasn’t in the cards.

  • avatar
    ash78

    jerseydevil: I’m confused by calling this a halo vehicle…I always associated that with a vehicle that is on the technological/design leading edge, the one that provides guidance to all the company’s other vehicles in a trickle-down fashion–not just the “nicest version of a given vehicle.”

    As I mentioned before, the Mustang is an odd beast because they seem to be forced to design the cheap V6 version (cash cow) and then design upwards around it. Sort of a “reverse halo”?

    I’m not saying it doesn’t work here, but to do it the other way around–design the best sub-$50k muscle car you can, from the ground up–might result in a related low-end vehicle with too high a price, as Sajeev touched on above.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Might as well call it a Halo car. The GT left a few months ago. The Tbird’s long gone. The only car left at Ford that’s close to a Halo vehicle is the Shelby Mustang.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    $10k+ markups and velvet ropes surrounding them on showroom floors=halo vehicle.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Definitely a marketing halo, no doubt.

    I was just taking issue with the R&D side of the moniker. I still just can’t believe they axed the GT.

  • avatar
    Bob W

    It just goes to show how ignorant some folks are..Alot of negative about an extremly positive car.. I sold my Z06 to buy the GT500.. Now that I have it.. I wouldn’t trade it for the world..I would bet that most of these folks don’t have a clue.. Simply because they haven’t driven one. Alot of design went into the car via the SVT team. Could the SVT team done more? Of course.. Should the SVT team done more? NO.. With a few simple mods to boot your blowin past $80k super cars with a smile.. That is if you want too. I just might..

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    So Bob….if you don’t mind divulging….how much over MSRP?

    What year Z06 did you have, and why do you prefer the GT500?

  • avatar
    Jon Furst

    Something tells me Bob found his GT500 and Z06 in the Hot Wheels aisle at Toys R Us.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    Ford isn’t the only manufacturer to build a crappy base model UP into a halo, rather than trickle halo car features DOWN through the rest of the lineup. The alchemists at Subaru and Mitsubishi have performed some pretty impressive junk-into-gold transformations as well. Ford at least had the benefit of starting with some nice looking junk.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    I hope GM is listening, because clearly it’s time to bring back the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. Heavy? Check. Live rear Axle? Check. I guess that’s all we need…

    They could re-release it with 500hp, tack some V emblems on it, and call it the American Dream.

    Scary that a full-size Cadillac from the 80’s weighs a mere 300lbs. more than a Mustang.

  • avatar

    “Zanary — true, true EXCEPT the Z06 gets her done at a very trim 3,147lbs.”

    And holds half the people (as pointed out above), and isn’t starting its existence as a parts-bin compilation…which is how pony cars can exist at or below average new car price.

    The GT500 is a monster version of a pony car. Anyone looking for refinement and gentle touches is woefully ignorant of this market segment.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    they axed the GT?

    really?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    The Ford GT

    Not the Mustang GT

  • avatar
    Jim H

    Good review…I hope it does well in the U.S. but doesn’t dilute the fact that Ford is stuck recreating the wheel. :( If I had 40K to spend on a “fun” car…this isn’t it. Perhaps they are targetting a niche market that most of us aren’t a part of?

    Is the Ford Mustang to sports cars quickly becoming the Harley of motorcycles? Loud, poor engineering (by today’s standards), yet oh-so-marketable?

  • avatar
    Bob W

    Well, I think woefully ignorant is an understatement.. Nicely put though. I paid $14k ADM. My Z06 was a 2001 w/nice performance upgrades.. The reasons I prefer this car are many. Toys R us?? Yeah right.
    As stated before alot of people dont know alot about this car.. for example the GT500 retains the same suspension setup that helped the Ford Racing FR500C win the Grand-Am Cup and claim the manufacturer’s title for Ford. The front features coil over MacPherson struts with revers L lower control arms made of light weight I sectioned steel. Despite the the bigger engine up front the GT500 retains a neutral handling thanks to the stiffer stabalizer bars.. The power of the car is purely raw.. There is no doubt this is the ultimate modern day muscle car.. Definetly harder to drive then my Z06.. Applying some driving skills makes the car more enjoyable to me as well.. This is what mucle cars were meant to be. Thanks to Carroll Shelby and alot of SVT engineers.. I think I smell a little envy in some of these posts.. Probably some poor sap driving a $150k car knowing he’ll be sucking exhaust fumes from the $45k Gt500

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    I could certainly see picking one up below MSRP in a couple of years and putting the 3.3L Whipple on it and running 10s at the strip.

    But paying $60k (including markup) for a car that will be worth $40k in one year just doesn’t make sense to me. Ford is gonna crank out thousands of these bad boys soon, and just like the folks that paid thousands over sticker for their 2006 Z06’s, 1993/1994/2003 SVT Cobras, 1990 ZR-1’s, and 1989 Miatas, they will take a bath.

  • avatar
    Jim H

    How’s the GT500 doing in the obstacle course? What’s the fuel efficiency — no, I don’t care the mpg rating, I mean the efficiency itself (power to mpg)? Is the car fun to drive? And I know it may shock a lot of readers here…but not all of us buy sporty cars to beat anyone who wants to race. If the car is 0 to 60 in 4 seconds…but isn’t fun, what’s the point?

  • avatar
    dean

    What’s really funny is your $45k GT500 AND the $150k exotic will both be sucking fumes from my $4k, 5 year old 600cc sportbike. Up to the ton at least. And I’ll get 30mpg while I’m doing it. I’ll give you the 80-120 top gear roll-on by a wide margin, though. ;) (Although my bike plus another few grand will get me a newer litre-bike that will embarass you right on up to 150+).

    That aside, I think the GT500 does what it intends to do pretty damn well. I’m looking forward to seeing (and hearing) one around these parts. I wish, though, that they would take some of the money spent on all these variations and put it into making the back half of the car look good. I can’t put a finger on it, but in profile the back half just doesn’t work for me.

  • avatar
    Bob W

    I haven’t had the car long enough to take to an obstacle course nor do I plan to.. I will drag in the summer once or twice.. I can tell you the car is extremely fun to drive.. I have never enjoyed driving a car as much as this one.. I’ve owned several hi HP cars.
    This car is a blast. Here’s a link to a test drive by a Britt.. He disses the car but also is grinning ear to ear while doing so..

    http://www.dpccars.com/car-movies/10-26-06page-Ford-Shelby-GT500.htm

  • avatar
    Jim H

    Bob:

    Driving in town is an obstacle course in and of itself (if not grid-locked). My current car isn’t the fastest on the road, nor the flashiest, nor even the meanest, scariest, or most-wanted…but it’s a blast, to me. I don’t call others ignorant for not seeing in it what I do…I simply say they have a different taste in cars than I do.

    Food for thought.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Dean:

    I was running bikes off the road (in a nice way) when I took the GT500 up Angeles Crest.

    Not a single bike passed me. Not one.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Jonny, trying to explain this car to those that don’t get it… is kinda like trying to tell you why pickup trucks are. :)

    I drove this car right after the Z4 M Coupe.. and guess what? I loved ’em both. You know… sometimes you get a craving for thai food, or lovely asian greens, fragrant with herbs and beautifully presented. And other times, nothing will do but a char-broiled, bloody big steak.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    Then sometimes, you crave a cheeseburger from McDonalds.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    phew

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Harvey’s, ok, and Wendy’s maybe. But McDonald’s? Never!

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Whoever wrote, “you either get this or you don’t” is probably exactly right. I don’t get it. I like power, sure, but for $40K, the imports have led me to believe I can get some sophistication at that price level.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    but for $40K, the imports have led me to believe I can get some sophistication at that price level.

    Slow, slow sophistication. :-)

  • avatar
    TriBlack987S

    As much as I have been a Ford fan since high school (the 60’s when most everyone was a Chevy fan) I was disappointed primarily at the almost 4000 lb weight of this ‘Stang. I had seriously considered ordering one prior to that data. A C6 can be had for $39,995 on ad most days. $1500 for a few minimal upgrades will put it in the low 12’s. Then when you drive home through the twisties you have a world class platform to enjoy.

  • avatar
    Bob W

    Thats ironic Triblack, I’ve always been a Chevy guy.. Sold my Z06 for the Shelby.. $1000 in mods.. I’m just as quick as my Z06 was and can throw a kid in the back seat.. Stock runs in the 11’s w/ decent tires. Most guys are running low 12’s stock.. Where can you find a 4 seater like this??????????
    Can you say muscle car? I’m trying to refrain from using the ignorance word again.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    2007 BMW 335i – for about the same money, you get a car nearly as fast, but without all the drama.

    The GT500 is the loud Hawaiian shirt of modern performance cars.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Nearly as fast? I want to know what you are smoking.

    Keep in mind that magazine published times are only the tip of the iceberg for the GT500….it has another 100 HP in it with just the most basic modifications. Granted, the turbocharged 335 is also conservatively tuned, but the GT will destroy the 335 in any kind of acceleration contest if the driver has a clue what he is doing.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    doctorv8: “Nearly as fast? I want to know what you are smoking.”

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FullTests/articleId=117669

    “Consider the facts: This 2007 BMW 335i test car blazed from zero to 60 in 4.8 seconds. BMW says the new coupe mit twin-turbo engine and Steptronic six-speed autobox should make that trip in 5.5 seconds.

    Our 335i similarly scalded the quarter-mile in 13.3 seconds at 105.9 mph.”

    Seems pretty close to GT500 numbers, to me.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    No doubt, that is impressive. But keep in mind that 0-60 times of cars with over 400 HP are pretty meaningless, as the available traction is the dominating issue.

    The trap speed of 105.9 mph in the BMW tells the real story. That is a minimum of 8 full mph slower than the GT500’s most conservative numbers, and like I mentioned, with a pulley and tune, they will trap at 115-118 mph. Either way, even an 8 mph advantage is massive, considered a dominating win in any drag racing discussion.

    Even a below average GT500 driver will run low 13s….the good ones will be in the low 12s, and just minor mods (esp stickier tires) will put them in the 11s. It’s just two different levels of magnitude…a 3.0L six with small, quick reacting (but ultimately flow limited) turbos versus a 5.4L eight with scads of potential, even with the stock blower.

    Just to illustrate the potential…Ford Racing already has a 3.3L Whipple kit for the similarly engined GT supercar, and 800-900 HP is well within the capacity of its airflow. You’ll be seeing plenty of GT500s in the 10s and even 9s soon, and the stock motor is built to handle it.

    Can you put bigger turbos on a 335? Well, of course, with cubic money, anything is possible, but the cost effectiveness just isn’t there.

  • avatar
    Bob W

    apples, and oranges.. Most people wouldn’t even consider these 2 cars are on the same planet.. I think alot of folks just don’t understand the muscle car.. Especially the GT500.. It truely is an amazing car.. I speak from experience..rudiger, try and test drive one.. that is nearly impossible.. that should speak for itself in itself

  • avatar
    dean

    So if 113mph trap at 13 seconds and change is a dominating win over 105mph, then what is 9.92 at 147.4mph? That, my friends, is what those in the biz call an ass-whupping. FYI, those are 1/4 mile results measured by Sport Rider magazine on a bone-stock 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R.

    Jonny, notwithstanding that not a single bike passed you on the Angeles Crest, I stand by my assertion that a modern litre bike will kick the ass of a GT500 to 150mph. I’m talking acceleration here, not a race in the canyon where your average street rider will have his ass handed to him by a competently piloted GT500. Anyone who has ridden knows that rider skill and fear-threshold are much bigger factors on a bike than in a car.

    I’m not trying to crap on the GT500. I’m sure it would be a blast to drive, and for something with four wheels it goes like holy hell. I just gained a different appreciation of “fast” when I started riding a sportbike.

    http://www.sportrider.com/features/146_0406_2004_literbikes_strip/

  • avatar
    rudiger

    doctorv8: “Can you put bigger turbos on a 335? Well, of course, with cubic money, anything is possible, but the cost effectiveness just isn’t there.”

    That largely depends on your definition of cost effectiveness. To me, it’s the resale value of a several year old 335i versus the same model year GT500 at trade-in time. In that regard, considering the real-world performance parameters of both vehicles, the 335i would seem to win the cost effectiveness contest.

    But, by all means, spend thousands more dollars to shave a second off the quarter mile time of a GT500 if you have the cash and inclination. Personally, though, I think it would be much more cost effective to simply unzip and compare.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    rudiger,

    I was talking about cost effectiveness of modifications, not resale or any other metric you choose.

    Let’s leave resale value and any urological inclinations you seem to have out of this….bottom line, you said that the 335 TT is “nearly as fast,” and I call BS on that…as would any other performance nut.

    And as the owner of an E39 M5 as well as 2 Mustangs….most would agree my opinion is unbiased.

    Finally, if you still think the performance of the two cars is close, just add a $500 pair of drag radials to the GT500, and watch the 0-60 time plummet into the low 4s or even high 3s….with a stock motor.

    I will be curious to see if other 335s dyno at 270+ at the wheels as that Edmunds car did. That car is clearly underrated at 300 HP.

  • avatar

    Seems like one hell of a car that only goes one way, straight.

    But whats even better is the review, amazing work Jonny.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Thanks, dude.

    I appreciate it your nice words.

  • avatar
    ronbo456

    Outstanding review.

    About the car itself, someone called it the “Hawaiian shirt” of cars. I think of it as the “blonde bimbo with fake tits” of cars. On the one hand, ick. On the other hand, you have a problem with that?

    Like the Z06, it’s just sick value for the money. And for those with BMW money, why not buy one of each?

  • avatar
    rudiger

    doctorv8,

    My suggestion is that rather than a GT500 (or even a 335i), you purchase a blown, V8-powered, seventies’ Chevy Vega as your daily-driver. The straight-line performance/cost effectiveness of such a vehicle would be outstanding. Quite clearly, your statements indicate this is the perspective and criteria you use in choosing a vehicle.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    rudiger,

    Your proclivity for extremism is mildly entertaining. Nice way of deflecting the fact that your erroneous claim that a 270 rwhp BMW is “nearly as fast” as the GT500 holds about as much credibility as Michael “I’m not a racist” Richards.

    Actually, I do own a twin turbocharged 1991 5.0L Mustang with over 600 rear wheel HP to satisfy my occasional need for straight line speed. But it also has a custom Griggs suspension, 6 forward gears, big brakes with ABS, and a custom black leather interior, so it’s still more than a 1 trick pony. I’m into versatility….schizophrenic dual personality cars get my motor running.

    Oh, and I like to go around corners. Open tracking is my thing…which is why I’d never trade my Z06 for a GT500.

    You clearly need to get off the high horse and actually DRIVE the GT500…preferably one without those hideous stripes….so maybe the Eurocentric goggles will come off and you’ll see that the late model Mustangs are actually quite refined and comfortable, esp at their price point, when not being driven in a Liebermanesque fashion.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    doctorv8,

    Through the years, I’ve driven and owned more than my share of ‘muscle-motor, mini-mind’ hotrods, but like to think I’ve grown out of that adolescent phase of my life, thanks.

    As to the GT500 being ‘refined’, it’s worth noting that it’s really nothing more than a base V6 Mustang with a big engine. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and, likewise, you can’t mask the intrinsic characteristics of a live-axle rear suspension, no matter how hard you try.

    TTAC had a recent article on the latest Impala SS which made the point quite succinctly that the performance parameters of any car are going to be rooted to those of the base version of the same vehicle with the same chassis.

    FWIW, the 335i Car and Driver tested in the November issue did 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. This would seem to corroborate Edmunds’ time, meaning it’s doubtful that the 335i they recently tested was an anomaly, as you seem to suggest by continually bringing up the quoted RWHP figures.

    Sorry if this doesn’t mesh with your line of thought but a GT500 doing 0-60 in 4.5 seconds (Ford’s claim) versus Edmunds’ 335i time of 4.8 seconds does, indeed, make the 335i nearly as fast as the GT500. The reason the GT500 might seem faster than it really is could be there’s a lot more noise and dramatics involved in the process.

    Away from the drag-strip and out in the real world, a difference of 3 tenths of a second to 60 mph is quite miniscule.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    No point in hashing this out with you rudiger, since you clearly either didn’t read or digest my comments about 0-60 times, traction limitations, and quarter mile trap speeds as accurate surrogates of performance.

    I may be able to out sprint Reggie Bush for 10 feet if I’m in Reeboks and he is wearing Cole Haans, but does that make me ‘nearly as fast?’ as him?

    The 335i can only muster 105-106 mph in the quarter mile. The GT500 could do that starting in second gear.

    If life ended at 60 mph, what is the point of gears 3-6??

  • avatar
    rudiger

    doctorv8: “Actually, I do own a twin turbocharged 1991 5.0L Mustang with over 600 rear wheel HP…”

    I’m certain it’s your daily driver, as well.

    I rest my case.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Naw man….it only comes out when the Vega’s in the shop getting it’s 3000 mile fuzzy dice rotation.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Sorry if this doesn’t mesh with your line of thought but a GT500 doing 0-60 in 4.5 seconds (Ford’s claim) versus Edmunds’ 335i time of 4.8 seconds does, indeed, make the 335i nearly as fast as the GT500.

    For someone who has owned “muscle-motor, mini-mind” hotrods before, I thought you’d understand how fast the GT500 would waste the 335i after 5 seconds of full throttle acceleration.

  • avatar
    Bob W

    rudiger, you obviously don’t have a clue. The work and designs that went into the GT500 over a base V6 mustang are huge. One small example is the GT500 retains the same suspension setup that helped the Ford Racing FR500C win the Grand-Am Cup and claim the manufacturer’s title for Ford. The front features coil over MacPherson struts with revers L lower control arms made of light weight I sectioned steel. Despite the the bigger engine up front the GT500 retains a neutral handling thanks to the stiffer stabalizer bars.. The power of the car is purely raw.. There is no doubt this is the ultimate modern day muscle car.. Definetly harder to drive then my Z06.. Applying some driving skills makes the car more enjoyable to me as well.. This is what muscle cars were meant to be. Thanks to Carroll Shelby and alot of SVT engineers.. I think I smell a little envy in some of these posts..
    It’s a modern day muscle car.. If you drive one the way it’s designed to be driven. 9 out of ten guys who appreciate cars will want
    one.. Turn 11’s w/ decent tires.. STOCK..
    The car has the GT40 super car engine.. The block is iron instead of alum w/ a different blower. It’s amazing.. I like the Z06 as well. I sold mine to buy the Shelby and I enjoy the Shelby more..Do some homework before showing how ignorant you are.
    Get a clue!!

  • avatar
    ktm

    doctorv8, why are people comparing a 335i and a GT500 in straight line performance? Let me ask you this, which would you rather drive on a daily basis? Easy answer.

    Which would you rather Auto-X? Easy answer.

    Which would you rather take down a windy canyon road? Easy answer.

    I agree with your position that 1/4-mile times and trap speeds are a better metric for performance comparison.

    The 335i is nearly as quick as the GT500, but not nearly as fast. In every day, real world driving, the car’s performance (in a straight line) are comparable.

    I do not know how tuner friendly the 335i’s engine will be. I know that the old B5 S4’s engine responded amazingly well to a simple chipping. Throw on some upgraded turbos and you had a 450+ FWHP car on your hands.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The GT500 is a latter-day, one-dimensional Hemicuda. If that’s what floats your boat, go for it. A few people bought Dodge Ram SRT-10s, too (and, apparently, continue to buy Vipers). Just don’t delude yourself into thinking you’ve bought a world-class performance car.

    For the money, there are world-class performance cars that the GT500 can easily beat on the dragstrip that I’d rather have.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    ktm,

    It’s rudiger that brought about the assinine 335 comparo….not me.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    doctorv8: It’s rudiger that brought about the assinine 335 comparo….not me.

    True, but you’re the one who first responded (then continued to respond) to the comparison by insisting that the GT500 is vastly superior to the 335i solely because it can outrun it on the dragstrip.

    And it’s spelled ‘asinine’…

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Dude, rudiger….where were you when they taught reading comprehension? NOT ONCE have I ever said the GT is “vastly superior” to the BMW….now repeat after me….

    IT’S

    JUST

    WAYYY

    WAYYY

    FASTER

    Get it?

    PS….I know how to spell asinine…but your comparison was worthy of an, um, more creative interpretation of the word.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Sorry, your vehement, emotional, grammar-challenged defense of the GT500’s acceleration in relation to the 335i implied (to me) that you felt the GT500 was ‘vastly superior’.

    So, if one only had enough money to buy either of the vehicles, which would be the better purchase, a GT500 or 335i, ‘doctor’?

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Grammar challenged….good one!

    I find it interesting that you decided for me that faster=vastly superior in ‘my’ opinion. Just like you decided for me that I drive a drag car to the ‘hospital’ every day where I play a ‘doctor.’ ;-)

    For my 45k, I’d take neither the overweight striped pig nor the displacement challenged Bangle mobile…I’d stick with what I already drive, which it just so happens is worth about the same amount now…a 2003 E39 M5. If I wanted more performance for that price, the only choice would be a C6 Corvette.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Funny you say that — I gave a friend of mine a ride in a the Shelby.

    He just got rid of his E39 M5 and picked up an RS6.

    He simply could not believe how fast the Shelby was.

    It realy is that fast.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Come on, Jonny!

    You must be mistaken.

    Didn’t you hear rudiger telling us the 300 HP 335i is “nearly as fast” as the Shelby?

    ;-)

  • avatar
    Bob W

    Rudiger, finally a notable comp.. “Modern day Hemi Cuda” Good call. Amazingly fast! I keep mine in the garage and drive it on nice days.. It’s a blast. Please keep the BMW where it belongs.. Not on the same page as a muscle car… Cya in my review mirrror!

  • avatar
    rudiger

    It’s hardly a compliment.

    Few people remember that the Hemi cars weren’t built for any direct financial reason but were an indirect marketing effort (through NASCAR) and Hemi-equipped cars sold poorly when new. Only 11,000 Street Hemis were made over a six year period with the best year being 1966 (2729 total Hemi cars built).

    Most performance car buyers needed something a bit more practical and cheaper, even in the musclecar heyday of the sixties, when straight-line performance ruled and any kind of cornering ability was but a vague hope.

    Even Hemi street racing domination of the era is a myth. Hemis were reasonably fast in stock tune on the street, but expensive, and definitely not unbeatable. A much cheaper, more liveable 375hp L78 SS396 Chevelle could beat a stock Hemi from a standing start. Of course, modifying a Hemi would change that, but also make the car virtually undriveable in anything other than a full-throttle drag race.

    Further, magazine reviews of the Hemi cars universally pan the Chrysler E-bodies as the worst driving examples. Hemicudas, like other automotive eye-candy such as the Pantera and Prowler, were a better deal for the people looking at them from the outside than those having to drive them.

    I remember a specific article where various Hemi models were compared and concluded that the best driving Hemi car was a 1968 Roadrunner/automatic (also the best selling individual model), whereas the worst was a 1970 ‘Cuda/4-speed.

    It’s also rarely mentioned that the millions Chrysler spent on producing the E-body for such a limited, poor selling, four-year run likely contributed in taking them to the brink of bankruptcy not too many years later.

    Similiarly, although the approximately 500 1969 Dodge Daytonas sold out quickly, new 1970 Superbirds languished on Plymouth dealer lots, sometimes for years. Ironically, Hemi versions of these two poor selling cars (Superbird and ‘Cuda) now achieve among the highest prices in present day auto auctions, far surpassing the prices of cheaper, faster, more driveable cars of the era. Unfortunately, it’s taken 36 years for that to happen.

    These things should be remembered in considering the statement that the GT500 is a modern-day Hemicuda as praise, since the reality of the entire original Hemicuda ‘experience’ is quite a bit different from the legend.

    As an automotive toy, it’s understandable that some car enthusiasts might consider the Hemicuda (like the GT500) as unparalleled. But, man, those were/are some expensive, impractical, dangerous toys.

  • avatar
    Bob W

    I take it you haven’t driven a GT500..
    As I said before.. Cya in my review mirror!
    Do some home work on the Shelby.. You might learn something

  • avatar
    Bob W

    rudiger if you like I will take the time and post a page of alot of the work, design, and engineering that went into the Shelby.. You seemed to be able to find Cuda history.. take a look for Shelby GT500 engineering..
    It seems that you really dont know.
    Good luck.. I’m serious I will take the time if you can’t find the data and specs that went into the Shelby

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Well, the 2007 GT500 has one thing going for it in comparison to an E-body Hemi car, and that is there are no cheaper L78 Chevelles to compete against it for sales. The playing field was a lot more crowded with cheap, live-axle, musclecars in 1970.

    However, that’s likely to change soon with the imminent return of new versions of the Challenger, Camaro, and GTO.

  • avatar
    Bob W

    Those cars mentioned wont even be on the same playing field as far as quickness and power.. The Shelby is a supercar.. compared with Viper and Z06.. See Decembers motortrend fromt page. The camero, challenger, and GTO will not be classed as supercars..

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Bob,

    The GT500 was really outclassed in that MT cover story shootout. I know you are a fan of the car, but let’s be real….it’s a helluva Mustang, but just not in the league of the other two.

    You can bet that high end versions of the Camaro and Challenger will be out to battle the GT500. An LS7 powered Camaro will be a worthy competitor.

    Unfortunately, the Chrysler isn’t likely to be any lighter than the portly GT500. Hopefully the Camaro will weigh less, but trying to keep the costs down always ends up showing up on the scales.

  • avatar
    Bob W

    Yes your right.. a 4 seater has a tought time against the lighter rockets.. Although I’ve thrown a few small mods on and am just as quick as both now. Not as fast but in the 1/4 mile quicker than the Viper and even with the Z06 times.
    Less than $1000 of simple mods.. Factory warranty still in tact. I’ve owned a Z06 and driven Vipers.. The Shelby is just so impressive for a 4 seater. Just to be in the same league which it is with these small mods.. Have you driven one? An LS7 in a new camero will definetly be a worthy competitor.. Will it run 11’s? No. Probably mid to upper 12’s. The Z06 can barely run upper 11’s. The Shelby’s are running low to mid 12’s stock and with a few simple mods are running Z06 upper 11’s. No way is the new Challenger even going to be close. All though very nice looking and probably a blast to drive 425hp 4,000+lbs it isn’t gonna happen. Food for thought.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    No question in my mind that the GT500 can run with the big dogs in a straight line with just a pulley and a tune (as I mentioned in my retort to rudiger above) but for guys who truly open track their cars, there is no way that the Ford can turn hot laps the way the others do. It’s just not that type of car.

    As far as ET’s go, the new Z06 is not a drag launch friendly car like a stick axle Mustang. Most do run high 11s ( I went 11.8 in mine) but it is purely traction limited. Low 11s and even high 10s are just a pair of drag radials (and some practice) away. You can see this in the mph, where 125+ is the norm, and mild mods push trap speeds up to 130. Keep running in the standing mile, and the Shelby will need a Whipple or KB transplant to have any chance of keeping up with even a stock C6Z06.

  • avatar
    Bob W

    right again.. 180 mph top end for the GT500 brutes.. The GT500 can hold it’s own on the track but with the weight factor on lemans type tracks can’t compete with the C6Z06 or the Viper.. But for the 1st 1/4 mile the car is there w/ vengence.. with room enough for kids in the back.. thats my point. Classic modern muslce car with supercar recognition.. The Vette and Viper are awesome cars.. Just for the Shelby to be able to compete in some areas and even beat them in quickness (straight line) is pretty damn amazing. If I decide to change cars again I will buy another Z06.. The Shelby is funner to drive for me than my Z06 was. It’s pretty damn impressive. I wouldn’t trade for now. Drv8 drive one and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    As soon as I can…I will. I’ve always had a soft spot for V8 Mustangs since I got my 91 LX coupe and proceeded to spend any free time I had modifying it. Taught myself how to throttle steer and heel & toe in it…scoured the internet for cheap used parts…had a blast beating much more expensive iron. Nice to see that for all Ford has done wrong, there are still new V8 Mustangs rumbling off the assembly line.

  • avatar
    P1h3r1e3d13

    edit, sorry

  • avatar
    flaw3284

    the car is just a f***ing beast

  • avatar

    Ya think?

  • avatar
    flaw3284

    yes sir just because it cant handle doesnt mean anyhting most american muscle cars can

  • avatar
    MATTHEW

    My daily driver was a 69 Mach I when I was sixteen. I still get goose bumps when i see one. Do you know how bad me and thousands like me wanted one of the old shelbys. It was a dream that got further and further out of reach as the prices went up. Well Ford made that dream come true with this Shelby. Most of them were sold for 20k over sticker. I actually own an O8 Shelby and bought it after reading all the bull about the car not handling. Well the car handles fine. You have to know how to handle that type of car. What’s more everyone I meet is as excited about the car as I am. They love it at car shows. The car is in your f—–g face horespower. Its obnoxious. With a few small modifications it can turn 800hp. You may need all that talk about finese when you try to talk your wife in letting you buy a car, however when you get what you really want it will be the GT-500.


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