By on November 15, 2011

The 5.8-liter V8 aluminum-block engine produces 650 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful production V8 in the world. The 3,850-pound car also stays exempt from the gas-guzzler tax.

Isn’t that all you need to know, right there? Ford has managed to strangle the Camaro ZL1 in its crib. While the nice folks at GM were running the Nurburgring, the GT500 was being prepared for life on the far side of Two. Hundred. Miles. Per. Hour.

What else is new? Well, there are six-piston Brembos up front, an optional Torsen diff, an integrated launch control, and Bilstein adjustable suspension. The “Track Package” offers three extra coolers (oil, rear diff, and transmission) to avoid facing heat issues while you’re hammering down the back straight at VIR. (Where, incidentally, I would expect the Shelby to see the high side of 160.)

While the Camaro is the GT500′s natural enemy, one unforeseen innocent casualty of this horsepower race may be its Boss 302 sister. The Boss, for all of its M3-whippin’ road-course focus, is unlikely to stay ahead of the GT500 at any track besides Waterford Hills.

If you take delivery in the spring, you’re still likely to be making payments when the “oil gap” we’ve been discussing recently on TTAC makes its presence completely known. If that kind of thing bothers you… well, try purchasing something a little tamer.

Like that ZL1 Camaro.

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67 Comments on “2013 Mustang GT500 Can Barely Produce 650 Horsepower...”


  • avatar
    sean362880

    Well this news just made my day. Any guesses on price?

  • avatar

    Is it supercharged or something?

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    The pinnacle in white trash automotive history. 200 MPH.

    Question: Will it come with the my ford touch? That would be real exciting if you can not defrost the front window while going 200 miles per hour. Consumer Reports indicated customers were complaining about defrosters going out because of my ford touch. NHTSA, where are you?

    Does the exploding chinese transmissions ford puts in the mustang still explode? Having a transmission explode in the fast lane of the freeway would really make my day. NHTSA?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Exploding Chinese transmissions have never been an issue with the GT500, which has a different transmisison.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @jimmyy……I wonder how many potential GT 500 buyers consult C.R. before thier they sign on the dotted line ?

      @ Jack..get one of these bad boys out, and give us a review. Reading about your thoughts,and experience,will be as close as I ever get to drive one.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      jj, give it up. Really.

    • 0 avatar
      mopar4wd

      200 MPH already hit 40 years ago for rednecks in the know.
      http://www.allpar.com/model/superbird.html

    • 0 avatar
      justanotherwb

      I love your post, I really can’t stop laughing. Exploding Chinese transmissions where do you get that from? I am 100% sure there is not one report of a Getreg MT82 exploding. Did you know that other Chinese made Getrag’s are in cars such as Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar? I suppose those buyers are “Euro trash”
      Sure My Ford Touch had it’s issues, though it’s my understanding the updated version is on par with similar systems from Toyota, BMW, Mercedes. I admire Ford for bringing the system out, I’m not surprised there were issues considering they sourced it to Microsoft. I do believe Microsoft was thoroughly embarrassed by the first version and have made sure my ford touch 2.0 is among the best such systems available.

  • avatar
    BMWnut

    200mph while riding on a live rear axle? Wow!

    Of course, Ford prefers to call if “Constant-Rate Coil Springs, 3-Link Design with Panhard Rod and Stabilizer Bar.”

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Thankfully, yes. Under the conditions these cars will see — heavy drag racing, street starts in varied-traction conditions — IRS systems can have a very limited life.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Wow, again? Really? every single article about the Mustang, someone has to post about the live rear axle. As if it hasn’t been mentioned before. That dead horse has been beaten so much on here, do you guys seriously think its worth even mentioning??

  • avatar
    Scottdb

    Live Rear Axle. There, I said it so I could feel cool, too.

  • avatar
    Morea

    Hope the list price is $250,000 to keep them out of the hands of anyone under 60 years old.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      There’s a used one (a 2009, with 2500 miles on it) for sale here in Norway close to that price…

      • 0 avatar
        daveainchina

        What was the retail price for the 2009 new?

        What is the retail price for a base Mustang 2011/2012. I’m just curious what the difference is that Norwegians pay for a vehicle vs. those of us in the USA

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        We have a car taxing system based on weight, engine size, and horsepower, which really discriminates any car that weight more than a ton, has a bigger engine than 1.3 liters, or more than 100 kw’s. So, there is no regular import of Mustangs here, so, no retail price. Most cars like the Mustang Camaro, etc. are imported by enthusiasts (or smaller used car import businesses, because there’s a deduction in the tax based on the cars age) Also, there’s no tax on importing 30 year old cars (exept for the usual value adding tax on everything, 25% of what you paid for the car)
        I have seen brand new v6 models sell for as little as 150.000 Dollars, a brand new 650 hp Mustang would probably cost twice…)
        (for comparison, the euro Honda Accord(Acura TSX) Wagon with a 2.0iVTEC will set you back roughly 75k)
        PS, there’s no tax on parts cars/write offs, or track-day cars, so if you’re not going to have license plates on it, there’s just the 25%)

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      You know, I know you were (half) kidding, but I dont think I have ever seen a GT500 driven by anyone under around 45 or so anyway. It doesnt seem like a car that appeals to younger people these days.

      10 yrs ago, almost every Mustangs or Z28 I saw usually had a guy in his early 20s driving it, especially if it was modified, but lately it seems that they all want a 350Z or G35 coupe, or maybe a 3-series. The new Camaro has brought out the Jersey Shore stereotype in full force, as I still see quite a few of them driven by that type of guy (usually in the gym parking lot), but the Mustang seems to attract the older guys, probably the nostalgia thing.

  • avatar
    imag

    My guess: this car is going to be worth a lot on the block in 30 years.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe. Or maybe it’ll be the 2015 version with 800 hp (note to the easily impressed: I made that up) that will wow the Barrett-Jackson crowds. For a while I thought the current CTS-V might be the high water mark of Detroit performance cars, but clearly it wasn’t. Isn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        imag

        The reason I said that is that the 2015 will lose the retro styling and it will have IRS. If they follow the Evos concept, it could look great (in my opinion), but it will be a very different car.

        So my guess is that this car and the 2014 version will be Ford’s high water mark for the classic Mustang look and feel. I may be wrong; I didn’t think they’d go all the way to 650.

      • 0 avatar

        I remember hearing, several years back (probably 2006-2007 or thereabouts), a GM engineer musing on the fact that modern electronic systems meant that they might be able to safely (relatively speaking) offer *very* high levels of horsepower in mass-market vehicles in coming years. Cars like this are clearly what he had in mind then, but now I wonder where the upper limits are.

      • 0 avatar
        imag

        I don’t know.

        I already feel like the cars have gotten so fast that it’s hard to find a place to drive them near where I live. There is only so fast you can storm an onramp or carve a canyon before you’re just being a hazard. I would find it hard to resist the urge to find places to crack it open, but there really aren’t many for a car that fast. I had to work at it (and break a few laws) to even cut loose with my 370Z on the street; I can’t imagine having double the horsepower. I’m sure it can spin tires at will up to 80 mph.

        So they really need to be driven on the track – but if you’re driving on the track, a 650 hp Mustang is far from the ideal vehicle…

        Anyway, I’m certainly not complaining about the horsepower. But would 700, 800 be better? I guess we’d all like to try it and see…

      • 0 avatar

        I hear that. I don’t know that it would be better for anything but bragging rights… but bragging rights sells a lot of these cars.

        I owned a 1990 ZR-1 for a few years in the mid-’90s (back when I was young and single). I remember being frustrated that there was nowhere (aside from tracks) to really hammer it for more than a few seconds, and that’s a big part of why I ended up selling it (that, and the fact that it was a poorly-engineered pile of rattling plastic slopped on top of a great motor).

        My 06 CTS-V is fun, and I can use the power a little more in the rural-ish area where I live now (and it’s fun to throw around a big solid sedan in a way that wasn’t as fun with that Vette) but that’s only 400 hp. I plan to upgrade to a current-generation CTS-V in a couple years, but while I’ll like the improved interior, will the extra 156 hp really make it more fun? I’m skeptical.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        It really has gotten ridiculous. I can’t really use the mere 230hp in my daily driver on a regular basis. It will get me a license-shredding highway speeding ticket in 3rd gear of six, in about 7-8 seconds from a standing start.

        Even driving it in Germany I had no desire for any more go – 130mph (electronically limited) was quite fast enough, and that was LEGAL there. Got there plenty quickly too. I can drive my Spitfire flat out and no one notices, which is really a whole lot more fun than sitting in front of a Crown Brick with flashing lights. Feels like you are strapped to a missile too.

        As David E. Davis used to say – far more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slowly.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Those I know in the Ford new/experimental vehicle engineering building say the live axle is staying for the next Mustang. It’s cheap and what the customers want.

    • 0 avatar

      I hear that. I don’t know that it would be better for anything but bragging rights… but bragging rights sells a lot of these cars.

      I owned a 1990 ZR-1 for a few years in the mid-’90s (back when I was young and single). I remember being frustrated that there was nowhere (aside from tracks) to really hammer it for more than a few seconds, and that’s a big part of why I ended up selling it (that, and the fact that it was a poorly-engineered pile of rattling plastic slopped on top of a great motor).

      My 06 CTS-V is fun, and I can use the power a little more in the rural-ish area where I live now (and it’s fun to throw around a big solid sedan in a way that wasn’t as fun with that Vette) but that’s only 400 hp. I plan to upgrade to a current-generation CTS-V in a couple years, but while I’ll like the improved interior, will the extra 156 hp really make it more fun? I’m skeptical.

  • avatar
    imag

    For reference, 650 hp is almost half a megawatt, or enough to power about 20,000 CFLs.

    That’s a f-ing lot of power under one hood.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Interesting in many ways, especially the being able to avoid the gas guzzler tax with 650hp. That is pretty amazing.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Consumption is complicated more so than I’m going to dumb it down to but essentially it applies to volume and amount of RPMs. I imagine their 5.8L engine isn’t that thirsty because it doesn’t rev extremely high, probably redlines short of 7K and under normal conditions it’s powerband is considerably wider than most so the EPA test for city and highway actually gives it a slight advantage. Wide powerbands tend to work better for acceleration and thus are rewarded by the EPA.

      Also it’s just a hair larger than a Windsor block at 353ci.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    So… how much are kidneys going for these days…?

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Now we’re talking. This is a proper Muscle car (yes, with a capitol ‘M’) Insane power without all the refinement of late 60′s tech like an IRS. I’d still use my money on restoring and tuning a ‘real’ one if I had the money, and time, but just knowing that someone is crazy enough to build, sell, buy, and use a car like this on the road warms my heart.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Had a ride in a 3 year old Shelby Mustang or whatever they call that thing. The combination of too much front end weight, the live axle hopping on our roads round here, 470 hp and an overly enthusiastic owner/driver had me asking to be let out ASAP. So I’m sure another 200 hp and less weight on the front, relatively speaking, will produce a car that men equipped with outlandishly sized gonads will revere.

    That said, Autosport Technical Forum, located in Blighty but populated by outspoken Australians, has a thread on US cop cars. Greg Locock, who posts here on TTAC every now and then, is a suspension engineer with Ford Australia. Knows a thing or two about suspension design, and he cannot fathom the design of the Commodore (Pontiac G8, new Caprice police car, Camaro, Vauxhall VR8) independent rear suspension. Apparently it’s a turd from the get go and ruins tires in short order as it toes out mightily under load.

    So for those who like to take their life in their own hands, both these Mustangs and Camaros are now available with superoverabundant horsepower. Should be a match to the death!

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    That is the B-52 of cars.
    Swimming with Great Whites and a Paper Cut Scarey.
    Lolita in Sunglasses Bad.

  • avatar
    jj99

    This is what tax payer subsidized department of energy loans are funding. Aren’t you glad we bailed out Ford?

    Ford should be using these taxpayer gifts to see if they can compete with Toyota and Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      It’s not my policy to argue with readers, but you’re flat out wrong.

      The Mustang makes money for Ford. It always has, whether you’re talking 1965, 1979, or 2011.

      Money is taken from the Mustang “bin” and given to things like fuel-efficient cars and sensibly-sized transportation.

      Not only has the Mustang chased the Japanese competition out of the market, it’s managed to do what they could never accomplish: make money as a model line.

      In other words, in its class, the Mustang is the Camry: a reliable volume seller which sets the template for its competition.

      • 0 avatar
        SherbornSean

        I have to agree with Jack on this one. jj99: What Ford should be doing is maximizing whatever it can get out of governments to maximize shareholder returns. Given how strong Toyota and Honda are in many key markets, that means Ford should absolutely secure whatever they can get from niches they do own, like the Mustang and heavy duty pickups.

        This is just good business. It will kill a lot of 17 year olds, and even more 57-year olds who wish they were 17, but that is how our economy works.

        If you don’t like it, you can start an “Occupy TTAC” movement.

      • 0 avatar
        justanotherwb

        Perhaps you should read a car magazine once in a while before making comments. Ford competes quite nicely with Toyota and Hyundai thank you, is Honda still relevant? Sure Ford took government grants for fuel efficiency products, I’d argue that the 3.5L EB engine in the F150 is saving more fuel annually than the Prius, when looking at sales volume and miles driven.

    • 0 avatar
      LBJs Love Child

      Sigh. The Beige Lie. No Federal bail-out for Ford. No MASSIVE governmental support, either (i.e., ‘Japan, Inc.’).

      As for the Technology Loans, see the Electric Focus… and perhaps the best gas/electric hybrids on the market.

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      Wow jj99(aka)jimmyy, using both log-in names for one article.
      Your talents are endless, I’m impressed.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Is it time to put to bed the notion that the EPA and OPEC killed the muscle car?

  • avatar
    LBJs Love Child

    “While the nice folks at GM were running the Nurburgring, the GT500 was being prepared for life on the far side of Two. Hundred. Miles. Per. Hour. … Ford has managed to strangle the Camaro ZL1 in its crib.”

    Priceless. David E. Davis quality.

  • avatar
    kenwood

    Phew. I’m glad I didn’t stand in line to get bent over for one of those $120K Corvettes. I’ll bet there will be lots of roided-up dudes with tribal tatoos crying in their Miller Lites tonight.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      I don’t think this is quite competition for the ZR-1, any more than it would dust the McLaren or a 458.

      It’s cool for what it is, but a single number does not make an entire car.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Reports are saying that it’s keeping the same-width rear tires as the old, lower-powered GT500s.

    If tests on the Super Snake are any indication that means traction is going to be a big issue on the quarter mile.

    GM is saying 12.1@119 for the ZL1 (which gets wider than Ford 285/35ZR20 tires up front and 305/35ZR20 tires out rear plus has all those supposedly magical aerodynamic tweaks), and I’m not so sure that this GT500 will be able to beat that by more than a tenth in stock form.

    Maybe Ford should offer a drag radial package?

    • 0 avatar
      Mikemannn

      wider tires don’t make for faster launches…

      a longer contact patch is great for quick launches, a wider contact patch is good for lateral grip.

      Maybe they should offer a pair of 17″ mags wrapped in barely-street-legal Mickys with those cute wrinkly sidewalls, you know, for magazine numbers..

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Any bets as to how long before we see one of those YouTube videos of one of these doing a smoky burnout and ending up across 6 lanes of traffic into the trees?

    Should also nicely chlorinate the spoiled-rich-kid gene pool.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I have the feeling that virtually all of these will end up parked in a heated garage, and only driven to the local car show.

      • 0 avatar
        ckb

        Could be worse. Parked in a garage beats parked on the 405 at 6pm…or one half parked to the left of the oak tree and the other parked to the right with the aforementioned rich kid down the middle. Sure its a shame many great cars never get driven to their potential but overall I’d rather people commute in econoboxes and save the good stuff for the weekend.

  • avatar
    redbeard

    Shouldn’t they rename it “GT650″?

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    Dear Chevy,

    Sorry for making your new ZL1 look slow.

    Love,
    Ford

  • avatar
    Loser

    Very cool, but I’d be happy with just a plain old “slow” Boss 302.

  • avatar
    Vance Torino

    2 cents worth!

    1.) Oh, SHIIIITT! Now DATS what I’m TALKIN’ about.

    2.) If/when I become a Trans-Atlantic jet-setter, ya know where this car would be awesome to show up in? Front-row here, at Monte Carlo
    I guarantee it:

    Can’t find your Bentley or Ferrari? I can find MY CAR, and it will go “America all over your ass!”

    http://www.xarj.net/wp-content/gallery/monaco-monte-carlo-photos-gallery/Monaco-photo-46.jpg

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Have you hoons seen the Ford website where you can totally customize a V-6, GT, Boss 302, or Shelby GT500 in innumerable ways, ANY color you can imagine, and as trick as you like, or a sleeper to end all sleepers ? I’m not pimping for them, but I think Ford just sold me a Mustang…

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    @Vance Torino- http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v391/dogsledder54/Monaco.jpg

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    Mr. Norm offers Challengers with horspower ranging anywhere from 550 up to 900.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Not with a factory warranty. There are numerous Ford tuners out there that can match that HP on a Mustang, just like the others who do it for the Camaro too. And none of them remove weight or size from the Challenger, which is my only problem with it. Its just so massive, when I see one on the street by itself, it looks amazing. But when I park next to one, it looks like a rebodied full-size truck.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Can you imagine the possibilities once FRPP sells this motor in crate form? I know the 4.6l DOHC will fit in a fox I’m sure this can be shoved in their as well.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    As David E. Davis used to say – far more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slowly.

    It’s not fast you go, it’s how you go fast. Pounding the crap out of a GTI, Miata or a number of other pocket rockets is a blast.

    Not that I’d turn the GT500 down, mind you. The slight restyle is their best look yet, especially in GT convertible form. Interesting to what 2014 will bring….

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    200 mph in that……thing? :O
    It can probably reach 200 mph, but the question is: Do you live to tell?


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