The Truth About Cars » ford shelby gt500 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 12 Sep 2014 23:54:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » ford shelby gt500 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com European Review: Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/european-review-ford-mustang-shelby-gt500/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/european-review-ford-mustang-shelby-gt500/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 12:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=865961 When you want to spend around $100,000 on a car in Europe, few ideas are dumber than buying a pickup truck. Except for this one. Six-hundred-and-sixty-two-horsepower. Live rear axle. A nearly two tonne curb weight. That sounds like something that belongs on a dragstrip. The problem is, we have no dragstrips in the Czech Republic. What […]

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Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:11:04

When you want to spend around $100,000 on a car in Europe, few ideas are dumber than buying a pickup truck. Except for this one.

Six-hundred-and-sixty-two-horsepower. Live rear axle. A nearly two tonne curb weight. That sounds like something that belongs on a dragstrip. The problem is, we have no dragstrips in the Czech Republic. What we do have, though, are twisty roads. And, being a not-exactly-filthy-rich-postcommunist-country, they aren’t in the best condition. In fact, they’re a lot like Michigan or Britain’s roads. You want something like a hot hatch, with lots of compliance and suspension travel.

But muscle cars seem to have a cult following here. The owner, a young man called Honza (that’s Jack for you Americans), drives a diesel Mercedes as his daily vehicle. He bought the Shelby after a long line of fast motorcycles, but he isn’t some crazy US-car loving freak like me – he also looked at Porsches, a GT-R and even a Ferrari. The GT500 grabbed his attention because of its bang for buck. Even at about $100,000 at one of our grey-market importers, it’s tough to beat.

When I got the chance to review the car and shoot a video with it, I was of course thrilled. But, strangely, it wasn’t the notion of driving a 600+ car that interested me the most. What I was most anxious to know, was how a Mustang drives on local roads. This was something I was dying to know since I drove a Boss 302 on an improvised autocross track. I wanted to know whether my feeling that I should buy a current-gen Mustang as soon as they get cheap is right, or whether I end up disappointed, like with the Chevy Suburban.

Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:10:39

Before even delving into the performance side of things, I was struck by how practical the GT500 is. The trunk is huge for a car this size, easily dwarfing the Camaro’s puny cargo compartment. Honza’s 5’10 girlfriend folded herself neatly into the rear seat without complaints.

Not even five minutes later, Honza asked me whether I feltthe live rear axle bobbing around, as we rounded a left-hand bend.When I asked how fast we’re going, the answer was not the 110-115mph I was estimating, but 150. And yes, the car really doesn’t feel as planted as the European competition at these speeds, although it’s very clearly capable of being driven in such way.

Finally, I got to drive. Since this was part of a video shoot, it was mostly driving to and fro at 20 to 30mph, doing awful lots of three-pointed (sometimes more-pointed) turns in tight places.And its civility continued to impress me.

Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:11:38

As long as you don’t have too heavy of a right foot, it drives like a very smooth, solid grand tourer. And it’s just a tiny bit harder to handle than your parents’ Ford Focus – the clutch is a bit heavier and its action a tad too sharp, the shifting is slightly heavier, and of course, the car is big and kinda hard to see out of. But you could drive this car in traffic, every day, without complaints.

Even on large wheels, and with stiffer Shelby suspension, the car is still quite comfortable on the broken pavement. Or maybe not comfortable, but definitely bearable. It’s no Town Car, but a ride on a backroads won’t send you to your dentist.

However, I could’ve expected this. After all, it’s just a Mustang. A fairly big American coupe for the masses. It may be a Mustang with an ungodly engine and fat wheels, but it’s still a Mustang. And being comfortable enough will not make it worthwhile to own in Europe all by itself. A $100,000, 662hp automobile should better be fun. And here, the GT500 can run into a bit of trouble.

Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:13:30

Czech roads are nowhere as tight as French or British ones, but they are still tight. And twisty. Driving fast in the hairpins with a Shelby is not exactly good idea – send it sideways (which should be easy with all that horsepower), and you’re at risk of hitting the trees on both left and right side of the road, at once. On the other hand, a 5-series BMW is even larger than the Mustang, and no one finds it too big for EU roads.

The main difference between the Shelby and BMWs or Audis is not the size. It’s the strange squishiness, a slight hint of instability of the suspension. With the Mustang (and I felt the same while autocrossing the Boss 302), you never feel totally in control, and the car never feels totally planted. I know that the Boss should be able to take on the BMW M3 on the track. And I guess the GT500 will at least come close, if it doesn’t beat it as well. But here, on those roads, in my hands? No way. I’ve driven a BMW 335i (F30) here, and I know it would dust the Shelby.

Projekt 1

In a BMW, or anything similar, it’s awfully easy to go fast. Those cars feel stable and planted and surefooted. They don’t talk to you about their insecurities, they just go like hell, and don’t bother you with it. You can tackle a sweeping backroad corner at 100mph with the 335i, and never think twice about it. The Shelby would probably be able to keep up – but only if you got balls, because it does let you know how fast you’re going.

I couldn’t really find out what it feels like on the limit – I’m not that good, and the owner is not that generous. But at those maybe 70% I could try, the Shelby already started to feel “exciting”, while BMWs and others pretty much feel like nothing’s happening up until some 90%.

Some of you may take it as a criticism against the Shelby. And from a certain point of view, it can be – if you want a car that’s easy to drive fast, this is not the one. But driving really fast on public roads is dangerous and expensive business. What most of us really want is the feeling of speed. The notion that you have a machine to handle and that you have to work for the speed. And the Mustang gives it to you in spades.

Projekt 9

The only problem is the power. In twisties, even half throttle is a bonkers idea. In the first hour or so of driving, I never even heard the supercharger whine – I didn’t have the space necessary to step on it and run it at more than maybe 3000 rpm. Only later, when we got to the faster roads with some straightaway sections, I had a chance to make a few full-throttle runs. Maybe five or six seconds a time, with the speedo running up to some 100 – 110mph. In those moments, I rejected my previous idea that 662hp is simply too much. It isn’t. It’s wonderful. Even for those short blast.

But to really enjoy the car, to be able to really rush it on backroads, the Shelby is too much. As Jack wrote, you have to feather it all the time even on the track. On B-roads, it’s dangerous to even look at the accelerator the wrong way. The rush from flooring it is wonderful, but also terribly short.

So, would the Boss be the right choice for European buyers? I don’t think so. Maybe if you live in Germany, or Spain, or anywhere else with new, high-quality roads. Otherwise it’s too hard, too sporty for the broken roads. No, I suspect that the best Mustang for European roads will be the 5.0 GT Performance Pack. Those great Recaros will keep you in place, the large brakes will be very needed on our roads, and the lesser engine will actually make the car more fun.

Projekt 15

I would even go further and suggest that the best Mustang for Europe may actually be the V6, but there’s still the fact that it’s a V6. Owning an American car in Europe sort of requires for it to have a roaring V8. Otherwise, the V6, with its lighter weight and better balance, may very well be the best Mustang for an European. I will have to borrow one to find out.

Until I drove the Shelby, I thought that the IRS suspension of the 2015 car will  be a vast improvement of the car, making it really usable in Europe. Now? I’m not so sure. I think that the 2015 Mustang Ecoboost will be a great car, and will work on European roads quite well. But I’m a bit worried that it may be much closer to the modern BMWs than to this Mustang.

@VojtaDobes is motoring journalist from Czech Republic, who previously worked for local editions of Autocar and TopGear magazines. Today, he runs his own website, www.Autickar.cz and serves as editor-in-chief at www.USmotors.cz. After a failed adventure with importing classic American cars to Europe, he is utterly broke, so he drives a borrowed Lincoln Town Car. His previous cars included a 1988 Caprice in NYC Taxi livery, a hot-rodded Opel Diplomat, two Dodge Coronets, a Simca, a Fiat 600 and Austin Maestro. He has never owned a diesel, manual wagon.

Projekt 17 Projekt 16 Projekt 15 Projekt 14 Projekt 13 Projekt 12 Projekt 11 Projekt 10 Projekt 9 Projekt8 Projekt 7 Projekt 6 Projekt 5 Projekt 4 Projekt 3 Projekt 2 Projekt 1 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:14:52 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:14:26 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:14:12 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:13:53 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:13:30 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:13:02 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:12:48 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:12:28 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:12:15 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:11:38 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:11:22 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:11:04 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:10:39 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:10:18 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:09:59 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:09:40 Snímek obrazovky pořízený 2014-08-05 21:09:17

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Ford Kills The Mustang Boss 302 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/ford-kills-the-mustang-boss-302/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/ford-kills-the-mustang-boss-302/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 18:19:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=466287 Ford is following through on its promise to limit the Mustang Boss 302 to just two years of production. Act now, time is running out. The greatest Mustang variant on sale today won’t be for around for much longer, as Ford’s 2014 Mustang order guide does not include the 302. Buyers will be limited to […]

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Ford is following through on its promise to limit the Mustang Boss 302 to just two years of production. Act now, time is running out.

The greatest Mustang variant on sale today won’t be for around for much longer, as Ford’s 2014 Mustang order guide does not include the 302. Buyers will be limited to the V6, 5.0 or GT500. This is your last chance to get a retro-styled, track-focused, naturally aspirated V8 Mustang.

I’m not alone in my effusive praise of this car. Jack (and his brother Mark) and Brendan are all equally enthusiastic about the home-grown M3 challenger; but only one of us has managed to pony up the entry price.

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Capsule Review: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/capsule-review-2013-ford-shelby-gt500/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/capsule-review-2013-ford-shelby-gt500/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 12:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=454584 Jackie is the first girl to fawn over the Shelby GT500 once it’s in my hands. Hadn’t expected that; make no mistake, it is a dude magnet without exception and the double-X-chromosome crowd usually goes for something cuter. Jackie appears to be the exception, so far. She’ll tell you she’s a bit of a tomboy. […]

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Jackie is the first girl to fawn over the Shelby GT500 once it’s in my hands. Hadn’t expected that; make no mistake, it is a dude magnet without exception and the double-X-chromosome crowd usually goes for something cuter. Jackie appears to be the exception, so far. She’ll tell you she’s a bit of a tomboy. She likes cars, long boarding, and gangsta rap. Tonight, she’s traded her usual, Ralph Lauren-catalog attire (not-so-snug pants, a button up men’s dress shirt) for a dress that can only be described as one yard of Tensor Bandage that somehow made its way out of the factory with a muted floral print.

I’m hardly complaining, though it’s clear that she’s not used to wearing this kind of garment. I tell myself that it’s all because of my strong jawline, cleft chin and thick, flowing locks, but that’s a yarn of self-deception long enough to knit Jackie a twin to the sweater I’m glad she left at home.

It’s the car.

Jackie is comfortable looking at brake calipers and superchargers, but the dress is fighting her attempts to check out the machinery tonight. “Turn around,” she tells me, “I don’t want you to see me adjusting my underwear”.

“That dress is ridiculous.” I’m trying really hard to do the gentlemanly thing and focus on the car.

A pause. I’m facing away from her, but I can imagine her eyes running along the length of the racing stripes that trace the Shelby’s sillhouette. The car isn’t running, but I can hear the crackling and pinging of the cooling drivetrain against the humid, lifeless air of the August night.

“Not as ridiculous as the car,” she replies. “How fast did you say it is?”

Five point eight liters. Six hundred and sixty-two horsepower. There’s not much out there that’s more powerful than the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. The Lamborghini Aventador. The Ferrari FF. Maybe one or two megabuck hypercars that will be gobbled up by our BRIC-nation overlords.

Jackie and I will not go much faster tonight than we just did. A quick blast into “lose your license” territory occurs in 3rd gear at around 3000 RPM – there is still so much power left on the table, I feel…impotent. “That did not feel like [exact speed redacted],” Jackie says, with the sort of contempt usually reserved for a prom night that’s come to a premature conclusion.

In 2012, where “green” is our secular religion, “carbon emissions” are a mortal sin and we worship at the altar of sustainability while flagellating ourselves about everything from our consumption habits to our role in the world, it truly is a miracle, in the most theistic sense of the word, that this car exists. A supercharged V8, a 6-speed gearbox, a 200 mph top speed, 10 mpg in town and an aesthetic so jingoistic it would make even the most ardent soaring-eagles-America-firster wonder if it needs toning down. If President Obama is forever identified with the Chevrolet Volt, then this car is Pat Buchanan’s likely chariot, a swift exit from the Nixon Administration into the severe right wing with all cylinders firing seven thousand times a minute. And yet, somehow, somewhere at Ford World Headquarters, someone approved this for production.

And still, it is thoroughly modern. A trip to Mosport, 60 miles away on the freeway, in 6th gear at 80 mph with the A/C blasting, returned 25 mpg. I played my music through my iPod via the dreadful touch-screen SYNC system (which I am unapologetic in declaring it to be the bastard spawn of Satan. It is awful, always has been, always will be, and it never, ever works for me). The 2013 model is an enormous improvement over the last one I drove, a 2011 that made “only” 550 horsepower. Despite being down over 100 horsepower over the 2013 GT500, that car was an absolute bastard to drive. As I wrote back in 2010

The new car leaves it in the dust. The 2013 Shelby doesn’t pop its booty sideways like the old car did. The new tires and improved traction control see to that. It just gallops forward while the exhaust bellows like a scalded silverback gorilla. There’s not even any audible supercharger noise. But what the hell am I supposed to do with it? Giving me the keys to this car is like Ford asking me to come shoot tin cans in their back yard, with the stipulation that I can only use a Stinger missle to knock them down. It is so powerful in any gear that anyone that needs to be passed is just vaporized by the omnipotent V8.

And this is ultimately what makes the Shelby GT500 so compelling, especially to “the generation that doesn’t care about cars”. The performance is astounding but irrelevant. The styling can be had on a $22,000 Mustang V6. A better drive can arguably be had with a Boss 302. But nowhere else can you give such a middle finger to the zeitgiest. It doesn’t want to check in via Foursquare at the Mexican-Korean fusion place. It doesn’t care about Car Free Sundays, or dubstep music or the newest celebrity chef. Exploding away from a stop light, hanging out the window, with a cigarette between our lips, without fear of the cops, or fear of another day of indentured servitude unpaid internships, or having to compose a response to the latest text message from our significant other. Morals are relative, the middle class is shrinking, God is dead, our lives are lived in public, and a small part of us yearns for an era we never knew, where marriage, 2.5 kids, and a mortgage was not only attainable, but attained early.  We’ve never had more freedom or opportunities, but we still find ourselves yearning for a past era, where things weren’t as fluid or permissive; it’s why we throw “Mad Men” themed dress-up parties where the guys get a free pass to make misogynistic remarks, pinch the girls’ rears and watch them giggle with guilty glee as they hand out baked treats and push feminism into the attics of their psyche.

The orgiastic past may recede before us, but this car – our one link to that bygone epoch – keeps getting better and better.

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2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible Good For “Only” 155 MPH: 2012 Chicago Auto Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/2013-ford-shelby-gt500-good-for-only-155-mph-2012-chicago-auto-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/2013-ford-shelby-gt500-good-for-only-155-mph-2012-chicago-auto-show/#comments Wed, 08 Feb 2012 15:45:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=429938 Hang on to your hairplugs. The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 has the same 650 horsepower supercharged 5.8L V8 making 600 lb-ft of torque. But unlike the 200 mph coupe, the ‘vert will only top out at 155 mph. The vert does get 6-piston Brembo brakes, a carbon fiber driveshaft, an upgraded clutch, electronically adjustable Bilstein shocks […]

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Hang on to your hairplugs. The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 has the same 650 horsepower supercharged 5.8L V8 making 600 lb-ft of torque. But unlike the 200 mph coupe, the ‘vert will only top out at 155 mph. The vert does get 6-piston Brembo brakes, a carbon fiber driveshaft, an upgraded clutch, electronically adjustable Bilstein shocks and a Motley Crue Greatest Hits CD in the Shaker audio system.

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