Price: $54,200 ($63,475 as tested)
Engine: 5.8-liter Supercharged V8
Transmission: Tremec TR6060 Six-Speed Manual
Power: 662hp & 631 lb-ft of torque
Here in America, we appreciate one thing: raw power. This can be seen in so many facets of our culture, especially in our automotive industry. We like big trucks, big engines and loud noises coming from our exhaust. If you happen to agree with the previous sentences, then I can tell you that you will fall in love with one of the greatest powerhouses to come out of the US of A: the 2013 Shelby GT500.
There is something to be said about a car that disregards the modern automotive philosophy, and instead focuses on its true heritage: raw power. Honestly, I was surprised when I looked at the details of this car considering every car nowadays has a four-cylinder and a tiny turbo to boot. Instead, the 2013 Shelby GT500 gets an incredible 5.8-liter supercharged V8 that is good for 662hp and 631 lb-ft of torque. Unnecessary? Yes. However, this amount of brute force makes perfect sense in this car.
It weighs in at an unfortunate 3,891 lbs, so every bit of power is necessary in order for this car to reach the 200mph club. Oh, did I forget to mention that this car has a top speed of 202mph?
When we took the GT500 out for a test drive, we had no intentions of reaching 200mph, but we still wanted to see what this snake was made of. With even the slightest feather of the throttle, the engine comes alive. It felt like the car was yelling at us to open her up, but apparently the car didn’t get the Speed Limit memo on public streets. If you think you wouldn’t be able to drive this car on a public road, don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple considering you don’t have to leave first gear – even on a highway.
Controlled Chaos on Four Wheels
Once we arrived at our closed course, we knew that we were in for both a treat and a scare. While going fast may be fun, having this amount of power underneath your foot is a bit unnerving at times. Frankly, I would have been less nervous in a fine-tuned supercar that exceeds speeds well over 200mph. Surprisingly, once we opened her up on the straightaway, it went in a straight line and didn’t scare the living hell out of me.
[quote align=”left” color=”#000000″]Shelby’s greatest GT500 yet, the most powerful and fastest to date.[/quote]
See, you don’t an incredible sense of speed in the GT500, but you will drop your jaw when you look at the speedometer. What felt like 40mph was an actual 90mph, a dangerously awesome feature. The car was so incredibly smooth and efficient down a straight line that accelerating felt a lazy day on the beach. This is great for those traveling long distances on the highway, but if you are just going to the grocery store, be sure to keep an eye on that gauge.
This smooth ride was partly due to the fact that our GT500 was fitted with the optional SVT Performance package. Wth this package, SVT-designed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers are accessed on the dash with just the press of a button. This gave us a comfortable ride over any bumps or potholes in the road. Also included with the SVT Performance package is the Tosen limited-slip differential.
A Green Snake
And while you’re looking at the gauge, check out to see how much gas you have, because you will be surprised to see you haven’t blown through it all. When reading the previous paragraphs praising the power and monstrous engine, you probably thought this car was a shoe-in for the “gas-guzzler” tax. The engineers at Shelby managed to get a combined fuel economy of 18mpg, an applaudable feat.
Muscle Styling and a Big Mouth
On the outside, the GT500 shows its true muscle nature. If there was one word that I could used to describe this car, it would have to be “bulky”. From the hood to the rear, the body seems like it spends its free time at the gym, pumping iron and building muscle.
In the front of the car is a wide-open mouth, ready to suck in massive amounts of air. There is no grille, just an open space that you could stick your hand through if you wanted to feel this snake’s heart. So, if you happen to be driving through a swarm of birds, you should consider fixing a makeshift grille to the air vent. I hear intakes don’t do well with birds lodged in them .
Inside the Beast
If I said I was expecting luxury styling inside the Shelby GT500, I would be lying. When you’re in this car, you don’t pay attention to the interior, because you will be too busy falling in love with the engine noise and the brutal power.
The GT500 has a fitting interior that is simplistic and functional. The seats are designed to hug the passengers, even in the rear, and the center console is minimalistic, without the plethora of buttons that are usually supplied with cars nowadays.
The real treat is the gauge cluster, where all of the track features come in play if you opt for the SVT Track Package. Here, you test your 0-60mph time, see your lateral G’s, and much more. Not only that, but its reminiscent of the classic Mustang’s gauges, making it gorgeous to look at.
The week we had with the 2013 Shelby GT500 felt like it flew by. When we had to part ways, I’ll admit that I was quite upset. Being a Mustang fan, it was like a dream come true being able to test out Shelby’s greatest GT500 yet, the most powerful and fastest to date. Shelby stayed true to it’s muscle car status when designing the exterior and interior, giving it a menacing look when seen on the streets. And of course, the GT500 gets it’s true muscle car status from its enormous engine that took me for the ride of a lifetime. If you get the chance to take one of these monsters for a spin, don’t even think about it, just grab the keys and hop in. You won’t regret it.