Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Reveal : 2010 Ford-Shelby GT500 Mustang

When Ford debuted the 2010 Mustang at LA, Ford knew that the new Mustang has to fight hard against its biggest new-born rivals, the Dodge Challenger and the all-new Chevrolet Camaro. It is even harder for the 'Stang because it's down on horsepower compared to either competitors. However now, comes Shelby's version of the pony car. Carroll Shelby's name is legendary among Ford fans, and for a good reason. Since the 1960s, cars bearing the Shelby logo have been feared by haters and cherished by owners. So how will this new model fare now against the Challenger and Camaro?
Starting off with the looks, this new-generation of GT500 is still recognizable as Ford-Shelby famous pony car. Even more, because this GT500 is based on the 2010 Mustang, it looks even more muscular. However like the last GT500, this new one this one gets more aggressive styling, particularly in the nose, and reprises many of the same detail elements. The horizontally mirrored trapezoidal shape of the grille in the upper and lower front fascia is meant to echo the oval shape of the Shelby Cobras of the late '60s. The upper grille is tilted forward at a higher angle than the GT and the grille surround is separated entirely from the hood. The leading edge of the hood on other Mustangs forms the upper frame of the grille, while the new GT500 has an extra bit of bodywork there. The bulging hood of the GT500 still has a functional air extractor allowing some of the massive heat generated by the blown V8 to escape. The power dome of the V6 and GT is supplanted by a smoother bulge that now encompasses most of the hood.
Also, careful observers will note that the snake badge has moved from the right to the left side of the grille. This has nothing to do with the blowing of political winds, but the snake is actually functional. Like the GT, the GT500 now has a cold air intake that sits directly behind the snake's former residence.
At the back, a revised duck-tail spoiler sits along the trailing edge of the trunk-lid and incorporates a Gurney flap. The rear diffuser is placed along the bottom of the GT500's rump. The new GT500 does have more down-force than the predecessor thanks to that spoiler, rear diffuser and the front splitter.
Like the new Mustang, this Shelby gets a revised interior. It still remains pretty much the 'Stang-GT500 famous interior look, but with shorter over-hangs. Moreover, all the new plastics feature a softer look and as Ford say, a softer quality touch. Never-the-less, this Shelby GT500 gets leather seats with pairs of longitudinal contrasting stripes that echos the stripes stretching the length of the body, as well as alcantara trim on the side bolsters, shift lever, parking braking boots and steering wheel, which now has the snake badge. The new GT500 also gets standard navigation screen along with Ford-Microsoft's SYNC program. So the GT500's interior really is a plus point for Ford.
However, no Shelby car without some dramatic increase in power. And this new one doesn't disappoint. It is still powered by the same 5.4L supercharged V8 as the old GT500 and Ford GT supercar, but with the GT500 KR's cold air-intake, it is now developing 540hp and 510lb-ft of torque. Power is still connected to a 6-speed manual TREMEC gearbox, but the twin-disc clutch transmission has been upgraded to handle the extra power. 0-60mph will come in 4 seconds! which is the fastest 'Stang ever made. That should keep the rivals away.
The GT500 never had a problem with power, but it had problems going round corners. Now though, the 2010 GT500 gets 17% stiffer springs at the front axle and 7% stiffer at the solid rear axle. The center of pressure has also been moved further forward, which should help reduce understeer at higher speeds. The 2010 GT500 gets a new ESP program like the other Mustangs, which can be set on full Driving-Aid mode, or put into a Sport mode. In Sport mode, the ESC allows greater amounts of slip before interfering.
The new 2010 GT500 will debut at the Detroit Auto Show this month, in coupe and convertible forms. And it will go on sale in the early part of 2009 with an expected price tag of $39,000, though the very first car will be auctioned along side the first 2010 Mustang and the first 2010 Chevrolet Camaro at the Barrett-Jackson auction, January 13-18 in Scottsdale, Arizona. So this is Ford's way of celebrating the new year, but will this new more powerful and presumably better handling GT500 shake off the Challenger and Camaro? Time will only tell us that answer.

Source: [Ford]

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