The look of the Shelby GT500 is purposeful, almost menacing in a way. The nose is bluff, taller because of a domed aluminum hood that shields a 5.4-liter V-8 topped by a supercharger. To help move air through the engine compartment, the grille and lower intakes are larger and there are additional extractors in the hood surface. The maw looks even more gaping since the standard Mustang pony has galloped off to parts unknown, replaced by a coiled serpent that now nests off to the side.

Twist the key and the 5.4-liter V-8 rumbles to life, sending its bass notes down a 2.5-in. exhaust that features an X-pipe and dual tips. Goose the throttle and an Eaton M122 supercharger (upgraded from the previous-generation Cobra’s M112 blower) pumps 10 to 12 psi into the combustion chambers. Jay O’Connell, chief technical engineer of SVT, says that both horsepower and torque are somewhere between 470 and 480, though final numbers are still pending.

Depressing the clutch takes no more effort than on a stock 300-bhp 4.6-liter V-8 Mustang GT. That’s because instead of a single plate, the Shelby GT500 has a dual-disc clutch coated with a cerametallic coating. Each disc is only 215 mm in diameter, as opposed to the stock 240 mm, and two of them offer much more surface area and less inertia, allowing the engine to spin up freely.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: