The 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 replaces a scary beast of a car with a even more beastly but seemingly less scary car set to debut at the Detroit Auto Show.
When the first Shelby GT500 hit the streets, the accolades rightfully flowed – it was a substantial bang for the buck. It was fast, it looked tough and it had that marvelous supercharger whine. The thing was, unless you were oblivious to danger or a trained professional driver, the GT500 was out to kill you. It was a white-knuckle automobile under dry conditions and downright murderous in inclement weather. This was certainly part of the draw, that unapologetic, swaggering badassery, but even for our irrational inner speed freak, it was too much at times.
With the 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the blue oval's SVT boys are aiming to bring you more of that swaggering badassery with less of the terror and with a modicum of actual comfort. With the new hardware, Ford took lessons learned with the Shelby GT500KR and adapted them to the new GT500. Power is up to a whopping 540 HP and 510 lb-ft of torque as a result of tuning and air flow improvement. With 30 lb-ft more on hand, that power is routed through a re-geared twin disc clutch six speed manual to a new 3.55 rear gear. Ford will only commit to a “significant improvement in performance” and an electronically limited top speed of 155 MPH. Aftermarket tuners, you hear that? Get to work.
The suspension tuning gets the big boy treatment with new dampers, springs, and anti-roll bars. Though still using a solid axle, Ford claims road composure, ride and handling are much improved over the outgoing model. We'd be happy if all they did was upgrade the tuning from “kidney pounding, expansion joint skipping ” to “stiff but composed.” Brakes remain four piston Brembos but the stability control system gets a new sport mode in addition to on and off; Sport being tuned to let you have a lot more fun but ultimately protects you from yourself.
Inside and out, the operative words at SVT for 2010 were quality and refinement. The new Shelby shares the styling changes with its lesser Mustang cousins, but upgrades abound.
Outside the new GT500 uses a different headlight cluster (HID optional) to maintain a more aggressive look set in a deeper front fascia and larger grille opening which are styling carryovers tweaked for the new car. The signature Cobra logo shifts sides in order to accommodate a cold air intake routed directly into the grille. At the rear the new spoiler is topped with a functional Gurney flap and there's a new rear diffuser down below. The result is a shift in the center of pressure towards the front for a more stable ride at speed. Both coupe and convertible get new wheels, 18's on the convertible, and 19's on the coupe, each shod in 255 mm wide Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires. Expect paint schemes to range from mild to wild, as we've seen one dubbed “Superman” which puts bright red racing stripes over light blue paint, the effect is both obnoxious and iconic.
Ford addressed customer complaints of an interior not unique enough over the standard 'Stang with a GT500 only trim. The perforated metal dash insert takes inspiration from under hood heat shields while the leather seats get sewn-in racing stripes to match the striped on the car, whatever color you pick. Satin trim replaces chrome throughout and the short throw shifter is topped off with beefy cue ball sporting molded-in racing stripes. Key points were augmented with sound deadening while the exhaust note is tuned for better feedback, despite that, the car weights in at only 20 lbs more than the outgoing model. In all it's a much nicer work environment and we can't wait until we replace that silly “new car smell” with “burnt rubber.”
Click to view image: '2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Coupe'
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