The Ford Shelby GT500 has, since its introduction, been a giant-slayer. However with the 2013 model everything has been made just that little bit better. The aluminium 5.8 litre supercharged V8 now produces 650 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. Ford say that makes it the most powerful production V8 in the world, beating Ferrari’s 4.3 litre V8 found in the F430 by a more than comfortable margin of 167 horsepower!
But it’s not just the engine that’s received some attention for the 2013 Shelby GT500, nearly every system throughout the car has undergone some form of upgrade or alteration. The brakes, gearing and suspension have all seen some attention by Ford’s engineers to make sure they compliment the car’s extra grunt.
New for 2013 is and optional Performance Package with SVT-designed Bilstein electronically adjustable dampers and a Torsen limited-slip differential. The Performance Package can be coupled with an additional Track Package to create the ultimate GT500.
“SVT keeps the Shelby GT500 on the cutting edge of technology and takes muscle car performance to new heights,” said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development. “We encapsulated every aspect of performance in this car – whether it’s 0-60, top speed, racetrack or quarter-mile times. Beyond that, the daily driver also will find this car perfectly fits his or her needs.”
The key to the engine’s extra potency is a larger, more-efficient supercharger which forces more air through the engine. Amazing the GT500 is now capable of reaching 200+ mph thanks to a combination of the extra power and revised gearing. The six-speed manual transmission, offers upgraded gears, bearings and housing so it can properly manage the torque. The final drive ratio is now 3.31:1 for optimized overall vehicle gearing to complement the tremendous torque output. The dual-disc clutch has increased torque and rpm capacity to make sure it can handle its daily duties.
A new Brembo brake system featuring six-piston calipers in front along with larger front and rear rotors helps improve brake fade during hard usage. New brake pads with more bite also help the car cut speed faster and improve pedal feel for the driver.
Significant aerodynamic work was done on the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 to ensure the car has the optimum level of downforce at all speeds. Ford’s engineers were able to improve the cooling system, maximize downforce and minimize drag all at once.
The front fascia and splitters were modified to handle the extreme loads generated at 200 mph, resulting in a car that tracks more securely and feels more planted to the road at higher speeds. It offers 33 percent more effective aero loading at 160 mph compared to the 2011 model.
“It might just seem like we’re putting a bigger engine into the car. But it’s been a balanced approach through and through,” said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief engineer. “We’ve completely redone the car to be even more sophisticated in terms of handling and control than the prior model.”