Ford is not backing down in a performance battle against Chevrolet. Just one month after Chevrolet revealed the 2012 Camaro ZL1 that delivers more than 550hp, Ford is preparing to introduce a 2013 Shelby GT500 that generates 600+hp. According to Caranddriver sources, this Mustang has an output that can go as high as 620hp.
The performance boost stems from raising the GT500’s current powerplant from 5.4-liters to 5.8-liters for the 2013 model year. Ford has replaced the current Eaton unit with the same TVS unit that powers the ZL1.
Powering the 2011 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is an all-new aluminum-block 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 engine, which develops 550hp and 510 ft.-lb. of torque, giving an extra 10hp over the 2010 model. The new engine weighs 102 lbs (46 kg) lighter than its predecessor -- offering a better power-to-weight ratio, improved fuel economy, acceleration, handling and steering precision.
The current GT500 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and gets to the quarter-mile point in 12.4 seconds. But with the added power, the GT500 is capable of going from a standstill to 60mph in the high 3-second range, and can do the quarter mile sprint in 12 seconds. The GT500 can go faster than 190mph (306 km/h). Several modifications were made to the body, including the use of LED running lights, and tail lights. However, the live rear axle remains.
With its driving dynamics refurbished, the latest Shelby GT500 can now work in tandem with Goodyear tires. The front has the six-piston calipers and Brembo brakes but by adding in the new wheels with the unique suspension tuning, it results in everything working harmoniously. Handling is attributed to the AdvanceTrac. Available in previous models, this unique control system when combined with the electronic stability control settings allows the driver to get maximum performance, whether driving in the circuit or the highway.
Since the content of the car was updated, its settings, and even the steering assist levels that has the selectable steering, was tuned as well. Under controlled track scenarios, these two systems can be disabled since in these cases the requirement is to fully utilize the driver’s skill.
However, it can be fully engaged to ensure safety under normal driving or during conditions where traction is less-than-ideal. There is also an intermediate sport mode that helps the driver push their vehicles on the track without the need to totally disable its safety systems. This also allows for a more aggressive driving even before the electronic stability control system and traction control system come into play.
The other changes implemented on the 2013 Shelby GT500 are complemented by the enhanced Brembo brake system to aid in the control and the face-free stops in race situations or on the highway. This new system has the 380 mm rotors in the front with the 350 mm rotors in the rear. Both of which are larger compared to the prior model. Another new functionality equipped on the Shelby GT500 is the high-tech launch control system which is user-friendly as well.
With this system, drivers will able to set the preferred launch rpm on the tach needle, which is of course, dependent on the type of street surface, temperature of the tire, and other conditions. When the throttle is floored, the rev of the engine will go to the preset rpm until the driver releases the clutch. This aids in the vehicle control and acceleration, especially from a standing start. While some customers want to enjoy their Ford Shelby GT500 on the streets, there are those who also want to experience the same performance on the track.
With the two optional packages made available, this allows customers to make that choice. According to Chief Engineer of Ford SVT Global Performance Vehicles Kerry Baldori, its adjustable dampers allowed the brand to develop the car on the circuit without the need to make any compromises.
In the past, he continued, all the brand did was to tune the car with a focus on the street. With this the brand can now go as far as it wants in the track but still be able to deliver customers a more comfortable ride on the highway, Baldori added.