Ford didn’t just up the ante with the new GT 500, they blew up the table: 650hp, 600lb-ft of torque and a top speed over 200mph. Boom!
To obliterate the power figures of the new Camaro ZL1 (580hp), Ford’s SVT team bored out the GT 500’s 5.4-liter aluminum block V-8 to 5.8 liters. Both the block and heads were cross-drilled and the camshaft profiles updated. The old supercharger was ditched for a larger and more efficient Eaton TVS Series 2300 supercharger used on GM’s LS9 engine, raising boost from 9 to 15 psi.
These upgrades add another 100hp and 90lb-ft of torque over the outgoing 2012 model. Sounds like a game changer, but it also begs the question:
Didn’t the old GT 500 have plenty of trouble putting its power to the ground?
Indeed it did, in fact the old GT500 wasn’t much faster off the line than the Mustang GT. To help translate the added power to more usable grunt SVT nerds altered the six-speed manual transmission’s gearing to make the most of the added torque. Every gear except fourth was re-calibrated and the 3.55 final drive ratio was dropped for a 3.31 final drive. A dual-disc clutch and carbon-fiber driveshaft help disperse power down through Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires.
“That’s all well and fine,” you say, “but would I have to be stupid to drive a Mustang over 200mph?”
Not necessarily. The 2013 GT 500’s front fascia was red-designed to maximize down force while minimizing drag. The front end utilizes a new front splitter and front grills that help keep the car stuck to the road at speed. For a point of reference on the aero changes, Ford says the new GT 500 is 33 more planted at 160mph than the outgoing model.
But of course, a 200mph muscle car wouldn’t be complete without optional performance packages. The GT 500 sports two, the first of which is called… Performance Package.
It includes a Torsen limited-slip differential and an SVT-designed Bilstein suspension system featuring electronically adjustable dampers and Normal/Sport driving modes.
One step above the Performance Package is the Track Package, which adds to the Performance Package an external engine cooler, rear differential cooler and a transmission cooler to fend off heat in high speed track conditions.
Ford claims the 650hp V-8 in the 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 is the most powerful production V-8 in the world. If that’s any indication of what we can expect to see from the second-generation muscle car war we should all be very excited for the future.