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Ford's Shelby GT500 seeks to challenge Camaro ZL-1, rearrange the planets

November 17, 2011|By David Undercoffler
  • The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500
The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 (David Undercoffler / Los…)

Oh my, things are heating up for ‘Merica’s strongest autos.

Chevrolet ambles into the L.A. Auto Show with the king kahuna of Camaros, its ZL-1. It would have been reasonable to think its 580 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque would be enough to steal the muscle-car spotlight for at least a couple of months.

Ford thought otherwise.

Meet the 2013 Shelby GT500. It’s powered by a 5.8-liter V-8 that puts out, you may want to sit down for this, 650 horsepower and 600 lb-feet of torque. You could pull us back to July with that kind of power.

Not only that, but Ford says the GT500’s top speed will be above 200 miles an hour. Ford hasn’t released 0 to 60 acceleration times, probably because getting the car to do a speed run while leaving more than a thin film of rubber on the rims requires more than just a manual transmission know-how.

This titanic amount of power will be routed through the rear wheels by a six-speed manual transmission. Other upgraded bits include Brembo brakes, a carbon-fiber driveshaft and an upgraded clutch, transmission and axle.

Exterior changes include a new front grille, front splitter, a quad-exhaust system and alloy wheels that are 19 inches in the front and 20 inches in the rear.

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Those drivers without an SCCA racing license would do well to consider the optional Performance Package. This add-on includes an adjustable suspension that allows drivers to switch between Normal and Sport modes with the push of a button, and a limited-slip differential.

Finally, Ford says the curb weight for its latest superhero with be 3,850 pounds. Heavy? Maybe. But consider that Chevy’s Camaro ZL-1 weighs a substantial 4,120 pounds.

Is this kind of power ridiculous? Oh, my friend, I think we passed ridiculous about 150 horsepower ago. But please, let’s not let logic interfere with the muscle-car war. If you do, you are missing the point entirely.

Here, go read about the latest Volvo.

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