With just days until the 2009 North American International Auto Show opens to auto industry guests, followed by public-access days, automakers continue to tease about upcoming production and concept car unveilings. At the LA Auto Show, we saw the next-generation Ford Mustang introduced. We have since reviewed the 2010 Mustang and can appreciate the basis for the latest treat to escape Ford’s pony corral, the drool-inducing Shelby GT500 variation.
Ford's Special Vehicle Team used the gains made on the 40th anniversary edition Shelby GT500KR "King of the Road" Mustangs as the performance starting point and built from there upon the revised 2010 Mustang platform. Like the KR, the new GT500 boasts 540 horsepower from a supercharged and intercooled 5.4-liter dual overhead cam V-8 engine with a 6,250 rpm redline. The engine is rowed with an upgraded six-speed manual transmission, with revised gearing that sees fifth gear change from .80 to .74 while sixth gear goes from .63 to .50. Translation: the 2010 Shelby GT500 will turn lower engine RPMs in those gears and deliver improved fuel efficiency.
Carroll Shelby says, "Building on what we learned to create the Shelby GT500KR, this new car offers a great combination of power, handling and braking. It is truly a special car that is a great deal of fun to drive."
We look forward to testing that claim! The 2010 Shelby GT500 will be in dealer showrooms in spring 2009.
Learn about all the enhancements with the next-generation 2009 Ford Mustang in our review.