The answer is: O.J. Simpson with a knife, a grizzly protecting its cubs, a 3800-pound car with 662-horses. The question is: what scares the Car Pro? I am lucky enough to have the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 this week, and yes this stock version car has 662-heart pounding horses. I am not a wuss, and have owned and driven many cars that have over 500-horses, but I can tell you I have a healthy respect for this Pony car. Part of it is I don’t want to have to buy it, and secondly I don’t really want to die. I have been cautious to unleash this beast, but as my confidence grows, I am learning that this car is an engineering marvel.
Under the hood is Ford’s 5.8-liter V8 with a big freakin’ supercharger sitting on top of it. Looking under the hood is like looking at a fine piece of art, it’s a thing of beauty. Ford claims, and I don’t doubt it, that this is the most powerful production car ever in the United States. They also say the top speed is 200-miles per hour, and although I won’t test that, I won’t challenge it. I think for sure it will do that. I had last year’s 5.4-liter that put out 550-horses and I thought it was a beast, but I was wrong.
The car itself handles like a dream and can be electronically adapted. My Grabber Blue test car felt tight, and rode as hard as you would expect a race car to ride. I went through some hard turns that a lot of cars could not handle with virtually no leaning. The big Brembo brakes did a great job stopping the Shelby.
If you want a ride better than anything at Six Flags, set the Shelby in launch mode at 4500 RPM and pop the clutch. Just be sure your seatbelt is tight and that you are pushed against the back of the seat. The car gets a lot of looks with wide white stripes, 19” wheels on the front, and 20” wheels on the back. The Shelby is a good inch lower than its little sister the GT. Although not readily noticeable, the Shelby GT500 does not have a grill for increased airflow. This car has a set of beautiful front seats made by Recaro with white stripes that match the stripes on the exterior. The Shaker audio system will burst your eardrums if you crank it, and it comes with Ford’s terrific Sync system.
The Shelby GT500 is rated at 15 miles per gallon in town and 24 out on the highway. I can’t tell if it will really do that or not, but it was good enough to keep the government from slapping the gas guzzler on the car. The downside to this is the car seems built for top speed. Honestly it doesn’t feel any faster from takeoff than the Shelby I reviewed last year, but it is a monster between 60 and 100 miles per hour. If you are really tall, forget it. If you need a back seat occasionally, forget it. If you have a weak left leg, you’ll have trouble with the clutch. On the other hand, if you want a street-legal full-on race car that is has full factory warranty, the Shelby GT500 is the car for you.
What I liked most: The sound and feel of 662-horses. What I would change: I would sacrifice some top speed for greater low end power. MSRP: $63,080 as equipped. Fuel Economy: 15/24 and combined 18. But do you really care? 2013 in a few words: Street-legal race car that is insanely powerful.