The embargo has lifted and the very first reviews of the 2013 Shelby GT500have flooded the internet. Both magazines and web sites alike seem to agree that Ford and SVT have improved the GT500 in just every way, from the increased horsepower and torque from the new supercharged 5.8-liter V8 to the larger 15-inch Brembo brakes to the optional adjustable suspension system co-developed with Bilstein. Perhaps what’s most surprising, though, is the general consensus that Ford has made the new GT500 so refined and easy to drive. Here’s what everyone had to say about the new 2013 Shelby GT500:
Motor Trend
Hammer it from a stop and the rush of 631 lb-ft engulfs your body, pinning your head and torso to the optional $1595 Recaro bucket as the GT500 blasts from 0-60 mph in a scant 3.5 seconds, on toward a quarter-mile time of 11.6 seconds at 125.7 mph. For context, the previous GT500, which put out a relatively pedestrian 550 hp and 510 lb-ft, needed 4.1 seconds to reach 60 and 12.4 seconds at 115.8 mph to eclipse the quarter, while the aforementioned ZL1 required 3.8 and 12.1 @ 117.4, respectively.
Even with all this newfound power, the 2013 GT500 is more livable and user friendly than it ever was before. Ford has improved its monster Mustang in every way possible — better handling, more technology , increased power, and even a 1-mpg improvement in highway fuel economy (avoiding the gas-guzzler tax). This is truly is the most potent factory pony car the Blue Oval has ever produced.
Read the full article here.
Car and Driver
All of this works well until you stand on the right pedal, at which point it works very well, and then you look down at the speedometer and realize you’re going 140 mph and have only shifted twice. Make no mistake: The GT500 is not a slow car, but it doesn’t feel as quick as it is. This is deceptive, long-haul speed, a surprising pairing of monster thrust and continent-crossing gait. After a couple of balls-out acceleration runs, you feel like Robert Crumb’s Keep on Truckin’ guy, all legs, a continent between your shins. It’s initially unimpressive, and then you glance out the window and notice you’re three states away from where you started.
The Ford is better balanced and easier to hold sideways than its predecessor, but corners are still a waiting game: slow in, tease the throttle, read War and Peace, straighten the wheel, obliterate landscape. You hump this thing over an apex, you find yourself thinking of the Mustang Boss 302′s asphalt-wrinkling reflexes and wishing—gasp!—for a bit less power and weight.
Read the full article here.
Road & Track
In what is likely a direct response to the Chevy Camaro ZL1 and its superb magnetorheological suspension, these monotube shock absorbers transform the GT500, making it civil in everyday situations yet sporty on the track. There’s a big difference in ride quality between the two settings, and although the ride is very comfortable in Normal, the damping remains excellent and the car is still quite fun on a twisty road. In Sport, which is essentially a setting for the track, the ride is a bit harsh, but it’s a small price to pay for the composure it gives the car on a fast and unforgiving track like Road Atlanta.
On the road, the GT500 feels fast, but it lacks the absolute smack-in-the-back hit of a Corvette Z06 in a roll-on test in, say, 3rd gear. Chalk it up to its several hundred pounds of extra weight and high gearing that finds the car loafing along at 1450 rpm at 60 mph in 6th gear. And at 100 mph, the engine is only turning 2000 rpm. Nevertheless, it’s still quite potent, and even though the clutch pedal is a tad heavy, the GT500 is a remarkably easy car to drive. Do, however, keep the traction control on for a while, as this car can easily spin its rear wheels in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears.
Read the full article here.
Inside Line
It’ll lay down two black stripes from here to the county line, and won’t even break a sweat doing it. But it is far from the utterly unruly beast we expected.
One thing’s for sure, it is durable. Proof? Within about a two-and-a-half-hour window, five Shelby GT500s made 152 quarter-mile passes without a single failure. No overheating, no fried clutches, no broken driveshafts.
Some hard-core enthusiasts might feel a Shelby should sound and act a bit meaner, that maybe this car is — believe it or not — actually too refined. Let them take it to a tuner and have them screw this GT500 up. For us, it does everything it needs to wear the Shelby name proudly.
Read the full article here.
We spent a few abbreviated laps around Road Atlanta with the Shelby and found ourselves stunned at not only the machine’s drivability, but its trackability. Here’s a big coupe that tips the scales at over 3,800 pounds with 662 horsepower routed to two wheels. We expected to find ourselves listing port and starboard as the big boat bobbed its way around the track and plowed past apexes as it tried its best to swap ass for nose. This couldn’t have been farther from the case.
With everything set to sport, the GT500 is remarkably sharp and poised. Come into an apex, dig deep in the brakes, set up your line, pour on the throttle and the car simply heeds your commands with surprisingly little drama. This is a car that’s happy to woo you into thinking, “Yeah, I can absolutely handle the world’s most powerful production V8.”
Read the full article here.
The 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is, let’s face it, an absolutely insane vehicle. An absurd amount of power, a ludicrous amount of engineering, and a horsepower-to-money ratio that can only be measured on the metric batshit scale. Weirdly, my biggest complaint is how utterly sane it feels.
It’s also by far the best horsepower to dollar value out there: $81.87/HP. Compare that to a similarly-powered Ferrari 599 GTB Firoano ($539.21/HP), or the cheaper Scion FR-S ($124.65/HP). So if your goal is to save money by buying horsepower wholesale, this is absolutely your car.
Read the full article here.
Motor Authority
This is easily the most docile 600-plus-horsepower car around. A relatively light clutch (pedal effort is about 30 pounds), tall gears, and smooth power delivery make it as easy to cruise from stoplight to stoplight as it is to rocket off toward the horizon. The Bilstein selectable ride suspension offers normal and sport mode settings, and the difference is instantly noticeable. You’ll want the normal setting on the street unless you like punishment, but on the track, the sport mode is shockingly capable.
It’s so easy, so drama-free, and so simple to drive in part because of the advanced stability control–which will still let you play a bit in its half-off mode–and driver-tunable launch control, which enable even relatively inexperienced drivers to get off the line and around a corner or twelve with minimal issue, and to do it quite briskly.

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