The only changes for the 2014 Ford Shelby GT500 are two new exterior colors: oxford white and ruby red metallic...more
The modern-day Ford Shelby GT500 first appeared in 2007; it pays homage to the original Shelby Mustang performance cars from the 1960s. Through 2011, the Shelby GT500 had a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 engine, but the 2013 model year brought an extensive revision and a more powerful 5.8-liter supercharged V-8. With the updates, Ford claims its Mustang-based GT500 coupe will hit 200 mph. The 2014 Ford Shelby GT500 is something of a sledgehammer at the top of the Ford Mustang range, offering stupendous horsepower and straight-line performance. More important still, its price undercuts that of every other 600-hp car on the market today, so if you shop in terms of horsepower per dollar, the Shelby GT500 is a clear winner.
In terms of horsepower and all-out performance, the 2014 Ford Shelby GT500 is the top-dog iteration of the Ford Mustang. Its supercharged V-8 engine produces a monstrous 662 hp and 631 lb-ft of torque, which Ford claims is the most of any production V-8 engine. In our testing, that was enough to run a quarter-mile drag strip in 11.78 seconds at 125 mph. Ford says the GT500 coupe will crest 200 mph given a road that's long enough, straight enough, and devoid of traffic. Simply fitting the GT500 with a giant engine wasn't enough, though. The GT500 also has a stronger six-speed transmission, a beefier clutch, a carbon-fiber driveshaft, and an optional performance package with a Torsen limited-slip differential and adaptive dampers.
The Shelby GT500's bodywork is designed not only to look menacing but to provide enough downforce to keep the car stable at triple-digit speeds. Witness a new front splitter, rear wing, and side skirts, along with a functional hood vent to cool the massive V-8. Tweaks for the inside are more subdued, with touches like leather Recaro bucket seats, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, a special white shift knob, and GT500-specific floor mats. Electronic launch control and strong Brembo brakes are standard.
As much as we like the sheer power on tap, the 2014 Ford Shelby GT500 isn't our favorite muscle car. We think its cross-town rival, the 580-hp Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, is better to drive and more refined than the GT500. When we compared the two supercharged muscle cars, the GT500 posted a faster quarter-mile time, but the ZL1 was seven-tenths of a second quicker around the track (Michigan's Gingerman Raceway). On public roads, the Ford's suspension setup also failed to impress: "The GT500's tail hops and skitters over road imperfections, resulting in a car that feels busier than it feels composed," wrote one editor. The convertible version likewise is a letdown because it's structure is too flexible for the GT500's stiff suspension, resulting in a lot of cowl shake over bumps and road imperfections. If you want wild looks and immense power from a muscle car, the Shelby GT500 is a good bet, but be aware that it's far from the most refined sports car on sale today.
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- Chevrolet Corvette
- Dodge Challenger SRT8