2008 Ford Shelby GT500 Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Ford Shelby GT500

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Shelby GT500 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 500 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500

  • An intoxicating mix of '60s-era style exotic car performance and modern-day refinement, the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 is a high-performance bargain.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Supercharged V8 provides exotic-car-level performance, predictable handling, old-school styling cues, reasonable price as long as you can get it for MSRP.

  • Cons

    Low-grade interior plastics, hefty curb weight, old-tech solid-axle rear suspension, stability control not available.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 gains a couple of new features. Safety is enhanced via newly standard front-seat side airbags and the option of xenon headlights. Those looking for a cozier cabin should consider the new Ambient Interior Lighting option, which gives the owner the choice of seven colors to illuminate the footwells, console and cupholders.

Full 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 gains a couple of new features. Safety is enhanced via newly standard front-seat side airbags and the option of xenon headlights. Those looking for a cozier cabin should consider the new Ambient Interior Lighting option, which gives the owner the choice of seven colors to illuminate the footwells, console and cupholders.


Quick, name the most powerful Ford Mustang ever. If you think it's from the late 1960s or early '70s, go back to listening to that Jimi Hendrix eight-track -- you're a few decades off. The correct answer is the 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. With a 500-horsepower supercharged V8, this "King of the Road" Mustang promises to push its jockey into the seat with even more gusto than any pony of the past.

In addition to the supercharged V8, the Shelby GT500 features a six-speed manual transmission, a tuned suspension, sticky 18-inch Goodyear F1 supercar tires and meaty Brembo brakes with 14-inch front rotors fitted with four-piston front calipers. Of course there are the obligatory racing stripes, emblazoned with "GT500" just like its Age of Aquarius forerunner. Of course there's a beefed-up chassis that's up to the task of handling all the power belted out by that monster motor.

It all works quite well -- the Shelby GT500 is more than a one-dimensional straight-line stormer. It's actually a more agile performer than a few things on its spec sheet might suggest -- 2-ton curb weight, big and heavy engine up front, low-tech solid rear axle in the rear. Quick-ratio steering, along with an unobtrusive traction control system, allows for plenty of tail-out thrills. Massive rubber fore and aft (front tires are 255/45R18s, while those in back measure 285/40R18) does a respectable job of managing all that power and weight.

There are a few downsides to the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500, however. The cabin materials are more $15K than $45K. And being nearly 800 pounds heavier than a Corvette, the GT500 is not going to give any serious sports car fits on a twisty two-lane road. But the GT500 is more about being the ultimate Mustang than shaving seconds off a road course. With styling that pays a tasteful tribute to the original GT500 along with performance that will embarrass the legendary Boss 429, today's GT500 is a bargain.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 is based on the Mustang. As such, it is rear-wheel drive, seats four and can be had as either a coupe or a convertible. The GT500 comes with 18-inch alloy wheels shod with high-performance Goodyear F1 tires (255/45 front and 285/40 rear), hood-mounted heat extractors, a front air splitter, a ducktail-style rear spoiler, air-conditioning, leather-upholstered sport bucket seats with Cobra logos, a power driver seat, a 500-watt stereo with CD changer, cruise control and full power accessories. The GT500 convertible also comes with a power-operated soft top. Both the GT500 coupe and convertible have "GT500" side stripes, while the coupe also has racing stripes over the nose and tail; Ford offers a stripe-delete option for buyers who prefer a stealth look.

Options include a navigation system, an upgraded 1,000-watt sound system, satellite radio, xenon headlights, an Ambient Interior Lighting option (which gives the owner the choice of seven colors with which to illuminate the cockpit) and a Premium interior trim package (which includes a leather-wrapped dash top, upgraded door panels, auto-dimming rearview mirror and sport pedals). A sunroof is not available on the coupe.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 uses essentially the same supercharged 5.4-liter V8 that was fitted to Ford's recently departed GT supercar. There are some key differences: To keep the cost down on the GT500 there is a wet-sump oil system (versus race-oriented dry-sump), a cast-iron block (instead of aluminum) and a "Roots-type" supercharger (instead of an Eaton "screw-type" with 13.5 psi). The result is 500 hp and 480 pound-feet of torque. Our performance testing yielded very impressive numbers: a 4.6-second 0-60-mph sprint and a 12.8-second time for the quarter-mile.

A Tremec six-speed manual gearbox routes all that through a 3.31 limited-slip rear axle. No automatic transmission is available. EPA fuel economy estimates, at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, are respectable considering the exotic-car level of performance on tap.


Antilock disc brakes by Brembo feature four-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors up front with two-piston calipers and 11.8-inch discs in back are standard, as are traction control and front seat side airbags. Stability control is not available and there is no spare tire, just a temporary inflation kit.

Interior Design and Special Features

Interior color choices are limited to either all-black or black and red. Special accents include an aluminum shifter knob and metallic trim that's scattered about the cabin. A Premium interior package provides a stitched leather trim for the top of the dash along with upgraded door trim and aluminum sport pedals. The instruments include a boost gauge and a trip computer/message center. The front seats are aggressively bolstered to hold one in place during hard cornering. Overall, the cabin is comfortable and the controls are easy to use, but there's too much hard plastic given the car's price. Trunk capacity measures 12.3 cubic feet in the coupe and 9.7 in the convertible.

Driving Impressions

With more power than any of the revered Shelby Mustangs of the 1960s, the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 offers performance that's nothing short of intoxicating. Just as its specs suggest, the GT500 lunges forward with exotic-carlike verve when you boot the throttle. Gearchanges are positive and crisp, and the overall driving experience can be either civilized or brutal, depending on your mood and how quickly you move your throttle foot.

Despite its 2-ton curb weight, the GT500 is more than just a drag-strip performer. Careful suspension tuning by Ford's engineers and quick steering make it feel surprisingly nimble through the turns, while an unobtrusive traction control system allows for plenty of "slideways" action. On most roads, the GT500 is predictable and easy to drive, though hammering the throttle over a rough stretch will upset the car due to the non-independent rear suspension. With its huge disc brakes, brake fade is a non-issue and stopping power is amazing for such a heavy car -- a stop from 60 mph takes a relatively short 116 feet.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

"ludicrous speed"

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Coupe (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

I have always been a mustang lover, and this one takes the cake for me. It's my third mustang, I have only had this car for 2 months now and I absolutely love it. No bad experiences so far. It takes me about 15 minutes just to get in the car to start it because I have to stare. lots of mods make this car outperform the KR for a fraction of the price. I have never loved mustangs for their great creature comforts, so people should get over that one, and the performance honors its forebearers. Shelby picked a good one on which to put his name once again.

Fast ford

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

I bought this car for my wife and traded in a 2004 350Z. All in all the Z was easier as a daily driver but we really don't drive this car often. Mash the gas and smile all the time. A fun car to drive but as others point out the interior needs more distinguishing characteristics compared to a GT. The dealer tried to add 15K to the MSRP based on it being a Shelby; don't pay it! It is an extremely nice car but please know folks that this is a suped up Cobra and the only thing common to Vegas modified Shelby's is the Shelby label on the back and badge.

It's all about value

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Coupe (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

Having owned a 65 GT350 that was $4906 OTD it was obvious that value was not a concern as that was astronomical then. Fast forward 44 yrs. and being able to get this car for $40k is simply amazing for what it is. There is nothing made on 4 wheels that can compare for the $. Others may nit pick, build quality, mileage, or a miriad of other little things, but it all comes back to bang for the buck. I have an 07 Porsche Turbo that may, or may not be a tick quicker, handles better, and better build but is 3 of these. This car is definitely better and faster than my 65 was, but seeing restored 65's going for $300k it's not in the cards. The economy has brought these cars down to $40k new, get 1.

Go out and drive one

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Coupe (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

Never liked any mustangs. Was always a classic GM muscle car guy. This car has something that most others do not a serious personality. Steering feel is awesome and power is incredible. I have had the privledge of owning many many cars and this is a great car. It will sprint all day and not get tired. Only thing it could use is a louder exhaust and a much better set of tires. I hope to enjoy this car for many years. Kudos to Ford and Shelby for getting this done right. FYI Don't pay sticker price or anywhere near it I didn't and there is no need to just do reseach.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Gt 500 the truth

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Coupe (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

1st thing , removed factory suspension replaced with Eibach Pro+, added evolution ultimate suspension, pulley kit, programed for 91 octane, and magna flow exhaust. It is what it is and nothing more, a muscle car that is more than fun to drive. I also have a 07 c6 Vette. So here is an honest comparison. Vette out performs GT500 in every way as far as race track performance goes, Vette has nicer interior and more bells and whistles. That said however when I go driving the GT500 gets all the attention. As for driving experience, both cars are amazing to drive and put a smile on my face. The Vette gets close to 30 mpg on the highway, the GT500 about 20mpg.

Needs more improving

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Coupe (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

All I can say is that I feel sorry for those that paid over the sticker. I didn't, and I am glad. The power is there, but you better get used to the first gear shudder that the dealership will tell you is a "normal" thing. Yea, sure. Just like the rear end rusting out is, as they say, normal, and will not affect the integrity or performance. Listen, when you pay $50K for a vehicle, you just don't expect these kinds of things, and, to make it worse, the dealer telling you that it is normal. I should of went with the GT. My bad.

Talk About The 2008 Shelby GT500

2008 Ford Shelby GT500 Discussions See all Started By

of 10 of the exact same vehicles. With the Shelby GT500 being a limited production and every dealer wanting to get as many as they can, there is no way this car is going be available as a "speci...

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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