2012 Ford Shelby GT500 Base
(5.4L V8 Supercharger 6-speed Manual)
What our ratings include
Date Driven: 8/3/2010 (2011 model)
Running changes for 2011 give the GT500 an aluminum engine block, larger intercooler and larger exhaust. The result is 10 more horsepower and a few tenths off the car's 0-60 and quarter-mile time.
Goodyear's new Eagle F1 Supercar G: 2 tire is the most important change to the 2011 GT500's driving dynamics. It offers more grip, better heat stability and superior breakaway characteristics.
Cars fitted with the optional SVT Performance package are stiffly sprung and have a fairly busy ride. Freeway expansion joints and other square-edge bumps make themselves known in the cabin. This isn't a luxury car, don't confuse it for one.
Even the addition of more sound-deadening material for the 2011 model year hasn't truly tamed the GT500. Fortunately, most of the noise is good -- exhaust and engine, primarily. But this is far from the quietest car we've tested.
Ample seat adjustability, smart, intuitive and logical HVAC and audio controls and a general sense that things are where they should be pervade the GT500's interior.
Front visibility is quite good but is limited relative to the standard Mustang by a higher hood. Rear-quarter visibility can be challenging.
Seat Access & Space
The GT500 ranks low here largely because of its small rear seats, which are only adequate for children or adults on short trips. Front seats offer adequate space and adjustability.
Cargo & Storage
Folding rear seats improve cargo space. We were able to stuff a bike in the GT500's trunk with the seats folded and front wheel removed. Still, this is a small trunk.
Higher-quality materials and signs of better assembly are more obvious in every Ford product lately and the GT500 is no exception. Still, this is no Porsche.