2013 Ford Shelby GT500 (5.8L V8 Supercharger 6-speed Manual)
Driven On 6/5/2012
Ford's 662-hp GT500 is an untamed pony car the likes of which the world has never seen. It's part redneck, part rolling burnout and part neutron bomb. And it's fun. Lots of fun. Certainly it's not the best handling or most refined car in this small class, which is what keeps it from an "A" rating. But no one will deny that it's insanely fun.
PerformanceInsanely powerful, the GT500's engine dominates its personality. Handling, too, is good, but putting the power down is a challenge in almost every situation.
The only thing keeping this car from a perfect score is its inability to put the power down.
Brake performance is good despite a pedal that isn't as solid as we'd like.
Adjustable steering effort is a nice trick, but steering feedback and response are more important. Still, the Shelby is good in those areas as well.
We’re tired of saying it, but the Mustang's live axle is dated. And, as well as it's been tuned, it's time to move on.
Too-tall gearing keeps the Shelby from being as easy to drive as it could be. First-gear takeoffs in slow traffic require practice.
ComfortOptional SVT Performance Package delivers stiff springs and has a fairly busy ride. Dual-mode dampers improve ride quality, but don't confuse this with a luxury car because it isn't.
Optional Recaros are both comfortable and supportive.
Dual-mode Bilstein dampers are the key to the GT500's acceptable freeway ride.
Tire and road noise are livable in the GT500, but don't expect luxury car levels of quietness. This is a pony car. And it sounds like one.
InteriorMaterial and assembly quality are adequate in the Shelby, but its design and interfaces aren't as easy to use as some competitors.
Critical controls are in easy reach and follow industry standards. Some SYNC controls are not intuitive to use (phone pairing).
Front-seat access is good. Rear-seat access is as bad as in most coupes.
Front-seat space is good in all dimensions. Rear headroom better than many competitors.
Like most coupes, rear-quarter visibility isn’t good. Mirrors provide adequate coverage.
Small door pockets, two front cupholders.
ValueIt's hard to argue with 662 hp for around $60K, isn't it?
Build Quality (vs. $)
Ford knows how to screw this car together. We witnessed no obvious quality issues in our test car.
The Shelby offers most everything we would ask for in a pony car.
You won't get this much power for this much money in any other car.
We earned a respectable 20.5 mpg over 3,200 highway miles. It's a considerably different story around town, but that's an impressive number for anything with this kind of snort.
The GT500 offers an average warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles basic and 5 years/60,0000 miles powertrain.
There's value in having the most powerful production V8 ever made under the hood. As a Shelby, there may be investment potential (not financial advice) if you keep it long enough.
Fun To DriveWhat's not fun about 662 hp? Very little. Except maybe very tall gearing, which we can manage in most instances.
The Shelby can be difficult to drive and it likes to spin its tires, but all those things only contribute to its overall personality. See below.
There's nothing with this kind of personality currently on the road. Endless, tire-roasting personality is certaintly this car's biggest strength.