If there's one thing Ford has learned in recent months, it's the magic that comes with combining the words "Mustang" and "Shelby." Throw in the harsh reality that Ford needs all the magic it can conjure these days, and you have the makings of yet another Shelby Mustang. Following closely (some might say too closely) on the heels of the Shelby GT500 and Shelby GT-H, this latest hot-rod pony is simply dubbed "Shelby GT" and is, for the most part, a retail version of the GT-H rental car offered through select Hertz agencies.
Inside Line recently piloted the 2007 Shelby GT at Ford's proving grounds in Dearborn, Michigan, and while we'd have preferred a full-fledged road test, our limited seat time did confirm that Carroll Shelby still has some compelling tricks up his sleeve.
"GT" plus "Ford Racing" equals "Shelby GT" Shelby Automobiles, based in Las Vegas, begins with a stock Mustang GT and adds a Ford Racing Power Pack and Handling Pack to each car. The Power Pack consists of a 90-millimeter cold-air intake, reworked engine calibration, upgraded exhaust flow (via a new X-pipe) and a shorter rear axle ratio (3.55 versus the GT's 3.31). And while the rental GT-H comes in automatic form only, the Shelby GT can be had with a slushbox or a five-speed manual transmission featuring a Hurst short-throw shifter.
The Handling Pack consists of shorter springs, stiffer dampers and an upgraded front antiroll bar. The shorter springs drop the car 1.5 inches, which is unfortunate in the sense that it makes seeing these upgraded parts -- all of them painted a shimmering shade of Ford Blue -- even harder to see unless you have access to a vehicle lift. A front strut-tower brace and P235/55ZR18 tires complete the Shelby GT's handling upgrades.
Once again, Carroll leaves his mark While both the Power Pack and Handling Pack are available to anyone willing to visit the Ford Racing catalog (or Web site), the Shelby GT's styling modifications are not so easily replicated. They begin with a pair of silver Le Mans racing stripes painted over either a white or black coupe (no convertible versions are planned). Additional "Shelby GT" side stripes connect the 18-inch chrome wheels and run underneath unique side scoops (just ahead of the rear wheelwells). A lower front fascia with a brushed-aluminum grille -- minus foglights -- sits below a Cobra-inspired, non-functional hood scoop. Perhaps our favorite exterior design cue is the "SHELBY" spelled out across the trunk lid in individual, classic-font letters, just as it appeared on the 1968 GT500 KR.
The Shelby theme continues inside with "Shelby GT" floor mats, doorsill plates and an authentication plate above the center stack featuring a CSX number (a matching CSX numbered tag is located in the engine compartment).
Classic design cues, modern performance While the Shelby badging clearly identifies who put this Mustang together, our favorite interior component has to be the Hurst shifter, both for its classic chrome-and-cue-ball look as well as its powerful, purposeful feel. It's this sort of shifter action, along with the Shelby GT's baritone exhaust warble and immediate throttle response, that truly evokes the muscle car era from which the Shelby legend springs. The real difference comes with 40 years of progress, meaning you now can enjoy those traits plus inspired steering feel and predictable at-the-limit handling. On the proving grounds we repeatedly tossed this newest pony car into sharp corners for the sheer joy of throwing the tail out and reeling it back in.
A Way Forward by looking back? Beyond its obvious performance and image-building characteristics, the Shelby GT is an example of what Ford is calling its "Go Fast" decision-making progress. What this essentially boils down to is removing the traditional corporate barriers that inhibit flexible and nimble product development. Or, as Mark Fields put it, "We need to cut through the bureaucratic bull." No joke -- you can hear him use these exact words at www.fordboldmoves.com, where a series of Web-based documentaries are portraying Ford's efforts to find "The Way Forward."
Of course, some might argue that building a new car inspired by a 40-year-old car doesn't seem like "forward" thinking. But Ford's desire to offer "a steed for every need" means the company is recognizing the increased fragmentation of the marketplace while simultaneously answering it with highly specialized, limited-production vehicles. If Toyota can sell dealer-customized Scions to the youth of America, why shouldn't Ford provide a series of Mustangs that range in price from $19,995 (V6 Coupe) to $45,755 (Shelby GT500 convertible)?
This Shelby GT version of the Mustang will cost approximately $35,000 and go on sale at the beginning of 2007. If you still believe in that "Mustang" and "Shelby" magic, but you don't want to spend Porsche Boxster-like money, Ford's got a new steed to meet your need.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
2007 Ford Mustang Overview Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2007 Ford Mustang and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2007 Mustang featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2007 Ford Mustang and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2007 Mustang 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2007 Mustang.
Review This is my 4th car in two years; I've had an Accord, an 86 Camaro, a Camry, and now this and I LOVE IT! It's as fast as my V8 Camaro was and the handling is impeccable. I live in Colorado and it even does well in icy conditions given my previous training with rear-wheel drive. The interior is comfortable and smart looking and the exterior is simply HOT. Gas mileage is decent at around 21 mpg compared to 14 mpg in my similar performing V8 Camaro. Though only complaint I have to say quip about is the quality; I've had it since November and it squeaks like a wild horse. I played the stereo too loud and now the glass in the side view mirrors is loose and rattles! The cheap plastic can cut you.
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Available Ford Mustang 2007 Submodel Types: Coupe, Convertible, SVT Cobra, Boss 302, Mach 1 Premium, Hatchback, Mach 1 Premuim
Exterior Colors: Shadow Black, Oxford White, Race Red, Black, Magnetic Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Grabber Blue, Black Clearcoat, Lightning Blue Metallic, White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat, Triple Yellow Tri-Coat, Deep Impact Blue Metallic, Sterling Gray Metallic, Torch Red Clearcoat, Performance White Clearcoat, Kona Blue Metallic, Guard Metallic, Competition Orange, Windveil Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Red Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Satin Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Performance White, Ebony, Screaming Yellow Clearcoat, Tungsten Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Alloy Clearcoat Metallic, Gotta Have it Green Metallic Tri-Coat, Laser Red Tinted Clearcoat, Brilliant Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Mineral Gray Clearcoat Metallic, Redfire Clearcoat, Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Redfire Clearcoat Metallic, Sunset Gold Metallic, Zinc Yellow Clearcoat, Dark Candy Apple Red Clearcoat Metallic, Legend Lime Clearcoat Metallic, Mineral Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Oxford White Clearcoat, Vista Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Yellow Blaze Metallic Tri-Coat, 40th Anniversary Crimson Red, Amazon Green Clearcoat Metallic, Dark Shadow Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Lava Red Metallic, Orange Fury Metallic Tri-Coat, Red Candy Metallic w/Tinted Clearcoat, Rio Red Tinted Clearcoat, True Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Wimbledon White, Azure Blue, Bright Red, Crystal White, Crystal White Clearcoat, Electric Green Clearcoat Metallic, Grabber Orange Clearcoat, Performance Red Clearcoat, Royal Crimson Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Satin Silver Clearcoat, School Bus Yellow, Screaming Yellow, Silver Metallic, Sonic Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Tropic Green Clearcoat Metallic, Vapor Clearcoat Metallic, Vermillion Red, Vibrant White
Interior Colors: Ebony cloth, Ebony leather, Charcoal Black cloth, Charcoal Black leather, Dark Charcoal cloth, Dark Charcoal leather, Ceramic leather, Medium Stone cloth, Dark Charcoal, Dark Saddle leather, Medium Parchment, Medium Stone leather, Medium Parchment cloth, Raven Black leather, Saddle leather, Ceramic cloth, Dark Ceramic cloth, Medium Parchment leather, Midnight Blue leather, Cashmere leather, Medium Graphite, Stone cloth, Black w/Chamois Accent leather, Ebony leather/sueded microfiber, Dark Charcoal w/Red Accent, Dark Charcoal w/Red Accent leather, Black w/Dove Accent premium leather, Black w/Red Accent leather, Dark Charcoal w/Medium Graphite, Dark Charcoal w/Medium Parchment, Light Graphite, Light Graphite leather, Red Line leather, Showstopper Red leather, Yellow Jacket leather
Popular Features: Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Aux Audio Inputs, Tire Pressure Warning, Post-collision safety system, Stability Control, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Upgraded Headlights, Power Driver Seat, Bluetooth, USB Inputs, Alarm, Back-up camera, Keyless Entry/Start, Rear Bench Seats, Leather Seats, Heated seats, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Cooled Seats, Remote Start, Mobile Internet, Soft Top, Trip Computer, Parking sensors, Navigation, 2nd Row Bucket Seats, Blind Spot Monitoring, Upgraded Stereo, Adaptive Cruise Control, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Sunroof/Moonroof, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Pre-collision safety system