SVT Performance Package ($3,495 -- includes 19-by-9.5-inch front and 20-by-9.5-inch rear forged-aluminum wheels; P265/40ZR19 front and P285/35ZR20 Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G:2 tires; upgraded springs and shocks; 3.73 axle ratio; Shelby top and side stripes, rear spoiler with Gurney flap and gear shift knob), Electronics Package ($2,340 -- includes voice-activated navigation system with an in-dash screen and single-DVD/CD/MP3 player with DVD audio and video capability; HD radio; an internal hard disk drive for map, and point of interest (POI) storage and 10 gigabyte Music Jukebox; dual-zone automatic temperature control; integrated Sirius Travel Link that provides such information as real-time traffic and current local gas prices. (6-month Sirius Travel Link service included, service not available in Alaska or Hawaii).), Rapid Spec 820A ($0 -- vehicle with standard equipment), 50-State Emissions ($0 --standard on all units).
Slight bog at launch with traction control on. With traction control off, the GT500 is amazingly repeatable at launch. Best runs haze the tires from 3,000 rpm, then grip and go. Tired 2nd-gear synchro prolonged 1-2 shift, yet car still managed to lay rubber. Short shifter never balked or missed a shift, though it requires a deliberate shove. Clutch effort is remarkably low (in a good way).
Excellent first-stop numbers only improved until best numbers appeared on run 7. Pedal is not firm but is progressive and easy to modulate. Zero fade. No stink or smoke.
Skid pad: Lots of grip but these springs didn't care for the slightest pavement irregularity -- skittish. Steering effort is moderate but responsive and precise. ESP on is very lenient with its corrections. Slalom (ESP off): Snappy, precise turn-in, quick yaw response, but this car is begging for more progressive springs. As it is, it's rock hard and skittish to the point that it was difficult to keep focused on the cones. I came close (hit one cone), but I don't think there's a 70-mph run at this facility. Rewarding, enthusiastic, but fun? Maybe not.