The reborn Boss 302 model may grab most of the headlines, but it isn't exactly the most powerful street-legal 2012 Ford Mustang available. That honor goes to the 2012 Ford Shelby GT500, which receives a few minor revisions for the new year.
For the most part, the 2012 GT500 is virtually identical to last year's car, which was significantly updated for the 2011 model year. A supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 continues to power all GT500, sending a solid 550 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. An optional SVT Performance Package adds additional go-fast goodies, including a limited-slip differential with a 3.73:1 axle ratio, stiffer springs, a custom shift knob, SVT stripes, and 19 and 20-inch wheels fitted in front and back, respectively.
The tweaks for the 2012 model year are few and far between. Sterling Grey Metallic is no longer available as an exterior paint color, and the driver's side sun visor has been revised to incorporate an integral garage door opener. Buyers can now also opt for leather-trimmed Recaro front buckets with accent stripes, which add an extra $1595 to the window sticker
Other than that, little -- including pricing -- has changed. Ford tells us 2012 GT500 coupes and convertibles start at $49,495 and $54,495, respectively (including destination), just as the 2011 models did. Navigation and automatic climate control appear to remain a $2340 bundle, while the glass roof feature can still be added for $1995. The aforementioned SVT Performance Package also returns for 2012, although its price jumps $500 to $3995.
Ford hasn't indicated just when the 2012 GT500 will arrive in showrooms, but seeing as dealers can now take customer orders, we imagine the supercharged muscle machines should reach consumers shortly.