Amid launches of cars more crucial to Ford's future success such as the 2010 Taurus and Fusion, the automaker will introduce the 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, a car more crucial to the brand's performance reputation than its bottom line.
While the finishing touches were being put on the 2010 Ford Mustang, Carroll Shelby and the folks in the SVT stable were putting together a more powerful and more refined Shelby GT500. A glance at the front end will reveal larger upper and lower air intakes that appear ready to swallow any obstacle whole. Ford says the new front end takes styling cues from the Shelby AC Cobra 427s of the early 60s, although we'd say the resemblance is not immediately apparent.
Regardless of what it looks like, the new design should be as functional as it is aggressive. The taller powerdome hood is mounted flush and features functional extractors that bring cool air into the engine bay. The nose also boasts a new front splitter that increases downforce and reduces drag. Out back, the rear spoiler is also improved to reduce drag and contains an integrated Gurney Flap to provide downforce.
When it came to the powertrain, Ford capitalized on the advancements made with the 40th anniversary edition Shelby GT500KR. The output of the 2010 Shelby GT500 is expected to match the 540 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque generated by the KR. The downside is all that muscle from the 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 will still be channeled through a muscle-car-era solid rear axle.
The new Shelby GT500 is able to churn out the extra power compared to the previous model with the help of revised ignition and throttle calibration and a cold-air intake. The new intake uses a conical filter and a front grille snorkel, whose placement sent the trademark cobra badge slithering over to the other side of the grille. Though a few folks at Ford were afraid the change would offend Shelby, the resulting performance increase made him quite happy.
To read more about the 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, go to our 2009 Detroit auto show blogs coverage. All the latest blogs from the Editors of Automobile Magazine can be found HERE. We've got our whole staff wandering the floor at Cobo Hall bringing back live photos and more information about all the new debuts from Detroit.
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