Second Test: 2010 Ford Shelby GT500

We were more than ready to test the new 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 earlier this month, but Mother Nature wasn’t. While at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, technical editor Don Sherman encountered a gusty headwind that reduced the car’s straight-line acceleration and top speed performance. The numbers produced were certainly respectable, but we felt more could be eked from the powerful ponycar. Having recently wrung the car under better conditions, our suspicions were confirmed.

At Infineon, the GT500 ran from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds – a solid performance, but somewhat disappointing for Ford‘s ultimate Mustang. That’s better than a SRT8, but equal to a SS equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.

It’s a different story this time around, as the Sherman muscled the Shelby to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. That’s almost a half-second quicker than our first time, and it bests both the Camaro SS and Challenger SRT8 by 0.4 and 0.6 seconds, respectively.

Predictably, our quarter-mile acceleration times also improved. We managed to run the pass in 12.7 seconds, blowing through the trap at 117 mph. That’s a better result than our initial 13.3-second, 112-mph attempt, which was roughly equal to a Camaro SS’ quarter-mile time.

While it holds its own against other contenders to the muscle car throne, the new GT500 obliterates one car in particular: the outgoing GT500. In spite of an extra 20 pounds, the 2010 model is 0.4 seconds quicker to 60 mph, 1.2 seconds faster in reaching 100 mph, and pulls an extra .06 g in cornering.

Ford Shelby GT500

Base Price: $48,175
As Tested: $50,965 [includes HID lamps, nav, dual-zone A/C]

Engine: 5.4-liter DOHC 49-valve supercharged and intercooled V-8
Horsepower: 540 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 510 lb-ft@ 4500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Drive: Rear-wheel

L x W x H: 188.2 x 73.9 x 54.5 in.
Legroom F/R: 42.4/29.8 in.
Headroom F/R: 38.5/34.7 in.
Cargo capacity: 13.4 cu. ft.

EPA Rating (city/highway): 14/22 mpg

Engine: Supercharged and intercooled 5.4-liter DOHC V-8
Power: 540 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 510 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Redline: 6250 rpm

Weight: 3941 lbs
Weight distribution (percent front/rear): 57.2/ 42.8

Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar
Size, Front: 245/40WR-19
Size, rear: 245/35WR-19

0-60 mph: 4.5 sec
0-100 mph: 9.6 sec
0-110 mph: 11.5 sec
0-120 mph: 13.4 sec
0-130 mph: 15.5 sec

1/4 mile pass: 12.8 sec @ 117 mph
Peak acceleration g: 0.71
70-0 mph braking: 157 ft
Peak deceleration g: 1.12

Speed in Gears:
-1st: 46 mph
-2nd: 77 mph
-3rd: 105 mph
-4th: 136 mph
-5th: 155 mph
-6th: 155 mph

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Horse Power:

210 @ 5300


240 @ 3500