The straight-line game is where this car shines. The Shelby's force-fed V-8 howls like a demon, knocking off 4.5-second 0-to-60-mph runs and sub-thirteen-second quarter-mile sprints. That performance drives past all contemporary pony car rivals to harass Corvettes with the Z51performance package. In normal motoring, just the right amount of blower whine is released by a patented chamber located between the cold-air snorkel and the throttle body.
Due credit must be given to the Tremec six-speed transmission. First gear lights the rear tires, while second swings the tail into drift mode. Third is perfect for prowling the suburbs in search of unsuspecting prey. That leaves three more gears for placid cruising. Thanks to the new 0.50:1 top ratio, highway mileage climbs to 22 mpg (a gain of 2 mpg), trimming the Shelby's guzzler tax from $1300 to $1000.
Further augmenting the Shelby's joy of shifting, the clutch pedal is light and progressive in its takeup while the stick moves through a tight H-pattern. The coolest interior detail is a striped shift knob made of four molded pieces laminated together and polished by a billiard ball manufacturer.
There are a couple of flaws. A lump in the floor snags the driver's heel during full-throttle indulgences, and the headrests don't willingly accommodate helmets. On track day, you can put up with the rub or lap with the headrests removed.
With a base price of $48,175 (or $53,075 for the convertible), the Shelby GT500 won't deter many from placing their bets on the Camaro, Challenger, Mustang, or Genesis coupe of their choice. Still, it's good to see that the Shelby/SVT collaboration hasn't lost its ability to slip on a game face to show the junior pony car gang what 540 hp can do.
On Sale: Now
Engine: 5.4L supercharged V-8, 540 hp, 510 lb-ft
Automobile Test Results
|0-60 MPH||4.5 sec|
|1/4-MILE||12.8 sec @|
|70-0 MPH Braking||157 ft|
|Speed In gears||1) 46 mph|
|cornering L/R||0.97/0.96 g|