2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR

This was amusing. I worked late last night, and when I left the office, downtown Ann Arbor was largely deserted, and a light rain was falling. The few pedestrians present were dashing through crosswalks, heads bowed, in a hurry to reach warm and dry bars and cars. But the angry sound of this Mustang's 540-hp, supercharged V-8 and its throaty, H-pipe exhaust was not to be ignored. People looked up, startled, wondering what in the world was creating such a racket on this quiet October weeknight. I'm not surprised. Heck, I was startled, too, especially when I tried to goose the throttle. The reaction from the live rear axle was immediate and violent. The 18-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 rear tires shuddered and skidded and protested at the very notion that they were being asked to provide grip and propulsion on this cold, wet pavement, sending the rear end of the car toward the curb. These tires might as well have been carved of solid oak rather than rubber, so little did they adhere. Okay, I exaggerate, but you know what I mean.

It wasn't much better this morning, when there was still a distinct October chill in the air and the road was littered with wet leaves. So rather than trying to send much of the 510 lb-ft of torque to the rear axle, I concentrated on enjoying the smooth shifts available from the short-throw, six-speed gearbox, which is a great box but, I might offer, no better than the one in the Roush Mustang that we drove a few months ago. I also noted the precise steering and the supportive, highly bolstered seats.

There's a high-performance experience to be had behind the wheel of this $80,000 Mustang, but it wasn't happening on Ann Arbor's wet streets last night. It's better for you to read what Automobile Magazine's west coast editor, Jason Cammisa, had to say about the GT500KR in our July 2008 issue. After all, he spent an entire day driving it on a track in Utah, on dry surfaces, with plenty of ambient heat to warm up the Eagle F1s. Click HERE to see what he had to say.

Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor

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