TopGear.com 16 November 2011

Blimey. Anyone fancy a 200mph Mustang?

The 650bhp 2013 Shelby Mustang GT500 launches at the LA Auto Show. With some big numbers

Blimey. Anyone fancy a 200mph Mustang?

Holy Pony! Let’s get straight to the numbers here. This all about the numbers. This new offering is a fast Mustang, so there is after all, little point in dwelling on the technology….

Here goes. 650bhp. Over 600 foot pounds of torque.

And 200mph. Two hundred miles per hour, maybe more. Going on the price of the current GT500 model — now totally eclipsed — and at today’s exchange rate, that’s a smidge over £38,000 for a 200mph car. Short of a trip to the Ferrari World rollercoaster, we can’t think of a quicker way of going that fast.

The 2013 Shelby Mustang GT500, launched today at the LA Auto Show, blows its predecessor into the bayou. Strapping on a significantly more powerful blower boosts horsepower by 100bhp and torque by 90 ft lbs. We’ll have to wait until LA gets up for anyone to confirm whether that huge top speed is ‘theoretical’ or not — the outgoing car was limited to 155mph after all. Either Ford has made some monumental breakthroughs in tyre technology, or has decided it’s going to be very un-American and trust its buyers to behave.

After all, 200mph in car which still has a truck rear axle is going to be kind of exciting (not to say a major threat to your liberty) on American roads, where even the 55mph max can feel hairy with all those big and frequent bumps.

See more pictures of the Shelby Mustang GT500

So no proper rear suspension and a bigger, largely-bespoke supercharger for the 5.8-litre V8. So far so drag-strip. But the latest-gen Shelbys have all been good cars. We’ve been driving them in the US for a few years now, and the Shelbys and the Boss 302 derivatives always show themselves to be remarkably focused, almost European in their precision (that live rear axle aside). A big shout out here to official TG Hero Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles. Think of him as a sports car Jamie Oliver, on a campaign to rid American diets of float and bloat and shake and wobble.

The 2013 Shelby also gets the kind of aerodynamic attention you’d hope for in a car taking you the other side of 200mph. You can see the bigger splitter right down low there, but what you can’t see is the revised grille. This not only feeds all that extra air to the blower and its ancillaries, but also generates downforce.

It has been totally re-geared to process all that torque and, apparently still stays the right side of the 27mpg gas-guzzler levy. There’s a new Brembo braking system and newly designed 19in front and 20in rear wheels.

And there’s even launch control and an optional Torsen limited slip diff, but only as part of a hardcore Performance Pack, or a super hardcore Track Pack designed for touched owners who still feel let down by the car’s performance.

As if.

 

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