A Comprehensive performance package
The quintessential pony car has come of age, and Ford’s 2009 Shelby GT500 is ample evidence that the Blue Oval has gone and grown its iconic and beloved coupe into a real sports stallion. No longer a mere muscle car, the GT500, which finally sports a horsepower rating fitting of its name for 2009, can sprint, slow and handle in a manner that belies its hefty 4,000 pound curb weight. No, you won’t confuse the Shelby for a Z06 Corvette, but then again you won’t be looking through the couch cushions to find some money for that much higher monthly payment for the Chevy.
After countless laps in Mustangs, I have had the immense pleasure of getting to know Ford’s Pony car very well over the years. With that in mind, the Shelby GT500 is a whole different rodeo, and brings a step up in refinement, capability and overall enjoyment over previous and less enhanced Mustangs.
With a supercharged 5.4 liter V8 that fills that large engine bay, the Shelby boasts 500hp and 480 ft-lbs of torque that effortlessly propel the two door coupe down the road. Lean on the right hand pedal in earnest, and the roots type supercharger quickly builds boost. Come to about 3500 rpm and the manageable Mustang quickly turns into a thoroughbred that requires a fair amount of right foot sensitivity and a keen awareness of the energy that is harnessed in the amazingly quickly built velocity.
The Shelby sounds about as it good as it goes with a pleasant and characteristic Mustang rumble at idle. As revs build though, the rip of the exhaust is met and then overtaken by a high pitched and wicked supercharger whine.
The Tremec six-speed tends to be a bit notchy, especially when the car is cold. Gear ratios are well spaced however, and as with so many of the high horsepower Detroit iron these days, the Shelby’s first gear is tall enough to take it to 60 mph. The lack of a shift in the all-important 0-60 dash allows the Shelby to complete that sprint in just over 4 seconds.
More: 2009 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Review