|Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Convertible|
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What happens when a legend from Texas reunites with a legend from Dearborn? The most powerful Mustang ever. After 40 years, racing legend Carroll Shelby and the Ford Mustang are back together with the introduction of the 2007 Ford Shelby GT500. The collaboration between Shelby and Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) is yielding an instant collector's Mustang that builds 475 horsepower in its 5.4-liter supercharged V-8. A modern interpretation of the Shelby Mustang of the 1960s, the Ford Shelby GT500 uses advanced engineering to attain the performance that made the original GT500 the king of the road. True to the original GT500, it will be available both as a coupe and as a convertible when it goes on sale in the summer of 2006.
As expected of anything with Shelby's name on it, the heart of the car is what's under the hood. The Ford Shelby GT500's supercharged 5.4-liter, 32-valve V-8 evolves from Ford's experience with tuning its modular, or MOD, engines. Output is a brawny 475 horsepower. The engine is force-fed an air-and-fuel mixture via a "Roots-type" Supercharger providing 8.5 pounds per square inch of boost. The GT500 uses a cast-iron engine block. It borrows from the Ford GT program aluminium, four-valve cylinder heads, piston rings and bearings, adding a high level of performance durability to the drivetrain. "Powered by SVT" camshaft covers add the finishing touch to the engine. Helping put the power to the pavement is a 6-speed manual gearbox. For the performance driver, its evenly spaced gears mean less "stirring" is needed to find the "sweet spot." This gives a rewarding experience throughout the engine's broad torque curve. The heavy-duty transmission has proven itself a willing companion to Mustangs in both road and track environments, including recent road-going Mustang Cobras and the new race-winning Mustang FR500C.
The Ford Shelby GT500 continues a legacy of all-around performance that made the original a world-class racer on tracks and road courses around the world. The Ford Shelby GT500 starts with the solid Mustang underpinnings. The all-new Mustang was designed from the beginning with performance derivatives in mind, providing an exceptionally rigid, well-engineered starting point for GT500 chassis engineers. SVT engineers retuned and upgraded key chassis components. Improvements such as revised shocks, spring rates and upgraded stabilizer bars help the Ford Shelby GT500 stop and turn with the same authority as it goes. The Ford Shelby GT500 features a MacPherson strut independent front suspension with Reverse L lower control arms, and a solid-axle, three-link rear suspension with coil springs and a Panhard rod for precise control of the rear axle. This rear suspension design has been validated on the track by Ford Racing. The Ford Racing Mustang FR500C was purpose-built from the base 2005 Mustang body structure and suspension geometry to run in the Grand-Am Cup series, a class of road racing for production-based cars. To match this power and handling ability, engineers fitted some of the biggest brakes in the business to the Ford Shelby GT500. Four-piston Brembo calipers are fitted to 14-inch Brembo vented rotors up front, and 11.8-inch vented discs in the rear continue SVT's legacy of great-braking Mustangs. Secure footing is provided by 255/45ZR high-performance tires in front and 285/40ZR high-performance tires in back. Wheels are 18 inches by 9.5 inches.
One glance shows this is not the typical Mustang Cobra. A sinister-looking front-end design includes wide upper and lower fascia openings with a functional air splitter. The upper intake sports the famous Cobra logo floating off-center in place of a centered galloping pony found on other Mustangs. On either side, slanting headlamp openings add to the dramatic front appearance. The "GT500" script emblazoned on the gas cap emblem is joined by an updated version of Shelby's classic Cobra logo that is repeated on the grille and the headrest. The bulging hood has heat extractors protruding near the leading edge, combining to provide improved airflow and aerodynamics. As air passes over the hood, hot air from the engine compartment is drawn out through ducts attached to the hood extractors. The 2005 Mustang design team drew inspiration from classic 1968 Mustangs, the models that transformed the mild-mannered pony car into a muscle car with attitude. Envisioning a high-performance model, the team tested GT500 design cues on the Mustang GT coupe concept that was unveiled at the 2003 North American International Auto Show. In a touch also borrowed from the GT500's past, no Le Mans stripes will be seen on the 2007 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible. However, the convertible will sport a cloth top similar to those found on pricier convertibles.
The unique rear fascia features lower strakes inspired by the Ford GT's integrated rear airflow diffuser, and a rear spoiler reminiscent of a classic GT500. To mark the collaboration of two Mustang performance icons, the GT500 features Shelby and SVT badging. The fenders each feature an updated design of the Cobra. The front grille features an off-center snake in place of the standard running horse. "GT500" is emblazoned inside the side rocker stripes, and the name SHELBY is prominently written across the rear deck. The SVT logo can be seen on the wheel center caps, a signature SVT location, as well as on the doorsill plates. To top it off, the medallion between the taillights reads "Shelby GT500" centered on the Cobra image.
The Ford Shelby GT500 convertible builds on four decades of open-air heritage; the first Mustang was a drop top. More than 1 million convertibles have been sold since 1964. Inside, too, upgraded levels of flair and function abound. The locations of the speedometer and the tachometer are swapped to provide performance-oriented drivers with a better view of shift points while changing gears. Front seats have received additional lateral support to help keep the driver optimally positioned during cornering. The interior is offered in a choice of two colors, Charcoal Black or Charcoal Black and Crimson Red. The charcoal/red offering features Crimson Red seating surfaces and door panel inserts. Seating surfaces are leather with both interior treatments. Snake logos embossed in the seat backs finish the package. The Shelby GT500 script and Cobra image are repeated on the steering wheel cap. Behind the wheel, the gauges wear light faces in keeping with SVT tradition. The chromed accessories inside the cabin have been replaced with a satin aluminium finish, including the aluminium shift lever knob that is nicely positioned for quick, positive shifts.
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|Article||Image gallery (11)||Specifications|