2011 Ford Shelby GT500 First Drive
This may come as a surprise to those of you that have been living in a shadow-filled cave for a few years, but Ford and Chevy tend to have a bit of a rivarly in the pony/muscle-car segment. It looks like things aren't reaching a cease-fire for the next round of updates, either, as a new report out of Car and Driver puts the 2013 Shelby GT500 at 600-plus horsepower.
If that figure seems a bit on the high side to you, remember that Chevy just dropped the Camaro ZL1 on us at the Chicago Auto Show, and it's packing 550-plus horsepower from a supercharged LSA V-8. Ford's take on the new Shelby GT500, according to the report, will be to more out the aluminum-block 5.4-liter V-8 found in the current GT500, taking it to 5.8 liters, and then starp an Eaton supercharger to push output to something north of 600 ponies--perhaps as high as 620.
In case you lost count, that's more than the last-gen Viper, in a car that weighs about the same, but which sells at a price point around $55,000. Hooray for American ingenuity and brutal competition.
Don't doubt the Shelby will be able to tame all those horses, either--though previous generations of the GT500 featured what we like to call "I'm gonna kill you" handling, the latest two iterations--2010 and 2011 models--are, simply put, brilliant, and constantly improving. M3-beating, properly capable, and up to the task of tackling any track or curvy road you can throw at it, the 2013 Shelby GT500 looks set to push through its muscle car status and closer to the realm of the supercar.
Now we just have the tantalizing wait--it's expected as a 2013 model, meaning it won't be around until mid-2012 at the earliest.