2013 Shelby GT500 Mustang

It has 662 horsepower, it will send 631 lb.-ft. of head-snapping torque to its 6-speed transmission and it will go faster than 200 miles per hour. If Ford’s 2013 Shelby GT500 Mustang don’t put pepper in your gumbo, you need a new set of taste buds. The new performance Mustang’s supercharged 5.8-liter V8 is, according to Ford, the most powerful production V8 engine in the world.

So when the test Shelby GT showed up for its exam wearing its best Grabber Blue paint, we were anxious to see what the beast would do. Over the years, there have been only a few cars that have left us at a loss for words. After getting behind the wheel of this car and mashing the pedal, about all we can think of to say is – sorry to use such technical language – DANG!

Without a doubt, you need a racetrack to let this pony stretch its legs. Posted speed limits and safety require no less. And although the Shelby is civilized enough to drive to the track, your rear tires can easily break from the pavement with even moderate acceleration and electronic stability and traction control systems engaged.

Our test Shelby had the optional SVT Performance package ($3,495) and a 3.31 ratio limited slip axle, both giving the car increased track performance. Part of the package includes Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers that can be set to normal mode for street driving and sport mode for the track. Sport mode improves response by reducing body roll during cornering and pitch when braking.

Test drivers at Motor Trend magazine reportedly reached 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. To get an idea how fast that is, count it off. From a standstill, one…two…three…sixty. That, folks, is fast.

Just starting the engine on the Shelby GT500 can be fun. A deep, beastly growl blasts from the twin stainless exhaust tips when the ignition key is turned.

With a tight pedal, clutching the car is work for your left leg. The 6-speed manual transmission has a relatively short throw, and the cueball knob on top is a throwback to pony car days.

Wheel choices are either 19s or 20s, coupled with Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G: 2 tires on all vehicle configurations. Aerodynamic improvements on the vehicle give it more stability with increased downward force at speed. Unfortunately, we were not able to take the test Shelby GT500 on the track

Inside the cabin, our Shelby Mustang had Recaro racing seats (a $1,595 option) with the Cobra emblem emblazoned on the back (there’s actually a den of Cobra logos in various spots on this car). The heavily-bolstered seats keep you planted in hard turns.

If it matters, the EPA has given the Shelby GT500 mileage ratings of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. And even though it can go 200 mph, the Shelby GT500 is exempt from the so-called “gas guzzler” tax.

When it comes to safety, the Mustang scores very well. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives it the top rating of “Good,” and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives it four out of five stars overall.

The base price of the 2013 Ford Shelby GT 500 Mustang is $54,200. The racing options boost the bottom line to $63,080, which includes freight.

Some observers have questioned whether super fast cars would go the way of the dinosaurs as the automotive world turns greener.

Not a chance.

The Shelby Mustang’s father and namesake e_SEnD iconic automotive designer Carroll Shelby who died in May e_SEnD wouldn’t have it any other way.

2013 Ford

Shelby GT500 Mustang

Engine:

5.8-liter supercharged V8

Transmission:

6-speed manual

Horsepower:

662

Test model base price:

$54,200

EPA Mileage rating:

15 mpg city / 24 mpg highway