• Apr 1st 2009 at 8:59AM
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2010 Shelby GT500 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford has managed to eke out an extra 2 miles per gallon on the highway from the heavily revised 2010 Shelby GT500, bringing its EPA estimated figures to 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Sure, it seems rather unlikely that buyers considering a muscle car will be all that concerned with fuel economy, but we'll take what we can get, especially since the fuel economy increase is accompanied by a bump up to 540 horsepower and a stump-pulling 510 lb-ft of torque. Plus, an increase in highway mileage means fewer stops on long trips, and that's always welcome in our book.

Now, all of this is fine and dandy, but we all know the real reason this car exists is to obliterate its tires on every 4.3-second blast to 60 mph. Fortunately for fans of ridiculous straight-line acceleration, the revisions that make the latest Shelby more fuel efficient also also end up contributing to its ability to accelerate. The biggest change that helps on the highway is numerically lower gearing in the transmission for the fifth and sixth cogs, which, combined with a 3.55:1 axle ratio, allows the baddest 'Stang to boast improved acceleration in the first four gears to go along with the lowered RPM highway drone made possible by the last two gears.

Ford also points to a refined air intake and a revised twin-disc clutch as reasons that the 2010 Shelby GT500 is a step above its predecessor, and we also took note of the vastly superior interior that's standard in all new Mustangs when we last looked at the GT500. Click here to read all about it, and click past the break for the mpg-touting press release.

[Source: Ford]



* Upgrades to DOHC V-8 engine's calibration and cold-air intake system increase horsepower to 540 and torque to 510 ft.-lb.
* 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 boasts a 2 mpg improvement in highway driving compared to the outgoing model
* Gearbox refinements improve Ford Shelby GT500's signature straight-line acceleration when running through the lower gears, while also providing a highway fuel economy increase

SAN FRANCISCO, March 31, 2009 – "Better" is the operative word when describing the 2010 Ford Shelby GT500. Better horsepower. Better torque. Better handling. Better interior.

And, yes, better fuel economy.

"The 2010 Shelby GT500 picks up an additional 40 horsepower and 30 ft.-lb. of torque over the outgoing model, and has better fuel mileage as well," said Kerry Baldori, chief functional engineer for Ford's Special Vehicles Team. "That's a huge win-win for our customers."

Certification testing shows the 2010 Shelby GT500 improves 2 mpg in highway conditions compared to the outgoing model, with ratings of 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Changes to the top gears, which were made taller, are a key reason for the improvement.

Refinements to the supercharged and intercooled 5.4-liter DOHC V-8 engine's calibration and improvements to the cold-air intake system help increase the performance on the 2010 Shelby GT500. The engine calibration now features a dual-knock sensor system instead of a single-knock sensor, improving the efficiency of the engine by making better use of the fuel provided. The cold-air intake system makes sure cold air is directly fed to the engine under all circumstances, whether on the street or on the track, to give customers maximum power. The redline is 6,250 rpm.

"Where you really feel the new power and torque is mid-range," said Baldori. "The new Shelby GT500 produces more torque than the outgoing model at 3,000 rpm and never looks back."

Gains made on the special 40th anniversary edition Shelby GT500KR's cold-air induction system are part of the 2010 Shelby GT500's package as well. Attention was given to the hood blanket to form a tight seal in the area around the induction system and open air filter element.

The additional power in the 2010 Shelby GT500 is easier to handle thanks to improvements to the twin-disk clutch system on the 6-speed manual transmission. The twin disks are a larger diameter – up from 215 mm to 250 mm – are more robust and now made of copper and fiberglass.

"If you went with one disk, the torque output of the 2010 Shelby GT500 would require that disk to be very large," said Baldori. "The twin-disk system allows us to get the required surface area in a smaller package. Having two disks also lowers the inertia compared with one large disk, which improves drivability."

The intermediate disk, rather than floating, has six straps that control the engagement of the clutch, improving drivability, and a dampener reduces gear clash and gear rattle noises. The overall result is that clutch efforts are dramatically lower while clutch engagement is smoother.

"The ability to launch is much easier," said John Pfeiffer, product development engineer. "You can jump in the 2010 Shelby GT500 and rip off 4.3 (0 to 60 mph times) without any practice, on your way to a 0-100 time of 9.4 seconds."

When not on track, customers of the 2010 Shelby GT500 will benefit from improved highway fuel mileage after improvement to the six-speed gearbox. Fifth gear changes from .80 to .74 while sixth gear goes from .63 to .50. "Our final drive ratio went from 3.31 to 3.55," said Pfeiffer. "That extra power, torque and gear ratio makes gears one through four more performance-oriented, while fifth and sixth gears gives you fuel economy."

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 213,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's wholly owned automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      OMG, is that car painted up to star in the next Pixar movie?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I dunno that Shelby chose the paint colors.

        Shelbys have not always been this oddly painted.

        Blue with white or silver, or even black stripes, not too bad.

        Red stripes over silver, black, even white base colors, not too bad.

        Ketchup red is rough anyway, and Marshmallow blue looks like a smurf. Put them together, and it is a real mess, regardless of the colors being louder than a beige camry.

        What is next Ford, dirt brown with candy blue stripes? Dark green with burnt orange stripes? There is such a thing as color theory... and good design is good design.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's over the top, but so is the car. You don't drive this thing to blend in with silver camrys in the grocery store parking lot.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, but I don't know anyone who likes ketchup on their blue marshmallow Easter Peeps, though.

        'cause that is what this looks like. Awful.

        Just after I got done complimenting ford on their blue with white-stripe Fiesta paint-job yesterday...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yikes, you are seriously too ignorant. If you are such an expert on vehicle dynamics why don't you enlighten us all with how the Mustang with a solid rear axle pulls 0.98 g's in last months motor trend issue (yes, the GT version). Oh, and why don't you enlighten us on how the GT500KR pulled above 1g in some magazines. Even better, why don't you enlighten us on why a solid axle is so bad for handling since I am sure you are just like most people and don't even have a clue on what the differences between the IRS and the solid axle are in HANDLING (not ride comfort). Yes, it has it's downsides, but it has it's advantages as well.

      This is seriously one of the best American muscle cars ever. I have seen many of them here in Detroit through work and pictures don't do this ride any justice. See it in person and I bet you that solid axle comment will be brainwashed out of your head. This car made my blood turn blue and I can't wait to pick up a used one in a year or two.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dude the Mustang (S-197) was built off a modified platform the Lincoln LS (DEW98) which had IRS. Ford put in the Solid Axle for cost and drag racers were mad @ the Cobra's IRS not holding up and hop. So for 2010 why not revive the DEW98 rear end. Hm more then likely cash.....
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Camaro and Challenger have IRS because they are built off platforms shared with other models. That spreads the cost out over a more vehicles so that it doesn't break the bank when it comes to building them. The Mustang is a unique platform shared with nothing else so to design and build an IRS just for the Mustang would be very expensive. The Camaro and Challenger can use their IRS in the G8/Commador and Chrager/300 so it is eaiser to recoup the cost.

        In the end Ford sells a ton of them and has for years. Yes the Camaro is faster and it was 10 years ago. The problem was it never outsold the Mustang and that's what really matters. Lap times from the "ring" me nothing or how fast you can you corner when you play Fast and Furious. Sales and profits are what really counts.
        • 6 Years Ago
        take another swig of Ford's cool-aid, there buddy.

        I used to be a Mustang fanatic like you... I just couldn't keep it up as long, I dropped out when they kept the linguini-rigid fox platform base through the SN95 and new-edge mustangs, from 1979 to 2004, and kept making the cars heavier and bigger, without getting much technically better. At least the Cobras had IRS (which under-delivered due to being hacked into an old chassis), and a nice aluminum DOHC V8.

        It matters what chassis that gets put into, though... I couldn't stick to being a Mustang fan when other vehicles throughout the early to mid 90s were getting better and better, and Mustang didn't. It just got bigger, bulkier, and older. Then all the coupes crashed, and Mustang was one of the few survivors, because it was so cheap to build.

        Now they are sticking to that, and still making it cheaply under the skin, even after the S197 re-design. The GT500 adds a big engine, big tires, otherwise materials and chassis tech by the lowest bidder, and not much different from the 20K price-point-engineered V6 model. Adding 500hp and ancillary updates to an otherwise $20k grade chassis does not a $50k car make. There are cars out there that are designed and engineered to be sold at $50k, and the materials and tech are better.

        I hope you have fun driving your Mustang on a perfectly smooth track every day. For the rest of us in the real world, the laws of physics still apply, and the roads keep getting worse. If I wanted to get bucked around on broken pavement with a truck axle, I would get a truck, and at least be able to have that practicality.

        There are other cars that match and beat Mustang's handling, and they ALL have independent suspension. If solid axle was so fantastic, why don't more cars still have them, besides retro-tastic mustang, and ancient panther-platform that is finally going out to pasture after more than 30 years.

        Why aren't Camaro and Challenger equipped with live axles if they are so fantastic for that genre of car?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah transmission!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mustang boy?!?! Ha!! I never had a thing for american cars and drive a performance japanese car. However, this mustang 500 changed my mind and might actually be the first american car I will own.

      Like said, you can complain about the IRS or SRA all you want, both make sense for different conditions but until you man up and realize that the majority of us car freaks can only dream of owning some of the 500+hp supercars and Ford has made one for the cost of a BMW 3 series you can take your Solid axle criticism somewhere else. That is part of engineering, do I make it cheap and fun for the majority or expensive and right for a few? Yes, all of us would love to own a GT-R or a Z06 but even used they will cost more than this car new. Oh, and now go back and read about hte $2000 routine maintanace on the GT-R and read up on how much 2 rear tires and the front rotors with pads are for a Z06. And then you trash this car because of a solid rear axle?!?! The Camaro SS is nice, in my opinion not nicer than this, and if they bring the Z28, which will match this car in power ratings, don't expect it to go for less than 50k.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Improved hp, torque, and fuel efficiency? Wait this isn't some kind of sick April fools day joke is it?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Honestly the people that whine the most about IRS vs SRA are just repeating the dribble spewed by so many self important car mags.

      You can't go fast enough on the streets for the SRA to be a hinderance to this car...and if you attempt it, you are an idiot.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And I doubt many of them have actually driven a Mustang. Sure, it can hop on some rough curves but heck, every vehicle I have been in does the same thing.

        And from what I understand, Ford did an amazing job on taming that rear end (for 2010) and the ride quality is supposedly a heck of a lot better when compared to the current Mustang.

        Having driven cars like the 350Z, Vette, Mustang, etc., the Mustang isn't much worse.

        Some people just don't get it.

        Oh and Yikes, come up with something new.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just think how much better this and all muscle cars could be if they shaved off some speck. My 2.5 liter goes 0-60 in 4.7 seconds with 265hp. That schwein needs 540 hp to be quicker by .4 seconds. On top of that I do not desire that much attention while driving.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not to mention, the minute you need to turn the steering wheel, your WRX will be leaving the musTANK eating your dust.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That .4 seconds to 60 grows to about a second at the quarter mile with at least a 13mph difference in trap speed. Beyond that, the distance keeps growing and growing. The WRX also can't even get to the Mustang's electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love that blue, but not as much as Sonic Blue on the Terminators. The red stripes have got to go though, as anybody with a color wheel can tell you red and blue should never be together.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The color scheme reminds me of GI Joe. All that is needed is a COBRA emblem on the hood and da da da the All-American classic for the All-American Heroes' main nemesis. Have a Cobra Day...Go Joe!
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's a real release, or if not Ford is the one making it up: http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=30101
      • 6 Years Ago
      How about squeezing out a real suspension for the rear tires...and losing about 500 pounds...

      Then the car may not be such a pig.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here's waiting for the first "another Mustang article" comment.

      This is just such an awesome car. Hopefully someday I'll get the change to drive one!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thank you, Ed! HAHAHAHA!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm waiting for the Autoblog April Fools post.

        This apparently isn't it, but I know it's coming!
        • 6 Years Ago
        or chance!
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