2010 Ford Shelby GT500 - Click above for high-res image gallery
While the two variants of the Ford Shelby GT500 that we've lived with since 2007 are undoubtedly fast in a straight line, they have a major flaw. They are simply too heavy. For a variety of reasons, when Ford created the GT500, they opted to use a cast iron block rather than the aluminum dry sump block that was in the GT supercar. Between that and all of the performance model's extra equipment, the GT500 is over 400 pounds heavier than the Mustang GT with most of that hanging over the front axle.
Ford has acknowledged that the Mustang will be getting updated powertrains in the coming model years and we expect at least two new engines for 2011 including the 400 horsepower, 5.0-liter Coyote V8. PickupTrucks.com is reporting that for 2012, the Coyote should spawn a twin turbo variant with over 500 hp for the GT500. With an aluminum block, this engine figures to be markedly lighter than the current engine, which ought to give the car much better handling.
Another source with knowledge of the upcoming Mustang lineup referred us to a report in AutoGuide.com and tells us "this information is very, very, accurate... ". That report says that there will be instead be an aluminum block supercharged 5.4-liter V8 in the 2011 GT500. Apparently we'll find out in due course.
Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2010 Ford Shelby GT500, Part 1
[Sources: PickupTrucks.com, AutoGuide.com]