Never again shall the word “wicked” be used to describe a car, because today, my friends, we are retiring it in honor of the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. Set to officially debut at this week’s L.A. Auto Show, the king of Mustangs can once again look the Camaro ZL1 in the face and laugh.
With 650-hp, 600 lb-ft of torque and a 200-mph top speed, straight from the factory, mind you, this is one maniacally wicked car. Yes, it still has that solid rear axle, but this is the last I’ll mention that meaningless little fact, because in this car it doesn’t matter.
The updated GT500 is part of a refresh that also will affect the entire 2013 Mustang lineup, which includes a revised front end, standard high-intensity discharge headlights and side mirrors that have LED lamps that project the pony logo onto the ground when the doors are unlocked. Good stuff.
Frankly, though, all the improvements to the V6 and GT Mustangs take a back seat to the monster you behold here.
The GT500’s 5.8-liter V8 engine has been almost completely worked over, given a larger supercharger and matched to a 6-speed manual transmission. An external engine oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler all work together to keep things in check when the car is pushed to its limits at the track. Nineteen-inch tires roll up front, while 20-inch rubber graces the back. A Brembo (of course) braking system keeps all 650 ponies in check.
I fully realize that this machine should not be unleashed on public roads. A Mustang with this much pure grunt ceases to be a muscle car. It’s more like a ticket to the afterlife.
It defies all logic to offer a 200-mph car to any marginally well-off gearhead who last drove a ’94 Mustang GT and thinks he can handle the GT500 since it’s just another Mustang. This is not just another Mustang. This is a supercar disguised as a Mustang, which, while amazingly cool, could be downright dangerous in the wrong hands.
I know that. Yet, when I look at this car and re-read those performance numbers, I can’t get the grin off my face.
This isn’t just a car – it’s absolutely wicked.
The 200-mph club just got more accessible. Is that a good thing?