Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsCar Reviews
2013 Ford Mustang GT500 - Top-Shelf Shelby
Behold the 2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake
On our digital scales, with no driver and an empty tank of fuel, it weighed 3,880 pounds. Since the previous version tipped the scales at over 4,000, we were pleasantly surprised.
So all that was left was a drag test. At Bradenton Motorsports Park (Bradenton, Florida) on a cool January evening, we bolted on a pair of Nitto 555R drag radials, the only sticky tires we had in-house that were mounted to wheels large enough to clear the Wilwoods. Not nearly as soft as a bias-ply tire, we knew we couldn't launch as aggressively as we could have with slicks. Still, we had much anticipation that it would best the '08 Super Snake.
Test pilot Editor Smith put some heat in the 555Rs. He turned on Launch Control, set it to 3,000 rpm, and staged shallow. Not knowing what to expect, he released the clutch pedal quickly. The engine bogged but recovered swiftly, propelling Smith to a 10.79 at 137.61 mph—quicker right off the bat than the '08 version's 10.87 best (at Englishtown on slicks).
Needing more rpm on the launch, Smith bumped up the launch control to 3,500. This time, the 60-foot time was improved from 1.98 to 1.81, and it showed on the big end—a 10.68 at 136.11 mph. A few runs later, after bumping launch revs to 3,800, a 1.76 60-foot short time yielded a 10.66 at 136.01 mph! We made a total of 10 runs that night, trying different launch methods with and without Launch Control, and the LC actually provided us with the best e.t.
Your author even got a chance to wheel the Super Snake down the track. Admittedly, it was more fun than I expected. Not that I thought it was going to be boring, but the ease of launch and sheer acceleration rate left me giggling like a school girl at a One Direction concert. My best attempt was an 11.13 at 132.17 mph without power shifting. I would consider myself a drag-racing novice, and I can tell you that just about anyone with basic drag racing experience can drive this beast into the low-11s with very little drama.
Now for the main course.
There certainly are specific clients that Shelby American is vying for with this top-shelf Shelby—the collectors, the wealthy guys that need a fun weekend toy, and the Mustang enthusiasts wanting the baddest Mustang on the road.
The 14-inch Wilwoods on all four corners provided plenty of confidence in braking, but the pedal wasn't so touchy as to snap unsuspecting passengers' necks. Ride quality was slightly reduced from the stock GT500, but certainly not spoiled—your author's coffee cup faired well in the cupholder during upshifts and turns during morning commutes. Even railroad tracks were bearable.
It was just a fun car to drive, and even more fun to be seen in. No matter which parking spot we chose, the Super Snake would command instant dictatorship over all of the other four-wheeled minions in sight. Even at rest, it screamed superiority, distinction, and exclusivity.
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Starting price for a stock GT500 is $54,200, and the base price for the Super Snake upgrade is $28,995. Add those together and your starting price is $83,195. Granted that doesn't include the blower upgrade, which we think is a must. To get the 850hp version, the package will set you back $39,995 for a base price total of $94,195. Add some options, and you're easily north of $100K. We know—that is a big bite to chew. But when you consider the history of Shelby vehicles, their long-term value, and the amount of sheer joy this car brings, it's bang for the buck.
Editor's Note: You can build your own at www.shelbyamerican.com. I created one with the blower upgrade, polished Watt's link, black wheels, and Museum Delivery (a $750 option), and it's going to set me back $101,439. I've started saving, but I'm sure by the time I have the other $100,000, these things will be worth upwards of $1M. Such is life, I guess. On the Dyno
|'13 GT500 Super Snake Specifications|
|662hp: from $28,995|
|850hp: from $39,995|
|Shelby/Ford Racing Whipple supercharger (850hp, black finish)|
|Shelby Performance Cooling Package|
|Shelby/Wilwood front and rear brake kit|
|Shelby front brake cooling kit|
|20-inch Shelby Super Snake three-piece billet forged wheels|
|Upgraded performance tires|
|Shelby upgraded suspension package|
|Shelby rear Panhard bar|
|Shelby caster/camber plate kit|
|Shelby white-ball billet short-throw shifter|
|Shelby/Borla axle-back muffler kit|
|Super Snake hood|
|Carbon-fiber front splitter|
|CSM consecutively numbered dash plaque and engine plate|
|Super Snake billet-aluminum badging (fender and faux gas cap)|
|Shelby decklid lettering|
|Super Snake stripe kit (gloss white or matte black)|
|Super Snake upper mesh grille insert|
|Rear quarter-window sidescoops or paint-matched block-offs|
|Aesthetic engine kit (billet fluid caps and dipstick handle)|
|Interior A-pillar pod with gauges|
|Super Snake embroidered headrest covers (non-Recaro seats)|
|Super Snake lighted doorsill plates|
|Shelby three-piece floormat set|
|Polished Shelby/Ford Racing/ Whipple 850hp supercharger|
|Shelby/Kenne Bell 3.6L liquid cooled polished supercharger (850 hp)|
|Shelby Widebody kit conversion (full conversion or rear only)|
|Shelby aluminum Watt's link rear suspension|
|Shelby/Ford Racing suspension and sway bar kit|
|Shelby/Eibach coilover suspension and sway bar kit|
|Shelby/Katzkin leather interior|
|Shelby museum-delivery experience|