Evan J. Smith
February 1, 2009
Functional hood vents expel nasty underhood heat.

On the street, it's a wild animal. Its power is abundant at all throttle settings; even using the touch of a classically trained ballerina, we found it near-impossible to keep the tires under control. Planting the throttle, err... attempting to plant the throttle in First and Second resulted in deep-fried tires every time we tried. And you'd better be pointed straight when you mash the gas, or you'll be doing the loopty-loop. Still, our egos craved and coddled every last horsepower.

"The name 'Super Snake' is legendary because the one Shelby built was the pinnacle of muscle cars in 1967," adds Amy Boylan, president of Shelby Automobiles. "We're bringing that concept forward 40 years for customers who own a Ford Shelby GT500. We'll give their car amazing new capabilities."

Quarter-Mile KillerWhere the Super Snake really shined was at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park's quarter-mile. We attacked the famed strip with the bare minimum, just one mean machine and a set of Mickey Thompson ET Streets bolted to the back.

The track was prepped, but even so, our past experience with high-powered, two-ton cars using handling-type suspensions told us traction would be hard to find. And it was.

Our first attempt came with a 4,500-rpm clutch drop and a roast fest off the line. The Shelby tore through First gear, and when I powershifted Second, the tires kept spinning-hard. Knowing the run would be so-so, I eased it into Third and then Fourth. Despite this, we managed an opening hit of 11.007 at 134.51 mph.

Over the next couple of runs I adjusted my launch rpm and the tire pressure as well. The results were 11.02 and 11.03. Then we changed things up and I heated the Mickeys with a Third-gear burnout, staged shallow, and revved the big mill to 3,800 rpm. Showing some restraint, I eased the car out of the gate with a smoother technique. I planted the gas smoothly, rather than matting it, and I snapped the clutch "full-out" in the same instant. This worked well, as the Shelby dug in with minimal spin and with lots of g-force. A quick "lift-shift" into Second kept the Mickeys glued and all 4,120 pounds accelerating hard. At 6,100 rpm I powershifted into Third gear, and then Fourth moments later. Once in high gear, the performance was evident and the Super Snake ate up terra firma at a great rate. The improved launch and smooth Second gear exchange got us to the stripe in 10.870 seconds at 134.14 mph. We were in the 10s with 4,120 pounds of Shelby Mustang in full street trim, and with the engine gulping 93-octane pump gas.

"We wanted to under promise and over deliver," states Patterson. And we think the performance speaks for itself. Considering the handling suspension, the e.t. and mph was pretty amazing. Converted to a drag setup with softer springs and shocks, and some weight removed, would make this a mid-10-second car that could reach 140 mph in the quarter.

Mustangs sure have come a long way since the '80s, when $12,500 would get you a 14-second 225hp LX 5.0. Today, you can spend upwards of $80,000, but you get 725-emission-legal horsepower, 10-second clockings, amazing handling, and have air conditioning and your favorite CDs, too. Thank you, Mr. Shelby.