Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
August 1, 2009
Photos By: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company
While the KR that inspired it used off-the-shelf Ford Racing gear, the '10 GT500 features an all-new cold-air induction system with a ram-air snorkel feeding ambient air right into the filter box. The all-new inlet tube features a resonator to dampen all those cool supercharger noises, and the new air-box is sealed to the hood blanket, a la the '08-'09 Bullitt. Certainly there's likely power to be found in freer-flowing filters and larger mass air housings, but the SVT engineers are certainly providing a narrower window for tuners to work.

Where the Camaro stumbles is as a real-world car. Chevy openly admits to making the Camaro an image car; it was designed to appeal on looks first and function second. This is almost exactly the same mistake Chevy made with the previous-generation Camaro, which put up great test track numbers but was a complete pain in the neck. The new Camaro's swoopy body kills rear vision, and the car's elongated 112.3-inch wheelbase and bloated 3,950 pounds of empty weight are simply too much to feel light and handy. The rear pew is strictly for car seats, the trunk opening is like a mail slot, the seats are far too low to the body (just try and rest an elbow on the window sill), the chopped top limits useful windshield height, and on and on. And interior design? The Camaro interior is almost painful visually. As a driver's car, the Camaro feels best on most roads in V-6 form and somewhat aloof or distant with the thumping V-8 underfoot, but make no mistake, it's fast and grips tenaciously. All told, the Camaro does an admirable job of hiding its size and weight, but ultimately, it's still hiding something.

By comparison, the Mustang GT takes to the streets because it's been working there as a real car for real people for 45 uninterrupted years. In fact, the Challenger and Camaro strike me as come-lately retro specials. They live for their looks, especially the Camaro. Its Victoria Secret wardrobe will wear great on the honeymoon, but in a way, it's more of a cartoon of what a Camaro looks like than an honest Camaro. The Mustang, thankfully, looks like a Mustang; so, too, the Challenger is an honest Dodge.

A final note on independent rear suspension, which the Camaro has and Ford will feel the heat to install in the Mustang. You don't want IRS. The live-axle is the superior solution, both technically and marketing-wise, for a high-torque rear-drive sportster such as the Mustang. The IRS does help the Camaro's ride just occasionally, but the rest of the time the spring/shock rates are high enough to give a jiggle anyway, so the ride advantage is mainly wasted. The IRS is heavy and doesn't present the tires as flat to the ground when it counts, so no matter what the stringback driving-glove set parrots, this is one scribe firmly against an IRS Mustang.

My only other advice? If Camaro-baiting with your Mustang GT, pack a supercharger or bring a GT500. Of course, the good news is you can drop an FRPP blower on your '10 Mustang and come away with a faster car for about the same price as a stock Camaro. --Tom Wilson

2010 Shelby GT500
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Block 5.4-liter iron block
Bore 3.552-in
Stroke 4.165-in
Displacement 330ci
Rods Cracked forged-steel I-beams
Pistons Forged aluminum
Crankshaft Forged steel
Camshaft(s) DOHC
Heads Aluminum Four-Valve
Intake Cast-aluminum with Roots-type supercharger and air-to-water intercooler
Throttle Body Dual-bore 60mm, electronic
Fuel System Electronic returnless sequential
Exhaust Tuned dual with catalytic converters, crossover pipe, and 4-inch tips
Transmission Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual
Clutch 250mm twin-disc
Rearend 8.8-inch with limited-slip differential and 3.55 gears

Electronics
Engine Management Spanish Oak PCM
Ignition Coil-on-plug
Gauges MyColor

Chassis and SuspensionFront Suspension
Shocks Independent MacPherson strut
Brakes Brembo four-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors
Wheels 19x9.5-inch forged aluminum with SVT center caps
Tires Goodyear F1 P255/40Z-19
Rear Suspension
Shocks Twin-tube gas
Brakes Two-piston calipers with 11.8-inch vented discs
Wheels 19x9.5-inch forged aluminum with SVT center caps
Tires Goodyear F1 P285/35ZR-19