Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
November 20, 2015

With glaring nostrils that feed a 750-plus horsepower 5.0 supercharged Coyote engine, the 2015 Shelby Super Snake is a lean, mean, fighting machine. Shelby American has created what many enthusiasts consider the ultimate engineered Ford Mustang. Now based around the Mustang GT, the latest Super Snake is better-balanced, meaner looking and oh-so desirable.

For 2015, Shelby has loads of goodness that give the S550 a complete makeover in power and appearance. Shelby has also added an automatic transmission as an option on both the 670 and 750 hp version, which should prove to be a popular option.

Shelby says the Super Snake is the “supercharged muscle car by which all others are measured.” It features modifications designed to enhance every aspect of performance, including power, sound, handling, braking and it takes the body from basic to trail blazer. The 670 hp package utilizes a Ford Performance supercharger, Shelby-specific engine calibration and performance exhaust. It also includes a cooling package that allows extended track sessions.

Stepping up to the 750-plus package offers your choice of Kenne Bell or a Whipple intercooled supercharger kit, along with upgraded cooling, plus a transmission and rearend cooler. Improved braking comes by way of Wilwood brakes with cooling ducts and a one-piece driveshaft lightens rotating mass. You can enhance performance by adding the optional roll bar, race seats and harness setup, plus a host of carbon fiber components and a Katzkin interior.

With the amazing stance, bold stripe and Weld one-piece forged 20-inch wheels, the Super Snake gives you that “king of the road” feeling. Strap in, fire the engine and all you can think about is rolling the power on and melting tires.

We climbed aboard the auto-equipped SS and hit the track at Spring Mountain Motorsport Ranch. This was our first experience in a 2015 automatic Mustang on track, and it was way more fun than we expected. We used the steering wheel paddles to up and downshift the trans, but found the Super Snake had so much torque that we could simply leave the transmission in 4th gear on the short, technical configuration.

This allowed us to focus on the line, and our braking points, without the distractions of finding the right gear for each corner. Horsepower is not a problem with the Super Snake, as this Mustang makes big boost and a wonderful sound as the rpm climbs.

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The auto-equipped Super Snake was more of a beastly cruiser than an all-out track car. While it had nice handling and the auto made it easy, it also heat soaked and we noticed the trans temperature started to climb. Perhaps the trans would have stayed cooler on a larger track, but rather than slicing corners, we’d love to try on some drag radials and boost this baby at the dragstrip. The tight, technical circuit was not the best place to exercise the full potential of the auto Super Snake. In contrast, we’d driven a manual-equipped Super Snake months ago at Sonoma Raceway and could hardly contain ourselves, as the fun meter was pegged.

Considering other big-power cars such as the Corvette and the Hellcat come with an automatic option, it’s nice to see Shelby offering its customers the chance to simply mash the gas and go. If you deal with traffic, or just want less to do behind the wheel, the auto is a great option for having Earth-rotating power with two-pedal operation.

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With the track day and the photo session complete, we hit the road and the Super Snake was in its element. Unlike many high-powered automatic cars, there was no drone at highway speeds and the ride quality was spot on. The boosted 5.0 had amazing power at any rpm, but when kicked down we rocketed from 60 to triple digits in no time flat.

This got us heading towards our hotel in quick fashion. My travel partner, Mustang Monthly’s Tech Editor Mark Houlahan and I figured Las Vegas was roughly 2,800 miles from our home in Tampa, Florida, and for a moment we considered taking a road trip. But Shelby might have wondered why we didn’t show up for dinner.

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