2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Sneak Preview

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Due to go on sale this spring, the next Ford Shelby GT500 benefits
from lessons learned from the ultra high-performance 2008-2009 Ford
GT500KR. The next GT500 will also be improved inside thanks to interior
developments applied to the updated base models. It’ll come in coupe
and a convertible versions.

The 2010 Shelby GT500 was developed by Ford’s Special Vehicles Team
(SVT) in consultation with race car legend Carroll Shelby. The
GT500KR’s influence starts with the 32-valve, dual overhead cam
5.4-liter V8, which gains 40 horsepower to 540 and 30 pound-feet of
torque to 510. The power increase can be traced to a lower restriction
exhaust system with four-inch outlets and a new open element cold-air
intake ram air system, a version of which debuted on the GT500KR.


SVT officials say the GT500’s performance has been improved in every
way. A higher numeric rear axle ratio (3.55:1 versus 3.31:1) should aid
acceleration. The six-speed manual transmission’s twin-disc clutch is
larger (250 mm versus 215 mm), and the transmission has revised fifth
and sixth gear ratios for better highway fuel economy.

The KR also contributed to the new GT500’s suspension. The 2010 GT500
gets new stabilizer bars and shock damping, and the spring rates are 13
percent stiffer up front and seven percent stiffer in the rear. The
standard wheels will be cast-aluminum 18s, and forged alloy 19s will be
optional. Ford’s AdvanceTrac electronic stability control will be
standard, and it will come with three settings: on, Sport, and off.
Anti-lock brakes will also be standard, as will front and side airbags.

Designers also worked to improve aero balance and therefore improve
handling. New designs for the front splitter and rear spoiler increase
front downforce and decrease it in the rear. This moves the center of
pressure forward and closer to the center of gravity, which aids
handling.

The 2010 Shelby GT500 also gets the revised body from the updated 2010
Mustang, as well as a new powerdome hood with a large functional air
extractor, a large mouth front end design with hints of Shelby’s iconic
AC Cobra, and new body side stripes. Inside, the GT500 adds some neat
touches and the higher quality interior materials used for the revised
base Mustang, including a soft-skin dashboard. Muscle car fans will
appreciate the striped cue ball-style shift knob. Also new are satin
aluminum trim and suede-like alcantara material for the seat inserts,
shift boot, parking brake boot, and steering wheel. The seats and shift
knob will also have striping that matches the exterior color. Ford’s
Sync system and ambient lighting will also be standard. A
voice-activated navigation system will be optional.

Pricing and production numbers will likely be announced Spring 2009.

Preview by Kirk Bell [NewCarTestDrive].

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