Ford has finally overhauled the engine on all of the Mustangs, and like its weaker cousins, the new 5.4L supercharged V8 engine roars like a lion, adding respectability to a once beleaguered car. The reduced weight, new engine and last year’s upgraded exterior changes make the 2011 Mustang GT500 a car that’s definitely worth owning. For years Mustang enthusiasts have moaned about the lackluster performance of the top of the line Mustang. Those days are long gone.
For years the Mustang Shelby GT500 has suffered from added weight and an unwieldy engine better designed for a pickup than a sports car. All of that has changed with the arrival of the 2011 Mustang Shelby GT500.
Models – The Mustang Shelby GT500 comes in only one trim level, though it is available in both a coupe and convertible. The base model coupe comes in at a hefty $48,600 MSP while the convertible will cost you nearly $54,000.
Base Model - The 2011 Shelby GT500 comes standard with the new and improved 5.4L supercharged, turbocharged V8 engine that boasts a massive 550 HP and 510 foot-pounds of torque. This new engine is much lighter, featuring an aluminum engine block as opposed to last year’s iron model, resulting in a much needed front end weight reduction. Other standard features include: 19 alloy wheels, high performance tires, Brembo brakes, hood mounted heat extractors, rear spoiler, xenon headlights, leather bucket seats, power driver’s seat and an eight speaker upgraded premium audio system complete with CD player, auxiliary MP3 jack and satellite radio.
Safety - To Ford’s credit, the Shelby GT is just as safe as any other 2011 model of Mustang. The Shelby comes standard with anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and front and side airbags for the driver and passenger. One interesting safety feature to consider is that the Shelby GT500 doesn’t have a spare tire and there is no place to put one.
Fuel Economy – To no one’s surprise, the new and improved V8 engine isn’t the most economical engine in regards to fuel consumption. Still, the Shelby is rated at 15 MPG in the city and a respectable 23 MPG on the highway. While this isn’t all that impressive, it is still better than the heavier and less beastly 2010 model which featured 10 HP less than the 2011 model.
Industry Reviews – Industry wide, the 2011 Mustang Shelby GT500 has drawn rave reviews for its reduced weight and monster new engine. Younger drivers are able to experience the raw horsepower of old when they get behind the wheel of this modern day muscle car, while older owners will finally be able to call this Shelby an appropriate successor to the original model. The car drives smoothly with balanced agility, taking turns with precision. The Shelby’s good looks are only matched by its raw power, agile handling and smooth performance. Unfortunately, to enjoy such an experience you will have to cough up a fair amount of money.