2011 Ford Shelby GT500 gets new SVT toys

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2011 Shelby GT500

2011 Shelby GT500

Today, the Ford cast & crew officially unveiled the 2011 Shelby GT500 in all its detailed glory.  This time around, however, the latest GT500 has a few more niceties included and some even sweeter options to choose from.  For 2011, the GT500 gets the aluminum block, supercharged 5.4-liter V8 power plant and starts just under $49,500, delivered.  So aside from this standard hoofbeat, the 2011 GT500 also gets the chance for a SVT Performance Package to be applied to raise the performance bar even higher.  We’ve teased about what this package includes…so what’s it got to ante up?  How much bang for the buck has Ford packed into this latest Mustang offering?  Keep reading to find out.

So, just where do we start with the 2011 Shelby GT500’s new SVT package?  How about from the ground up!  It’s a good base, because Ford’s spent some decent time and invested in the research to find tires that are racetrack-proven in the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G tires.  These tires come ready to provide supreme grip & handling on the road and track and are compiled using a race-inspired, ultra-high-performance compound.

Just how well do the new shoes (et al) help the SVT-equipped GT500 perform?  Try up to 3.0 seconds faster (each lap) than the 2010 Shelby GT500, while pulling a 1.0 lateral G, and a 7% shortened stopping time.  That’s impressive.

“More and more enthusiasts are putting their cars on the track to have some fun,” said Carroll Shelby, founder of Shelby American. “It’s a great way to enjoy the performance of your car in a safe environment. No one likes to run at the back of the field, so a track-oriented package is a smart option for the serious Shelby GT500 owner.”

Next up, we have a new set of rims all around, with 19″ forged-aluminum wheels in the front which are 4.7 pounds lighter compared to the the base Shelby GT500’s and do well to serve ahead of the now wider 265/40R-19 front tires.  Out back, the two all-new 20″ forged-aluminum wheels 2.8 pounds lighter versus the standard wheels, and underneath, the new more aggressive 3.73 rear axle helps leverage the power to the ground.

What we’re left with in the 2011 GT500 is a care with “near” racing tires, a tuned suspension, stiffer springs, a lowered & sportier ride height, and a whole new attitude on having a blast at the track on race day.

“This car is track-ready. We really took the Shelby GT500 to the next level and went through every detail,” said Kerry Baldori, SVT global performance vehicle chief functional engineer. “It offers great cornering and racetrack performance and proven durability, and that’s something we want our customers to appreciate.”

Topping off the masterpiece of Shelby goodness is the unique rear spoiler Gurney Flap, developed for supplemental downforce, further enhancing balance in the corners at speed.  Dan Gurney introduced the design almost 40 years ago, and the design has proven a timeless addition to many cars on the track today.  Why?  The low-drag spoiler brings on the downforce and ultimately ensures confidence in handling.

So there it is, folks.  A $3500 package, blessed by the SVT division at Ford, optionally offered for the 2011 Shelby GT500, is set to make waves with the serious Shelby race enthusiasts.

Not bad, Ford.  Not bad at all.

Categories: 2011 Mustang, Aftermarket, Ford

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