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 |  Feb 10 2010, 10:05 AM

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Ford has just officially given the 2011 Shelby GT500 its ceremonial debut at the Chicago Auto Show. Significantly updated from last year, the 2011 model offers more power, a lower curb weight and improved handling. The new aluminum block weighs 102 lbs less than the old cast-iron unit and puts out 10-more horsepower for a total of 550-hp at 6200 rpm. Torque is rated at 510 ft-lbs, 80 percent of which is available from 1750 to 6250 rpm. Plus, a new two-row intercooler delivers 40 percent better cooling so this sports car will perform with optimum potential even on the hottest of track days.

The result of this drastic reduction in weight, especially over the front axle, will result in a much more neutral vehicle to drive, especially at the limit. The weight reduction will also work to improve acceleration and braking, and even has tangible fuel-economy benefits. While owners aren’t too likely to care that the EPA rating has gone from 14/22 mpg (city/highway) to 15/23 mpg, they will when they discover that this improvement means the 2011 GT500 is the first modern Shelby to avoid the gas guzzler tax.

Along with the weight loss, additional handling improvements come from Ford’s new EPAS electronic power steering, which the automaker says delivers a better feel and a more precise movement, while also enabling less effort during low speed maneuvers.

Also new for 2011 is an optional glass roof and standard HID headlights. Convertible models are now 12 percent stiffer. Oh, and lets not forget an all-new 2.75-inch exhaust system, with more volume when you want it and less droaning when you don’t.

Those seeking even more performance from their GT500 will want to opt for the SVT Performance Package with some aerodynamic changes, lighter wheels shod in new Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G2 tires, a higher rear axle ratio, a lower ride height and stiffer springs. Ford claims that on a 2.3-mile road course, the SVT package will net a 3 second per lap improvement!

GALLERY: 2011 Shelby GT500

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 |  Feb 08 2010, 1:41 PM

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Having just announced the much-improved 2011 Shelby GT500 model, Ford is also debuting a new SVT Performance Pack for the car, which it says will deliver a 3.0-second per lap improvement on a 2.3 mile road course over the 2010 model.

So how is this possible? Well, along with the GT500′s 102-lb lighter engine, the Shelby team worked with Goodyear on a set of Eagle F1 SuperCar G2 tires, with a staggered 19-inch front and 20-inch rear fitment. Additional grip is also due to wider 265/40/19 tires up front. Ford claims the tires help deliver a 1.0 later g rating and a 7 percent improvement in braking.

“These tires are as close as you can get to a race car tire,” said Eric Zinkosky, SVT technical specialist. “We have a tire that’s way more capable, with better grip, is firmer and more race-oriented. From there, we tuned the chassis around it. The tires told us what we had to do.

Compared to the stock rollers, the new SVT light weight forged aluminum wheels weigh 4.7 lbs less up front and 2.8 lbs less in the rear.

Additional upgrades include stiffer springs that are 11 millimeters lower up front and 8 millimeters lower in the rear, while a longer 3.73 rear axle ratio is better suited to the car’s power on the track. Some aerodynamic improvements include a new rear spoiler Gurney Flap as well as a modified front end that delivers 25 percent better front downforce.

Pricing for the 2011 Shelby GT500 and the SVT Performance Package have not yet been released. Ford will officially debut the car and the package this Wednesday, February 10th at the Chicago Auto Show.

For complete 2010 Chicago Auto Show coverage click here

GALLERY: 2011 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

2011 Shelby GT500 Gets Less Weight, More Power and Improved Handling

550-hp GT500 to officially debut at Chicago Auto Show

 |  Feb 08 2010, 1:31 PM

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Thanks to an all-aluminum block and a numerous other upgrades, Ford is promising the 2011 Shelby GT500 will offer more power, a lower curb weight and improved handling. The new aluminum block weighs 102 lbs less than the old cast-iron unit and puts out 10-more horsepower for a total of 550-hp at 6200 rpm. Torque is rated at 510 ft-lbs, 80 percent of which is available from 1750 to 6250 rpm. Plus, a new two-row intercooler delivers 40 percent better cooling so this sports car will perform with optimum potential even on the hottest of track days.

Of that 102 lbs, 8.5 lbs was saved by using a state-of-the-art plasma coating for the cylinder walls, rather than having to use steel sleeves.

The result of this drastic reduction in weight, especially over the front axle, will result in a much more neutral vehicle to drive, especially at the limit. The weight reduction will also work to improve acceleration and braking, and even has tangible fuel-economy benefits. While owners aren’t too likely to care that the EPA rating has gone from 14/22 mpg (city/highway) to 15/23 mpg, they will when they discover that this improvement means the 2011 GT500 is the first modern Shelby to avoid the gas guzzler tax.

Along with the weight loss, additional handling improvements come from Ford’s new EPAS electronic power steering, which the automaker says delivers a better feel and a more precise movement, while also enabling less effort during low speed maneuvers.

Also new for 2011 is an optional glass roof and standard HID headlights. Convertible models are now 12 percent stiffer. Oh, and lets not forget an all-new 2.75-inch exhaust system, with more volume when you want it and less droaning when you don’t.

Those seeking even more performance from their GT500 will want to opt for the SVT Performance Package with some aerodynamic changes, lighter wheels shod in new Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G2 tires, a higher rear axle ratio, a lower ride height and stiffer springs. Ford claims that on a 2.3-mile road course, the SVT package will net a 3 second per lap improvement!

Ford will officially unveil the updated 2011 Shelby GT500 at the Chicago Auto Show on Wednesday, February 10th.

For complete 2010 Chicago Auto Show coverage click here

GALLERY: 2011 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Feb 05 2010, 11:52 AM

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Ford will announce details of the 2011 Shelby GT500 on Monday ahead of the car’s official debut at the Chicago Auto Show on Wednesday, but why wait until then? Ford’s webcast site has already given us a look at the car on a short video clip (which has now been removed). Screen captures of the video are, however, still available, showing the 2011 model with the SVT Performance Package.

Last week the 2011 Shelby GT500 order guide popped up online, confirming such new items as a completely aluminum block for the 5.4-liter V8. This should significantly reduce the vehicle’s weight, particularly over the front axle. Other highlights include the glass roof found on other Mustang models, as we as an SVT Performance Package, with such items as 19×9.5-inch front and 20×10-inch rear forged aluminum wheels, as well as 3:73 rear end (instead of the car’s standard 3:55). We’ve also learned that the GT500 will make an additional 10-hp for 2011, or a total of 550-hp.

Be sure to check back Monday for complete details of the 2011 Shelby GT500 and in the mean time, browse through our gallery of screen captures below or spec out your new 2011 GT500 using the leaked order guide.

GALLERY: 2011 Shelby GT500 Screen Captures

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GALLERY: 2011 Shelby GT500 Order Guide

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[Source: Autoblog, TheDetroitNews]