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An American V8 engine has few rivals when it comes to the noise it makes. The only real rival that can match its bombastic rumble is a piston engined fighter plane from WWII. When a supercharger is added on to one of these motors, the resulting noise is especially sinister, due to the mating of the eight-cylinder rumble and the banshee-like wail of the big blower.
The hottest versions of Chevrolet’s Camaro SS and Dodge’s Challenger SRT-8 use naturally aspirated engines to pump out around 422 and 425 horsepower respectively. Ford’s most powerful Mustang, the Shleby GT500, needed to annihilate those figures, and the Blue Oval’s engineers decided to strap a supercharger to an already sizable 5.4L twin-cam V8. The result is 540 horsepower, and you can hear everyone of those ponies featured in this glorious video shot by Ford, showing the 2011 Shelby ‘Stang ripping up and down a closed course, doing what can only be called “acceleration runs.” If you can, turn up your speakers and revel in the glory that is a Ford V8 at full song.
Virginia International Raceway has long been a staple of road racing in North America, having been an unofficial home for Car and Driver’s vehicle testing for many years.
Ford recently wanted to show off the track prowess of the new and improved 2011 Mustang GT500, and where else but VIR is appropriate to let the public see what Ford’s baddest muscle car can do, and the end result was a lap that was nine seconds quicker than the outgoing model. There’s a wonderful V8 soundtrack, a nice example of how to steer a car around the track (keep those hands at 9 and 3, no shuffling the wheel) and lots of data for you track geeks.
Hit the jump to watch the GT500 in its natural environment.