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Ford will unveil its 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible in the Windy City next week at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The Shelby GT500 is shaping up to become one hell of a sports car and its convertible variant just might be the ultimate, top-down cruiser.
Powered by a potent 5.8-liter supercharged V8 engine, the GT500 packs 650 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, making all Mustang fanatics worldwide salivate in joy. Despite Chicago hardly being the optimal city to imagine driving with the top down – especially in February where the weather is freezing – Ford seems to enjoy unveiling performance models at the Windy City. 20 years ago, the American automaker revealed the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra at the Chicago Auto Show which ultimately became known as the GT500′s forerunner.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500
Sure, it was pretty comical to watch Adolf Hitler get upset over the announcement of Shelby’s GT500 trumping Chevy‘s Camaro ZL1 on paper, but now things have gotten pretty serious with Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser predicting that the ZL1 will be quicker to 60-mph than the GT500 and even calls out the GT500′s Nurburgring time.
“We’ve done simulations. We predict that the ZL1 will be quicker to 60 than the  GT500… We ran the Nürburgring and released a time. Ford took the GT500, too, and never released a time. I guess you can draw your own conclusions,” Oppenheiser said openly at an Arizona drive event for the Camaro ZL1.
Now on paper and for those that believe numbers never lie, the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 with 650-hp and 600 lb-ft of torque in a 3,850-lb body should easily outpace the Camaro ZL1′s 580-hp and 556 lb-ft of torque in a heavier 4,120-lb body. But Oppenheiser has no doubt that the ZL1 would be quicker around Nurburgring than the GT500.
It’s a bold claim surely, but it could be warranted given that the GT500 still features a solid rear-axle while the ZL1 sports all-independent suspension with third-generation Magnetic Ride shocks and a high-tech traction control system borrowed from the Corvette ZR1.
Hopefully it’ll get settled one day, ZL1 versus GT500 on a real track with the same driver. Until then, it’ll remain a war of the words.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Barrett-Jackson will be carrying on a tradition by selling the first Ford Shelby GT500 at the upcoming Scottsdale, Arizona auction on January 15-22, 2012.
In 2006, Ford sold its first Ford GT exotic supercar at a Barrett-Jackson auction and in 2007, the first Shelby GT500 was also auctioned off. The tradition continued in 2008 with the first Shelby GT500KR and in 2009 it was the first retail Shelby GT500 and two Mustang GT concept cars.
The new 2013 Shelby GT500 is a major upgrade to the GT500 line featuring a 5.8L V8 with 650-hp with a heavily updated chassis with excellent handling capabilities.
Five vintage Shelby vehicles will also be auctioned off at the same auction spanning from 1965 to 1969 model years.
[Source: Road & Track]
The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 might not have the wedge shape of a European supercar, but its 202 mph top speed puts it in a rareified world of hand-built Italian exotics.
SVT engineer Jamal Hameedi told MustangsDaily that the GT500 recorded a top speed of 202 mph during testing, thanks to the improved power figures and some apparent aerodynamic changes. Hameedi also said that while Ford was doing suspension testing at the famed Nurburgring, they didn’t record any times for the GT500, avoiding the typical Nurburgring bragging rights contest that so many automakers fall prey to.
Chevrolet has announced pricing of their 2012 Camaro Zl1 at $54,095. Chevrolet claims that the car compares favorably to more expensive cars like the Audi R8 GT, Mercedes-Benz SLS and Maserati Gran Turismo, which cost between $122,800 and $196,800 based on available performance.
Of course, that suggestion is laughable, as those cars would never be cross-shopped and their respective demographics likely have a mutual enmity. By comparison, rivals like the Ford Shelby GT500 and Dodge Challenger SRT-8 392 retail for $48,645 and $42,780 respectively. The ZL1 will also hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 184 mph.
According to findings from a 2009 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, Audi’s S8 ranked as the most stolen car in the United States, with theft rates of some 8.81 per 1000 vehicles produced. It was followed by the Shelby GT 500, with rates of 8.61 per 1000, the BMW M5 (7.58 per 1000); Dodge Charger (6.47) and Honda S2000 (5.6).
However, in terms of sheer numbers of vehicles, the Toyota Camry ranks as the most stolen vehicle in America, in 2009 some 781 examples were lifted, though because of the car’s high production numbers, statistically, per 1000 units, its theft rate was significantly lower than the cars mentioned above.
However, despite thieves appearing to target luxury and performance vehicles, the overall vehicle theft rate was actually down in 2009, to an average of 1.33 per 1000 vehicles, versus 1.69 the previous year.
NHTSA believes a number of factors helped contribute to the drop in vehicle theft rates, including greater use of sophisticated immobilizers as well as increased public awareness and greater improvement in prosecution by law enforcement agencies.
[Source: Automotive News]
After selling 3,300 units of the 2011 Ford Shelby GT500, the company announced that the total production run for 2011 would be limited to 5,500 units in total.
Ford apparently wants to ensure that the Shelby GT500 is an exclusive model, and with sales having “exceeded expectations”, this is likely a wise move for Ford’s performance flagship. Ford also said that 68 percent have been ordered with the Performance Package, which included an upgraded suspension, limited slip differential and rear spoiler, and that the glass roof option has been three times as popular on the GT500 than the regular Mustang.
Despite having a base price just under $50,000, the Shelby GT500 seems to have no trouble finding homes. Better act fast.
Decades from now versions of the 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 will sell at auctions like Barrett-Jackson for significantly more than their ’09 counterparts. The reason? Sure, they sport a revised body and even more power – 540hp and 510 ft-lbs of torque to be exact – but the real reason will be because of their exclusivity.
Ford has reportedly decided to limit production of the 2010 Shelby GT500 to just 2,000 units. In comparison the automaker built 22,989 versions of the past GT500 from 2007-09.
The news comes from TeamShelby.com member 06VistaBlueGT, who posted a pdf on the forum sent from the Ford Motor Company to dealers outlining the limited production and letting them know that if they already signed an order form that their dealership would receive one Shelby GT500.
So far 1,700 of the 2,000 are still available and so Ford is no doubt giving its dealers the opportunity to order more of the high-powered pony cars if they feel there is a demand for them in their market. We have to think a smart dealer would order as many as possible, as with the limited production the 2010 Shelby GT500 will likely sell above MSRP.
[Source: TeamShelby via Autoblog]