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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Shelby American has announced that 2013 will be the last year of availability for the Shelby GT350, with the company taking new orders through December 31, 2013.
The Pony Car Wars Continue
We are back with this week’s installment of AutoGuide’s newest, interactive weekly feature ‘Commute, Toy or Destroy’.
A custom Shelby GT500 modified by a group called “Friends of Carroll” has sold for $200,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Carroll Shelby, the man behind the Shelby American name, passed away some months ago, but not without making sure his legacy was carried on.
Only a few short years ago a car was considered “fast” with a horsepower rating that would seem downright sheepish today, which is why more and more cars are getting launch control.
The automotive industry is a global business that is constantly evolving and growing, and we here at AutoGuide know it can be hard to keep up sometimes. So here is a summary of the top stories you may have missed this week:
J.D. Power has released a study today which details…
When it goes on sale this month, the package won’t beat the legendary Shelby GT500, but it will boosts performance to 565 hp and 505 lb-ft of torque — well beyond the Boss 302.
Stacking the Mustang up to that level is no easy task. Roush achieves the venerable feat by installing a supercharger capable of high speeds to deliver significantly increased power.
With the advent of hybrids and electric vehicles, many skeptics thought the age of high-performance sports car would die out. Reality couldn’t be any more different, as America has more than 70 cars on sale today that make 500-hp or more.
The number of vehicles pushing out 500-hp or more has nearly doubled in the last five years. What is more remarkable is more than a decade ago, there were just two vehicles in the club: the Ferrari 575M and the Lamborghini Murcielago. Now Ferrari alone has four models pushing out over 500-hp.
The ability to pump out so much horsepower has been aided by the leaps and bounds that engineering and technology has made over the last decade. Automakers are now able to equip their vehicles with smaller, more fuel efficient engines, which thanks to forced induction, can reliably crank out plenty of peak horsepower.
There might not be a market for a V6 convertible rental car Mustang outside of America, but there is a demand for ultra high performance versions, like the new Shelby GT500 Convertible.
That, at least, is according to a Hau Thai-Tang, a man who should know. He is, after all, the executive director for global product programs at Ford. In an interview with Automotive News, Thai-Tang commented that he sees space for such a product in emerging markets like Brazil and China. After all, the new GT500′s 650 hp number puts it on par, or above, exotic sports cars that cost four times as much.
Built by the company’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) unit, in the past such vehicles were only designed for America, but now on the performance brand’s 20th anniversary and Ford’s new “one-Ford” strategy of global vehicles, the thinking has chanced.
Thai-Tan admits there are already a lot of gray-market Mustangs in different countries throughout the world, where its seen as a halo car, even though its not sold there. Offering cars like the GT500 would not only allow Ford to profit directly, but it would also help build brand awareness.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible
The cloth dropped from the 2013 Shelby GT500 convertible at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show today, delivering a topless blast of fast that we’ve been eagerly awaiting.
Just like a bottle of Bacardi 151 rum, this car is wickedly strong and gets its job done fast. With that in mind, here’s the lowdown on Ford‘s most potent convertible to date.
“The Shelby GT500 convertible is every bit the performer that the coupe is,” said Kerry Baldori, SVT Global Performance Vehicles chief engineer. “All of the significant changes we made in the program were instrumental in delivering a convertible that could really shine on the track but can still be driven on a daily basis.”
As for year-over-year comparison, Ford says the 2013 model is 3.5 seconds faster around the track than the 2011 or 2012 models.
That said, there isn’t much mechanically different from the coupe, aside from the obvious convertible top, the latest angry muscle car in the 49-year lineage is anything but a disappointment. Expect the same 19-inch alloys in the front and 20′s in the rear, sitting around Brembo brakes.
It delivers on exactly what you want, obnoxious power and ostentatious appeal that’s sure to turn heads anywhere you go. Under the hood, the same 5.8-liter gut-wrencher of a V8 makes 650-horsepower and a neck-snapping 600 lb-ft. of torque.
As per the coupe version of the latest snake-worthy mustang, the same all-new 2013 drivetrain is still in place including cool features like a carbon-fiber drive shaft and an upgraded transmission axle and clutch.
It’s no surprise that the top-of-the line Mustang, meant to keep the Chevrolet Camaro ZR1 on edge, gets some additional weight thanks to Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers available on the performance package and a newly tuned chassis.
GALLERY: Shelby GT500 Mustang convertible
Watch AutoGuide’s first look video of the Shelby GT500 Convertible below:
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
Smug journalists across the internet are poking fun at the possibility that President Barack Obama might have referred to the 2013 Shelby GT500 Mustang as “sick” during his visit to the Washington D.C. Auto Show.
True or false, his remarks about the muscle car don’t really matter. What’s slightly more significant is the speech he made to herald General Motors’ return to the throne as the world’s highest volume automaker.
While it isn’t surprising that the President would want to talk about something like that, it is a good chance to point out that GM is doing more than taking the Costco approach to selling cars.
In fact, GM is leading more than just the number of vehicles sold. They’re also the industry’s top innovator, according to The Patent Board. This is actually the fourth consecutive quarter that the Detroit giant can claim that title. An impressive 1,123 U.S. patents were granted to the company in 2011 for global product engineering, global powertrain engineering, global research and development and OnStar organizations.
It’s interesting because we don’t always think of GM when imagining who will come out with the latest breaking tech or engineering feats, yet they emerged victorious over 183 other firms. It seems like most of the automotive wizardry starts overseas in Europe and makes its way to domestic vehicles a little while later.
Blind spot detection is a great example of that. Volvo was the first to introduce it, but companies like GM and Ford are on board with the bandwagon.
Among GM’s recent patents, there is technology for quieter brakes, better OnStar voice recognition and something called eAssist Thermal Management which controls engine shutoff to ensure occupant comfort in extremely hot or cold weather.
That begs the question: what’s next from some of the greatest minds in Michigan?
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]
Back in March came the first rumors of a larger displacement V8 for the GT500 and now that info has been confirmed in details released as a part of a new Ford contract with the United Auto Workers.
The plans specifically state that the company’s Romeo Engine Assembly Plant will receive a $50 million upgrade in order produce the new engine, which will gain almost a half a liter of displacement and is rumored to produce more than 600-hp.
Ford has transformed the Mustang from a muscle car into a true sports car, with a ride so dialed-in that even even the Germans want to take it for a spin. Not forgetting the car’s roots, however, there’s still the raw and mean Shelby GT500; a car that harkens back to the glory days of Detroit.
That is about to change in 2013, when Ford launches a very modern version of the GT500, tossing aside the big supercharger in favor of some very modern turbocharged technology. Ford will carry on using a V8, although the exact displacement of the powerplant is not known. Rumors of a 5.0-liter and a 5.8-liter have surfaced.
Power, as expected, will be tremendous. Move aside Camaro ZL1. Forget it Challenger SRT8. The 2013 Shelby GT500 will reportedly make an astonishing 650-hp.
What happens when you mix a 550-hp Shelby GT500 and push 24 lbs of boost though it to make 800-hp? Well, if you’re unlucky, it explodes in a fiery mess.
At least that’s what happened to the owner of this car.
There’s little information about the explosion floating around, but you don’t want to miss this video. Keep watching all the way to the end for a low-down side view when this rocket goes off.
Check out the video after the jump:
So you’ve gotten yourself a 2010 Ford Mustang and the 2011 Ford Mustang has been announced and you’re a little… disappointed. Your first thoughts are to trade in your 2010, but then you realize it’s not a wise investment. Your second thought is to hit the Internet to scour the web to make your 2010 Mustang cooler than ever before. Well, it’s a good thing Cervini’s has your back and at this year’s SEMA show they’ll be showing off their Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (aka Eleanor from Gone in 60 Seconds) styled body kit for the 2010 Ford Mustang.
It’s a shame the kit won’t come with an Angelina Jolie replica, but for the right price you’ll be getting yourself a urethane hood, front bumper, side skirts, side scoops, rear valence, spoiler, front billet grills, fog lights and a side-exit exhaust system. It may be a little over the top for some Mustang owners looking for something conservative, but we’ve gotta say, it’s pretty cool that Cervini not only manufactures the kit in high quality urethane, but found a way to blend the nostalgic Shelby styling to the new-age Ford Mustang.
No pricing has been released yet and only the hood and side scoops are available for purchase now. But Cervini has stated that the full kit will be available to the general public within two months.
AutoGuide.com will make sure to snap some live shots of the ‘Stang at SEMA 2010.