Several Laps in a Ford Shelby GT500
The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 is touted as a supercar. Look at the stats: 650 horsepower, 600 pound feet of torque, 204 mph top speed. All this for about $63K and properly equipped for the track. Wait, is that right? $63,000! Yep, pound-for-pound, this is the best supercar value in the US today. I had the chance to check it out on the track. Barely accelerating out to the pits, hit the throttle in third and the car fishtailed sideways. Yep, there’s plenty of torque. Letting the tires get warmed up, it was time to lay down some fast laps. The car is fairly neutral in mid-speed turns; step on the brake pedal to scrub off speed into a high-speed turn and it initially wants to push a bit. But counterturn just a hair and it and can be throttle-steered through the whole corner.
At track out, the GT500 hunkers down and nails the exit, piling on speed. Although the track I was on has lots of straights, each is preceded by a 180°, turn so it is hard to build up speed. Still, the car hit 130 MPH on the longest back straight (to compare, best I could get in my Cayman S was 115).
Could it be better? Yeah, sure; the interior comes right out of a $20K car and highspeed stability on a poorly surfaced track was lacking. The car drifted all over the place. At the end of the day, the stock street tires were toast. Just imagine how much better the car would be with more aggressive brake pads and R-Rated track tires. But for $63K I am willing to bet it can take on more than a few other supercars and embarrass them. Not too bad Ford, not too bad at all.