The SVT Edition will have some goodies listed below but also sport Thinner Stripes
Lots of Pictures HERE
The Blue Oval is leaving no Stang untweaked for 2011, now announcing significant updates to the Shelby GT500 to go along with the already revealed 5.0-liter Mustang GT and base 3.7-liter V-6 cars. The most important alteration to the Shelby is a switch in engine-block material, tossing the old cast-iron block for a version of the all-aluminum lower end that was originally developed for the Ford GT. A larger intercooler and a revised exhaust bump power by 10 hp to 550, while torque stands pat at 510 lb-ft.
Same Displacement, Less Mass
The aluminum-based supercharged 5.4-liter engine saves 102 pounds compared to the outgoing one. A process called Plasma-Transferred Wire Arc (PTWA) is being used to line the cylinders; a steel wire is melted and sprayed onto the cylinder walls, which are then machined. Along with the obvious weight savings over the cast-iron liners from the Ford GT’s version of the engine, the process is also said to improve heat transfer and reduce friction. The engine sports blue valve covers and a bright-silver supercharger similar to those of the GT.
Underbody aero tweaks and the weight reduction help improve fuel economy by 1 mpg each in the city and highway cycles, to 15 and 23 mpg, respectively, and the improved economy means the GT500 is no longer subject to a gas-guzzler tax. Don’t like the weight savings? You can pile pounds back on with the newly available glass-roof option for 2011 GT500 coupes.
A change from hydraulic power steering to an electric setup is also cited as reducing fuel consumption. Ford promises more steering feel, but we’re somewhat skeptical, as “feel” and “electric steering” aren’t generally compatible.
Convertible Gets New Muscle, Less Flex
In addition to the new engine, the 2011 GT500 convertible gets structural stiffening that Ford engineers say allowed them to retune the suspension to be more aggressive. Additional gusseting, a stiffer crossmember and A-pillar, and an underbody front Z-brace are aimed at quelling body shivers, and Ford is claiming a 48-percent reduction in cowl shake. Convertibles also now get the coupe’s 19-inch wheels as standard. The 2010 GT500 droptop was a floppy, flexy hot mess—we loved it anyway—so we welcome the changes.
SVT Performance Package
Also welcome is the bad-ass-itude of a new option bundle focused on track use, dubbed the SVT Performance Package. Ordering the pack nabs Goodyear’s new Eagle F1 Supercar G: 2 rubber; the tires feature an asymmetrical tread pattern and are supposed to deliver handling characteristics that closely mimic those of a race-prepped car. The Performance pack also includes retuned dampers and stiffer springs, plus new lightweight aluminum wheels—19 inches in front and 20 in the rear—that save about 15 pounds over the standard rollers. Ride height with the pack is reduced by 0.4 inch in front and 0.3 inch in the rear, and the standard 3.55:1 axle ratio is increased to 3.73:1.
All of the above are claimed to improve 0-to-60-mph acceleration by 0.1 second and reduce the lap time around Ford’s 2.3-mile test circuit by three seconds. Besides the wheels, SVT pack cars will be differentiated visually by way of narrower hood stripes, a solid rocker stripe, and a larger Gurney flap on the rear spoiler.
Improvements Where Needed
One of our biggest complaints about the GT500 has been the excess weight over the front axle, especially when compared to high-po Mustangs with smaller and lighter engines, like the Roush 427R. It appears Ford has managed to mitigate that problem while increasing the ludicrous levels of power, and we can’t wait to see what effect the changes will have at the test track.
0-60 4.1 seconds
quarter mile 12.4 @ 117 MPH
550 HP/ 510 lb-ft.