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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 – Reporting in at 2500 miles

2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Front ViewThis past weekend, I had the opportunity to take my second drive in the 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. The 500 horsepower (500hp) monster belongs to my father-in-law, Phil and the car is a pretty vehicle. Most excitingly, the car is completely different than when I drove it a few months back. For good reason!

Phil purchased the Shelby GT500 back in the late October timeframe and almost immediately I had the opportunity to take it for a drive. At 400 miles, the car was impressive and quick – just not as fast as I expected. I put about 90 miles on the car, which was most impressive in 3rd gear to me. I remember passing a vehicle on the freeway and looking down to realize I was exceeding 90mph. The clutch was a lot heavier than the majority of the car I have driven from Audi, BMW, & Nissan. However, that was a much different car than what I drove over the weekend.

2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Side ViewThere were a couple of direct reasons for my lukewarm reception of the car, and fortunately both of them were factory issues. The first was that there was initially a loose hose that needed to be tightened. That in itself was not as concerning as the second – apparently there was a bearing loose in the supercharger that was impacting the performance of the vehicle. After some persistence with Ford, they agreed to not just repair the existing supercharger, but to get a replacement from Ford SVT (Shelby). Fortunately, the problem was caught early enough and there was no additional damage.

At the same time, everything you read on these vehicles is that they do not really come to life until after 2,000 miles. From our experience, that is definitely the case.

2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Engine ViewDriving the Mustang Shelby GT500 at 2500 miles is quite a treat. You can feel the horses ready to run at idle and rumble of the engine inside the cabin is impressive. Under heavy acceleration, the front end really lifts up – very quickly you hear the whine of the supercharger kick in and you are off. I am sure we came close to the 0-60 time of 5 seconds. When you drop into 3rd gear, you know you are beyond 60mph.

At this point, my opinion has very favorably improved on the 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Here are some thoughts:

  • Pretty car to look at, especially the red with the white stripes
  • Interior is clean, but not a lot of electronics or gadgets. It is a more traditional muscle car with the basic necessities. No heated seat warmers here!
  • Excellent sound from the Thumper 1000 stereo with Sirius satellite
  • 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Rear ViewThis Shelby is fast, very fast and a lot of fun – especially if you want to go in a straight line. You get a lot of front end lift under acceleration. While necessary to keep power to the rear end, you loose a feeling of stability with it.
  • Traction control – leave it on, or the car may get away from you quickly.
  • Handling is where I would consider this car to be lacking – but, you have to realize that is not in the design of the car. For instance, I would never put this vehicle under heavy acceleration around corners. The lack of independent suspension and the front end lift could put you in a drift very quickly.

Are you a Shelby GT500 owner or have you driven on? Leave me a comment below on your thoughts on the car.