We’ve already taken a look at the 2010 Ford Mustang GT, but when a new Shelby model comes along, you pay attention. Based on this year’s new Mustang redesign, the 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang pulls off an incredible feat: it delivers tons of power and great handling to the driver, and it’s comfortable enough for an everyday car. And once you get behind the wheel, you’re going to want to drive this every single day.
The 2010 Shelby GT500 is heavily based off of last years GT500KR model. While this is great when it comes to handling, the GT500KR was known as a particularly bumpy and stiff ride. That’s fine if you’re taking some laps around the track, but if you’re navigating pot-holed streets on your morning commute, then it’s not so good. Surprisingly, once you take the new Shelby out for a spin, you’ll notice that a lot of the hard ride and race-tuned handling have been tempered so as not to alienate the average driver. One of the big reasons for this are newly-designed tires. By making custom tires specifically for this GT500, Ford engineers were able to perfectly fine-tune the suspension components to provide a stead and responsive ride.
When it comes to power, this car more than lives up to the Shelby heritage. Peak horsepower is 540 and the torque hits 510 lb-ft thanks to a 5.4-liter supercharged V8. Getting this power to the wheels is a two-disc clutch system that uses a unique strap system to guide gear changes. This makes the transfer of power more efficient and improves the clutch’s durability. Inside the transmission, the gearing ratios have been changed somewhat over last years model, specifically fifth and sixth gear. Increasing the ratios in the tops two gears makes the 2010 GT500 more efficient on the highway, netting an extra 2 mpg and knocking $300 off the gas guzzler tax (although it still incurs a $1,000 penalty). Fear not, speed freaks: the first four gears remain in their normal state, delivering fierce acceleration and plenty of torque.
These refinements contribute to create a car that gives the driver an excellent feel of the road. You’ll never feel disconnected to what is happening, as happens with some sports cars. The throttle is responsive and delivers plenty of get-up-and-go on demand. In fact, the biggest problem with the drive is that it is so smooth and so fast, that you’ll find yourself cruising above the speed limit in no time.
Long story short is that the 2010 Shelby GT500 is the best muscle car on the market right now, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The Mustang GT sees some competition from the new Camaro SS and the Dodge R/T, but there are no comparable models of those cars that can compete with the Shelby. Considering that GM and Chrysler are running into myriad financial troubles, it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll come out with something similar (like the rumored Camaro Z28). The 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang is the pony car king, and there’s not a contender to the throne in sight.