Boy racers of the San Fernando Valley — consider this your warning. No matter how modded your EVO, no matter how often your daddy lets you take out the M5, no matter how yellow your Gallardo, you will lose the stoplight drag to a stock looking 2005 Mustang GT. Notice I said looking, because besides the body panels, interior and rear brakes, nothing about this bruiser is remotely OEM. So much so that the list of modifications would run for three pages and bore all but Uncle Bumbeck to technical tears. All you really need to know is that owner John has sunk about $50,000 worth of go-faster gear into his red baby. Most notable is a custom built, 12-fin Vortech supercharger that runs at 21psi on high-test. That, along with a slight bore-out to 5-liters returns 614.7hp and 507.5lbs. ft of neck-snapping torqueage to the meats. John didn't bother to test the crank horsepower, because as he put it, "Who cares?" How does it drive? Make the jump and I'll tell you.
The first thing about Redy2 you will notice is the furious soundtrack. Holy mother of loud! It sounds like an elephant orgy. Just a shattering cacophony of mechanical meanness. The three-stage clutch is a little tricky to get just right, but as John's top priority was to get all available power to the pavement, a quick left foot and a heavy right equates to a bright red topless rocket sled. Earlier in the development process the engine was sending over 800hp to the fat 285s, but that made first gear unusable. My pistonhead instincts tell me this is the right combination of restraint and madness. John told tales of routinely spanking not only GT500s, but the mighty Corvette Z06. Our brief (but wikkid) test drive confirmed that John doesn't lie. This sucker is sick, sick fast.
Much more impressive to me than the epic explosiveness is the handling. While still a two-ton live-axle Mustang, I felt as if I was piloting an M6. It's that good. Last month's GT500 stepped sideways every chance it got. While the Shelby was for the most part well behaved, it maintained a certain squirreliness that kept you on your toes. By contrast, the Redy2 was composed, tied down and so firmly planted that I never even got the sense I could lose control. That is until the tach crested 4500rpm and the blower boost jumped from 9 to 21psi. At that point, the rear will start to sidestep (like a Mustang should) and you'll be grinning like a fool. Downsides? 9mpg (compared to the Shelby GT500's 17mpg), some cowl shake and a bit of driveline shunt from the carbon-fiber shaft. Upsides? 8.64 through the quarter-mile and the ability to attack Topanga Canyon twisties with Porsche-like ease. I'll take mine in Grabber Orange with the spoiler delete option, please.
Jalopnik Reviews: 2007 Ford Shelby GT500, Part 1 [Internal]