The 2013 Shelby GT500 wants to make the Camaro ZL1 its bitch

Illustration for article titled The 2013 Shelby GT500 wants to make the Camaro ZL1 its bitch

You know how the Chevy Camaro ZL1 was supposed to be sitting atop the Muscle Car War heap? Yeah, not so much anymore. Meet the 650 HP 2013 Shelby GT500 — it's gonna try to make the ZL1 its little bitch.


Yes, you're reading that correctly — the new Shelby GT500's 5.8-liter supercharged V8 engine is rated at an astonishing 650 HP and 600 lb-ft of torque. That's a whopping 100 HP and 90 torques more than the 2012 model year.

It's almost as if Ford's adding the power just so it can shove its snakeskin-boot-clad foot right up the NACA ducts of its bowtie-bedecked competitor.

That's right, in fact, I'm wondering why they're even bothering to call it a GT500 anymore. Shouldn't they be calling it the GT 650 or something more appropriate for a muscle car with a 200 MPH top speed?


Anyway, this might just seem like Ford's plopping a bigger engine under the hood, right? Of course not. I mean, what would make you think that?

Well, other than their own press release saying "It might just seem like we're putting a bigger engine into the car." But come on, that would just be ludicrous to assume it's nothing more than the life-size equivalent of an Estes model rocket or a Mustang with a Wily E. Coyote-style rocket strapped to it.

Because Ford's added all sorts of other stuff to help manage all that power and torque — you know, like 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels coupled with Goodyear Eagle® F1 SuperCar G: 2 tires on all vehicle configurations and a Torsen limited-slip differential.


Well, Ford'll add that Torsen limited-slip diff if you order the optional Performance Package.

Illustration for article titled The 2013 Shelby GT500 wants to make the Camaro ZL1 its bitch

Oh, you didn't order the optional Performance Package? Then yeah, it's pretty much just a giant honkin' engine strapped onto a 3,850 lb. muscle car. But don't worry — it'll go purdy damn fast in a straight line.

Also, did we mention Ford's press photos have a blonde behind the wheel. Because, you know, this is America...truck (axle), yeah!


burglar can't heart click anything

Okay, so I rode in this. I was not disclosed the power at the time, simply that it was "more" than the current car.

A 300hp car is reasonably fast. A 370z, LS1 Camaro, heck even a V8 S4 all "feel" about the same. Pretty fast, you get pushed into your seat, and a little adrenalin pumps through our veins. You might even breathe a little harder for a second, especially if you're used to a more normal car.

Then I got a ride in an early GT-R. I didn't expect the difference with the jump to 485 hp - it's everything a 300hp car is, but weird stuff starts to happen. The saliva in your mouth gets pushed back, and you feel a little like your eyeballs are getting compressed. The GT-R was eerie in that there is zero drama - little noise, almost imperceptible shifts, rock solid. It's almost like your thoughts need to catch back up with you after you let off the gas. Breathing hard for sure, you have to let your mouth re-hydrate, and maybe a bead of sweat will form.

This Mustang was faster than that. A lot. More noise, but not much more drama than the GT-R. Yes, it hooked up. Even as a passenger, 100% of your concentration goes straight ahead. Saliva gone, your vision almost starts to blur slightly. Your lungs compress a bit, it gets harder to breathe. Like the first hill of a giant roller coaster. Except this was on the borderline of pain. Good pain mind you, but the acceleration actually hurt. It changed me. Cliche, but that thing was a beast.

Too much hp? Probably. But oh man was it glorious.