2010 Ford Shelby GT500

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by Denise Rounds  More from Author

The Ultimate High Performance Mustang

Photography Courtesy of Ford

A Mustang designed through collaborative efforts of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) and Shelby has got to be one heck of a performance Pony. The Ford Shelby GT500 certainly is. We’re talking 540 hp, 510 lb-ft of torque, and an “electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.” Maybe we’re reaching too far here, but anything “electronically limited,” can surely be “unlimited.”

The recipe for this new beast started with the 40th Anniversary Edition Shelby GT500KR “King of the Road” Mustang. While the KR is a fantastic Mustang, some thought it was not so easy to drive unless you were a professional race car driver. Let’s break down the 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 and see what’s new.

The 2010 Shelby GT500 is powered by a supercharged and intercooled 5.4-liter dual overhead cam V8 engine with 540 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. Its redline is 6,250 rpm. It has an open-element air induction system with a conical air filter instead of a flat-panel closed system to reduce air restriction. A cold air intake channels cool air directly into the air box which also helps increase horsepower. Because of the new intake, the Cobra snake badge was moved to the passenger’s side of the grille. The aluminum power dome hood is also designed to help cool the engine through a hood extractor.

The transmission was upgraded with a twin-disc clutch on the six-speed manual making for better driveability and less noise vibration and harshness. The discs on the 2010 measure 250 mm in diameter (34 mm larger than before) and are made of copper and fiberglass. Instead of a floating intermediate disc, it has six straps to control clutch engagement. First through fourth gear were left unchanged, fifth and sixth gears were adjusted to lower engine rpms and improve fuel efficiency. A final drive ratio of 3.31 to 3.55 improves acceleration in lower gears and complements the revised fifth and sixth gear ratios. Gears will be rowed using a classic white shift knob with a traditional “H” pattern combined with racing stripes from end to end, encircling the knob.

Changes have been made to refine the Shelby’s distinct sound – it’s all good, though. A resonator has been placed between the air filter and engine throttle body to keep unwanted noise in check. The supercharger can be heard but it’s not overpowering. The same goes for the exhaust.

Body control has been improved as the result of SVT’s signature chassis tuning. For better roll control, spring and dampers have been optimized. The steering shaft has also been stiffened. New 19-inch Goodyear F1 Supercar tires (18s on the convertible) were engineered by Goodyear from a list of attributes and characteristics SVT members put together. Forged aluminum wheels are milled on both sides creating blade spokes with thin, but strong cross sections. The spokes are designed with a specific curve from rim to hub which allows for strength and accentuates the offset and width of the tire.

AdvanceTrac, Ford’s stability control system has several performance options. Its default mode is “on” for every day driving, a Sport mode is ready for folks who want to spend some time on the track, or the system can be turned off completely. The anti-lock brake system and other active safety systems will remain in place if the system is off.

The exterior design is visually pleasing as well as functional. Most of important the look says “Shelby.” The front fascia design and the flush hood direct airflow. The top grille channels air into the radiator and a rubber flap inside the engine compartment helps to seal the system. The lower grille helps cool the intercooler. Leaving no stone unturned, SVT engineers blocked off specific diamonds in the front of the grille to help maintain cooling and aerodynamic balance. Aerodynamics are also helped by the front splitter and lower-drag rear spoiler with a Gurney Flap to help with downforce. Seven different paint choices are available (see sidebar). Stripes, you ask? Of course. Signature Cobra badges will appear on the front grille and front fenders.

The interior features leather seats, aluminum on the instrument panel and Alcantara inserts on the seats and steering wheel. A special three-dimensional dimpled texture pattern will appear on the aluminum finish panels. The GT500 logo has been engraved into the aluminum in front of the passenger’s seat like it was on the ’60s Shelbys. The center stack joins the console and features a sub-flush shifter trim ring, flush cup holder door, and lockable console with “Shelby” engraved in its Satin Liquid Chrome release button. The gauge cluster has 360-degree Satin Liquid Chrome rings surrounding it. A Cobra is etched into the aluminum center of the steering wheel. Upon startup the Shelby Cobra will appear on the navigation screen and the red SVT logo will illuminate the door scuffplate.

Ford made sure that the Shelby GT500 is loaded with the latest technology. SYNC is a voice-activated hands-free in-car communication and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft. The system integrates most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and digital media players – providing hands-free cell phone and music selection. If a phone is paired correctly, turned on and connected to SYNC, the system is capable of calling a local 911 operator directly should an accident cause the air bags to deploy. SYNC also gathers key information from major vehicle control modules and packages diagnostic data into a format which is then sent to Ford using an 800-number automatically dialed using the owner’s mobile phone.

What does Shelby have to say about it? “We’re proud of the many enhancements that were developed jointly by the Ford and Shelby Automobiles team last year that we’ve now incorporated into the new 2010 Shelby GT500,” Shelby said. “Building on what we learned to create the Shelby GT500KR, this new car offers a great combination of power, handling, and braking. It is truly a special car that is a great deal of fun to drive.”

Ford, Shelby, SVT, 540 hp…need we say more?

Construction Unitized welded steel body, aluminum hood


Type V8
Manufacturing location Romeo, Michigan
Configuration Iron Block and Aluminum Heads
Intake manifold Cast-aluminum with Roots-type supercharger and air-to-water intercooler
Exhaust manifold Cast iron
Crankshaft Forged steel
Throttle Body Dual-bore 60 mm, electronic
Valvetrain DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Valve diameter Intake: 37.0 mm; Exhaust: 32.0 mm
Pistons Forged aluminum
Connecting Rods Cracked forged steel I-beams
Ignition Coil-on-plug
Bore x stroke 3.552x4.165 in./90.22x105.8 mm
Displacement 330 cu in/5,409 cc
Horsepower 540 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque 510 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Compression ratio 8.4:1
Redline 6,250 rpm
Idle Speed in Neutral 750 rpm
Engine control system Spanish oak PCM
Recommended fuel Premium only
Fuel capacity 16.0 gallons
Fuel Injection Electronic returnless sequential
Oil capacity 6.5 quarts 5W-50 Full Synthetic
Coolant capacity 21 quarts

Layout Rear-wheel drive

Standard (Type) Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual
Gear Ratios
1st 2.97
2nd 1.78
3rd 1.30
4th 1.00
5th 0.74
6th 0.50
Final Drive 3.55

Front Reverse-L independent MacPherson strut, stabilizer bar
Rear Three-link solid axle with coil springs, Panhard rod, stabilizer bar

Type Rack and pinion with power assist
Ratio 15.7:1
Steering column Tilt

Type Four wheel power disc with four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and traction control
Front Brembo 14-inch diameter vented discs, four-piston aluminum calipers
Rear 11.8-inch diameter vented discs, two-piston calipers

Tires (Coupe) P255/40Z19 front tires, P285/35ZR19 rear tires
Tires (Convertible) P255/45Z18 front tires, P285/40ZR18 rear tires
Wheels (Coupe) 19x9.5-inch forged aluminum wheels with SVT center caps
Wheels (Convertible) 18x9.5-inch cast aluminum wheels with SVT center caps

5.4-liter V8 6-Speed Manual 14 city/22 highway

Wheelbase 107.1 inches
Overall length 188.2 inches
Overall width 73.9 inches
Overall height 54.5 inches Coupe
55.9 inches Convertible
Track width, front/rear 61.9/62.5 inches
Ground clearance 5.7 inches

Curb weight
Coupe 3,924 pounds
Convertible 4,014 pounds

Safety belts Load-limiting seat belts with pretensioners and height-adjustable shoulder belts for front seating positions (coupe); Three-point safety belts for all seating positions; BeltMinder™ safety-belt reminder chime.
Air bags Seat-deployed side air bags for driver and front passenger;
Dual-stage driver and front-passenger air bags with crash-severity sensor, driver-seat-position sensor and front-passenger weight sensor.
Child safety LATCH anchors for rear outboard seats
Brakes Anti-lock braking system (ABS);Traction-control system
Fuel Inertia-activated shutoff switch for fuel pump
Security SecuriLock™ passive anti-theft system; Remote keyless entry; Separate alarm sounder; Anti-tow sensor; Ultrasonic interior motion sensor; Perimeter anti-theft battery.

Audio system Shaker 500: AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD/MP3 capable player with eight speakers

Badging Unique GT500
Top Black cloth (Convertible only)
Exhaust Tuned dual stainless steel
Fascia Unique GT500 body colored front and rear; black front air dam
Fog lamps Front
Grille Unique upper with Cobra emblem
Hood Unique hood with air extractor
Locking Remote keyless entry
Spoiler Unique color-keyed decklid spoiler
Trim Over-the-top “LeMans” stripes and “GT500” side stripes (Coupe)
“GT500” side stripes (Convertible)
Trunk Tire mobility kit

Air conditioning Manual
Console Center with full armrest, storage and cup holders
Cupholders 2
Door trim inserts Soft vinyl
Floor mats Front, color coordinated with driver-side retention hook
Instrument cluster Includes boost gauge and message center, SVT graphics
Map pockets Front doors
Power points 2
Scuff plates Door sills, with bright SVT script insert
Seats Leather sport buckets; 6-way power adjustable driver seat with power lumbar and 2-way adjustable head restraint
Shift knob Unique with leather shift boot and parking brake handle
Steering wheel Leather-wrapped with unique thumb pads, adjustable for tilt
Windows/door locks Power

Paint/stripe colors Torch Red with White, Satin Black or Silver stripes
Kona Blue Metallic with White or Silver stripes
Grabber Blue with White or Red stripes
Performance White with Blue, Red, Silver or Satin stripes
Brilliant Silver Metallic with Satin Black stripes
Black with White, Satin Black, Silver or Blue stripes
Sterling Grey Metallic with Satin Black, or Silver stripes
Convertible top Black cloth

INTERIOR COLORS Charcoal Black/Black Seat Stripe
Charcoal Black/White Seat Stripe
Charcoal Black/Silver Seat Stripe
Charcoal Black/Blue Seat Stripe
Charcoal Black/Red Seat Stripe


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