Ever since Chevrolet brought back the Camaro, a few years back, the pony car wars have turned into a real firefight. Anyone who thought that we’re long past the gold are of the American muscle car just has to spend a little time behind the wheel of one of the latest offerings from Chevy, Chrysler or Ford.
The latter maker pretty much had the class pony car segment all to itself for a number of years, but Mustang has had a tough time since Camaro’s return. Who says competition isn’t a wonderful thing? Both makers – and Chrysler, with the Challenger – have made some amazing improvements lately. As we discovered getting behind the wheel of Ford’s latest spin on the Mustang, the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500.
Ford’s ties to Shelby go back nearly half a century, the first Shelby Mustang proving that the little coupe approved by Lee Iacocca and company was more than just a sexy little poseur. In recent years, we’ve seen the Shelby imprimatur on a series of impressive Mustangs, including one now coming out of the late Carroll Shelby’s own tuner shop near Las Vegas.
Don’t confuse that customized Mustang with the one Ford is rolling off its own assembly line. The Shelby American version is a low-volume offering that, for nearly as much as you’d pay for a Ferrari will get you a mind-boggling 950 horsepower – a reported 1,100 in track trim. By comparison, the Ford Shelby GT500 will “only” churn out 662 horsepower and 631 lb-ft of torque.