Evo UK - Ford Mustang Shelby GT

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Shelby-tweaked Mustang entertains in an appropriately retro fashion

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    Text: John Barker / Photos: Stuart Collins February 2008

    Once a car maker has plundered and plagiarised its own heritage to create a new model, it’s almost inevitable that modern takes on the most evocative period versions will follow. Mini was quick off the mark with the Coopers, Fiat is working on a 500 Abarth, and in the US Ford has helped create the Hertz and Shelby Mustangs. And why not? If you’re going to go the retro route, go the whole hog, especially if it creates more dynamic models.

    The Ford Shelby GT apes the legendary Ford Shelby Mustang GT350 of the ’60s, but I must admit to having a few early misgivings about it when I discovered that the scoop riveted to the bonnet is purely cosmetic, the engine upgrade gives just 19bhp and the reworked suspension is an off-the-shelf Ford Racing package. The phrase ‘making a fast buck’ sprang to mind.

    However, the credibility of the Shelby GT rises a few points when you learn that it rolls out of Carroll Shelby’s workshops in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shelby takes a standard 300bhp V8 Mustang and adds a Ford Racing handling pack (comprising lower, stiffer springs and a beefier front anti-roll bar), 18in five-spoke wheels, a lower final-drive ratio and a revised intake and engine ECU (also from Ford Racing). Finally, of course, the GT350-aping Shelby styling parts and stripes are added.

    Inside, your gaze is immediately drawn to the very ’60s-style Hurst shifter with its blade-like stem and cue-ball top. In any other car it would be the focus of attention in the early miles, being very short of throw and weighty so that you feel you’re forcing the gears to mesh, but in this Mustang you’re more absorbed by the engine noise. If there is a better sounding V8 in production, I haven’t heard it. It may even be the best-sounding road-car V8 I’ve ever heard. It has all the thunder you could want but with an edge, a subtle but serious, almost race car-spec V8 whine, that, in league with its remarkable smoothness and eagerness to rev, suggests very high performance. Its instant and thumping delivery at anything over 2500rpm led a few of us here to reckon it was producing approaching 400bhp, but Ford was adamant that it was a stock lump with merely the ‘90mm cold air induction kit’ and a remap, and therefore good for the quoted 319bhp. Having been underwhelmed by this 4.6-litre, 32-valve V8 on many occasions, I am now its biggest fan.

    It certainly invigorates the stiffer, lower chassis. The relatively light steering isn’t big on feedback but is quick and accurate, the front-end composed and little distracted by lumps and bumps. The rear is something else. It’s rare to encounter a beam axle these days and a journey down a ruckled B-road shows why: the mass of the axle is hard to control, leading to jolts and occasionally the feeling that the dog is being, if not wagged, then at least distracted by the tail. On the upside, when that perfect 90-degree left-hander heaves into view, you know you’re going to have fun. Almost too much. Turn in too hard and you’ll induce oversteer, pick up the throttle and you’re in control of the angle, the lack of a limited-slip diff no issue with this much grunt on tap. I’m sure the laughably labelled BF Goodrich g-force T/A tyres contribute to the ease with which it drifts – comically on cold, damp roads – but accept that you’re in charge once you turn TCS off (and even with it on, to be honest) and the Shelby GT becomes utterly engaging. I had more fun and connected better with this Mustang than any other I’ve driven.

    Ford GB has no plans to import the Shelby GT, but there are companies here in the UK that will import one for you (left-hand drive, of course), ready to drive away, for about £27K – Nissan 350Z money. Not tempting enough? How about the mechanically similar Bullitt Mustang? Costing around $5000 less in the US, it’s finished in the same hue as the car McQueen drove in the movie and has an engine note that’s claimed to be tuned to match that classic soundtrack (though how it can be any better than the Shelby’s I’ve no idea). Now that really is very, very tempting.

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    [​IMG] An absolute riot to drive

    [​IMG] Not the last word in iron-fisted composure

    evo RATING [​IMG]

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  2. Big country

    Big country New Member

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  3. LilMoh

    LilMoh When am I ever going to cook Tira Mi Su? Am I goin

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    hello TriShield
     
  4. Cheeks

    Cheeks New Member

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  5. ImpalaSS

    ImpalaSS OT Supporter

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    I like those taillights
     
  6. AlkyHauler

    AlkyHauler Do you feel lucky punk? OT Supporter

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  7. Lord Denning

    Lord Denning New Member

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    you are not mitchtj
     
  8. Bassheadjazz03

    Bassheadjazz03 OT Supporter

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    .
     
  9. _Ven

    _Ven Active Member

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    :mamoru:


    i like it, looks pretty neat. :)
     
  10. torchC5

    torchC5 New Member

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    I like it. Probably sounds pretty good too.
     
  11. relon124

    relon124 OT Supporter

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  12. _Ven

    _Ven Active Member

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    why dont Ford use HID's for the mustang?
     
  13. torchC5

    torchC5 New Member

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    Probably boosts the price up more :dunno:.
     
  14. Nismo3112

    Nismo3112 Godzilla OT Supporter

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    What the fuck is that shit?:ugh2:
     
  15. MrBonus

    MrBonus Et Tu, Brute?

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    That's probably the highest rating a Mustang will ever achieve in EVO.
     
  16. _Ven

    _Ven Active Member

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    it will get moved later once it gets some publicity.
     
  17. AlkyHauler

    AlkyHauler Do you feel lucky punk? OT Supporter

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    lol
     
  18. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey OT Supporter

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    I want a subscription to that magazine, but its like $13 an issue for 12 issues :o
     
  19. massacre007

    massacre007 Banned

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  20. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    HIGH END, son
     
  21. NickS

    NickS New Member

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    Uhh. Hmm. Lets see. Your having a ball, hauling ass around corners, kicking the ass end out, gripping the hurst shifter with all your might practically screaming at the top of your lungs in enjoyment and ecstasy. Your staring at the winding road ahead of you, not the interior. :rolleyes:
     
  22. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    No, he's cutting people off on the freeway while playing with the stereo and yakking away on his bluetooth headset, and it's okay because he has a V8.

    Let's at least keep our fantasies grounded in reality, mkay?

    - - -

    On another note, the author's feelings about the engine were interesting. Just add a bigger intake and a better ECU program and a boring engine comes alive? That's ricer stuff, right there; kinda makes you wonder if Ford didn't cripple the engine in the base model just so they could get some easy extra performance out of it for special models like this.
     
  23. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    love the taillights :big grin:
     
  24. Smelly-Kitten

    Smelly-Kitten Dept. of Redundancy Department *Side Pipes

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    I've put about 250 miles on one, great car. Loved it. But im surprised the reviewer was so enthralled, it definitly doesn't feel like 400bhp. But it handles a bitch load better than my car
     

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