A Horse of a Different Color: The 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500's Wild Ride
It was a time when horsepower roared, and performance enthusiasts everywhere rejoiced. From 2007 to 2009, the Shelby Mustang GT500 reigned supreme. This thoroughbred of American muscle not only captured hearts, but also set a new standard for power and agility. Join us as we take you on a journey through the birth, life, and legacy of this incredible machine.
The Origin Story: The Idea, Design, and Development
The Shelby Mustang GT500 was born out of a partnership between Ford and the legendary Carroll Shelby. In 2005, Ford unveiled the fifth-generation Mustang, with its retro-inspired design and modern features. The stage was set for a collaboration that would bring the iconic Shelby name back to the Mustang lineup.
With a mission to create a high-performance Mustang worthy of the Shelby name, the design and engineering teams worked tirelessly to develop a vehicle that would take the world by storm. The result was a car that boasted not only a powerful engine but also a refined suspension, aggressive styling, and plenty of horsepower to back it all up.
Year-by-Year Changes: Power, Design, and Handling
2007: The Birth of a Legend
In 2007, the Shelby Mustang GT500 made its grand entrance into the automotive world. Under the hood, a 5.4-liter forced induction V8 engine roared, producing 500 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. This powerplant was mated to a six-speed manual transmission, and the GT500 could rocket from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.
The exterior of the 2007 GT500 was as aggressive as its performance. Unique styling elements, such as the Shelby Cobra badging, front splitter, rear spoiler, and distinctive hood with functional heat extractors, set it apart from the standard Mustang. Inside, the cabin featured leather seats with embroidered Cobra logos, along with an array of performance-focused gauges and controls.
2008: More Power, More Options
For 2008, the Shelby Mustang GT500 saw some improvements in power and performance. The engine output increased to 540 horsepower, thanks to a new cold air intake system and improved tuning. The GT500 also received a limited-slip differential for enhanced handling and traction.
Additionally, 2008 marked the debut of the GT500KR (King of the Road) edition. This special model boasted several performance upgrades, including a carbon-fiber hood, 18-inch forged aluminum wheels, and stiffer suspension components. Only 1,000 units of the GT500KR were produced, making it a highly sought-after collector's item.
2009: The Final Hurrah
As the curtain closed on the 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500, the 2009 model year brought a few notable changes. The exterior color options were updated, with new hues such as Grabber Blue and Brilliant Silver Metallic added to the lineup. Additionally, the GT500 gained standard HID headlights and an ambient lighting package.
Performance-wise, the 2009 GT500 remained largely unchanged from the previous year, maintaining its impressive 540 horsepower output and track-ready handling characteristics. However, the GT500KR saw a slight bump in power, with its engine output increased to 550 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque.
Despite the end of its production run in 2009, the Shelby Mustang GT500 left an indelible mark on the automotive world. Its perfect blend of power, performance, and style made it an instant classic that is still revered by enthusiasts today.
Fast Facts: Interesting Tidbits About the 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500
- The 2007 GT500 was the first production Mustang to break the 500 horsepower barrier.
- The GT500KR's "King of the Road" moniker pays homage to the original 1968 Shelby GT500KR.
- Carroll Shelby personally signed the first 1,000 GT500KR models.
- The GT500 featured a unique "SVT" (Special Vehicle Team) badge on the rear, highlighting its exclusive pedigree.
- A total of 10,847 GT500 coupes and convertibles were produced between 2007 and 2009.
- The 2008 GT500KR featured a Ford Racing Power Upgrade Pack, which increased horsepower and torque by optimizing the engine calibration.
- In 2008, the GT500 convertible became the official pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford 400 race.
- The 2007-2009 GT500s were built at the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan.
FAQs About the 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500
Q: How much did the 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500 cost when new?
A: The base price for the 2007 GT500 coupe was $40,930, while the convertible started at $45,755. Prices increased slightly for the 2008 and 2009 models.
Q: What is the top speed of the 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500?
A: The top speed for the 2007-2009 GT500 was electronically limited to 155 mph.
Q: How much does a 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500 weigh?
A: The GT500 coupe weighed approximately 3,920 lbs, while the convertible tipped the scales at around 4,040 lbs.
Q: What kind of gas mileage does the 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500 get?
A: The GT500 was rated at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.
Q: How many special editions of the 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500 were produced?
A: The GT500KR was the main special edition, with 1,000 units produced. A: There were also limited production runs of the GT500 Super Snake and the GT500 Red Stripe Appearance Package.
Aftermarket Upgrades for the 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500
For those looking to extract even more performance from their 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500, there are a plethora of aftermarket upgrades available. Here are some popular options:
- Cold air intakes to help improve airflow and increase power.
- Forced induction upgrades, such as larger supercharger pulleys, to increase boost and horsepower.
- Throttle body upgrades for improved throttle response and power.
- CNC'd parts for increased precision and performance.
- Cooling systems upgrades to keep engine temperatures in check during high-performance driving.
- Ported cylinder heads to enhance airflow and power.
- Upgraded suspension components for improved handling and cornering performance.
- Performance exhaust systems to help the engine breathe better and produce a more aggressive exhaust note.
With the right combination of aftermarket upgrades, the 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500 can be transformed into an even more formidable high-performance machine. As always, it's important to work with reputable suppliers and installers to ensure the best results.
The 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500 was a game-changer in the world of high-performance automobiles. With its potent supercharged V8, aggressive styling, and storied heritage, it captured the hearts and minds of car enthusiasts everywhere. Today, the GT500 remains an iconic symbol of American muscle and performance, and with the right aftermarket upgrades, it can continue to thrill and excite drivers for years to come.
Whether you're a die-hard Shelby fan, a performance enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty and power of an iconic American muscle car, the 2007-2009 Shelby Mustang GT500 stands tall as a shining example of what can be achieved when passion and engineering prowess come together. So, buckle up, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride!
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