Early indications are that the car is "definitely faster" on the road and on the track and offers quicker in-gear response than its predecessor.
Ford’s Special Vehicles Team has also used the opportunity to present its Shelby GT500KR “King of the Road” Mustang.
Engineers lowered the chassis and worked to reduce the ride heights while also stiffening the coupe and convertible to improve the overall body control, roll stiffness and roll gradient.
“What we came out with was a chassis that feels more controlled and reacts faster,” said Kerry Baldori, chief functional engineer for SVT.
The front damping and spring rates on the 2010 Shelby GT500 were increased and share the same setup on the front end as the KR. Overall, the goal with the 2010 Shelby GT500 was to maintain the high-performance attributes of the KR, but in a more-refined manner.
“We focused most on improving the steering and dry handling attributes because they are the ones that matter most to the customer,” said Andrew Vrenko, vehicle dynamics engineer. “We wanted to give the steering more feel and have the car really feel as if it’s more connected to the road.”
Aerodynamic balance has also been improved thanks to some minor revisions which is sure to please owners come track day.
“Using data from the wind tunnel and the track, the new Shelby GT500 is near neutral at 120 mph – it makes about 20 pounds of lift,” said John Pfeiffer, product development engineer. “This is 50 percent better than the KR and 75 percent better than the outgoing model.”
SVT also managed to reduce the downforce on the rear by 50 percent compared with the outgoing model as it worked to reduce drag and maximise balance. The new Shelby GT500 reacts the same at 190km/h as it does at much lower speeds because the center of gravity doesn’t change from aerodynamic forces as you get up to speed.
19-inch alloy wheels have now been included as standard which are shod with Goodyear F1 Supercar tyres aimed at not only improving grip and handling, but also reducing NVH issues.
One of the new tunable components on the new Shelby GT500 is the addition of a wicker bill or “Gurney Flap” on the rear. Introduced by racing legend Dan Gurney nearly 40 years ago, the Gurney Flap is essentially a tunable element on a low-drag spoiler.
On the 2010 Shelby GT500 it sticks up about 6 mm and is positioned at a right angle to help create downforce. Tuning options include using Gurney Flaps of different heights or removing it altogether.
Perhaps best of all the 2010 Shelby GT500 boasts a 0-100 time of 4.3 seconds and quarter-mile times of just 12.5 seconds (at 187.1 km/h).