The 2011 Mustang features all-new V6 and V8 engines for the mass production model, and the GT500 Ford is going to an all-aluminum version of the 5.4-liter supercharged V8 that was in the 2010 GT500. This new engine is good for a 102 pound weight decrease, as well as 10 horsepower surge over the previous model – putting total output at 550 horsepower and 510 lb-ft. of torque.
“Cutting weight to improve performance is a tradition among hot rodders,” said Carroll Shelby in a statement released to the media. “It might not be as sexy as adding more horsepower or bigger brakes, but shaving pounds off of a car is the single smartest move you can make.”
Ford also points out that this new Shelby Mustang is uses an engine with roots in the now discontinued Ford GT supercar – but with improved block structure through the use of a unique bulkhead chilled process and six-bolt billet main bearing caps. Ford says that the 2011 Shelby GT500 engine will exceed Ford GT performance due to its superior supercharger technology.
With increased power comes…increased fuel efficiency?
Bucking the trend of range-topping muscle cars receiving a gas guzzler’s tax, Ford says the 2011 Shelby GT500 will be the first modern Shelby without a gas guzzler tax, thanks to the EPA-projected 15 mpg city, and 23 mpg highway ratings. Ford’s engine changes also result in 80 percent torque being available between 1,750 and 6,250 rpm, along with a larger two-row intercooler that delivers 40 percent more cooling capacity.
Ford achieved the increase in fuel economy through a combination of weight savings from the use of an all-aluminum engine block, improved body and undercarriage aerodynamics and the addition of Electric Power Assisted Steering.
New performance features for 2011
Likely the most significant option change for the GT500 is the SVT Performance Package – giving the GT500 a track-ready performance pack from the factory. This package includes specially developed Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G: 2 tires, a higher rear axle ratio, stiffer springs, lighter wheels and cosmetic changes for both the coupe and convertible. Ford attributes a 3.0-second lap time savings over the 2010 coupe on the 2.3-mile test track.