The horsepower war has turned thermal nuclear as Ford again ups the ante with the Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible with a supercharged 650-hp engine.?? The convertible joins the coupe with all the features that make both top models in their small but powerful niche.
?The Shelby GT500 convertible is every bit the performer that the coupe is,? said Kerry Baldori, SVT Global Performance Vehicles chief engineer. ?All of the significant changes we made in the program were instrumental in delivering a convertible that could really shine on the track but can still be driven on a daily basis.?
The 2013 Shelby GT500 convertible with the optional Performance Package is faster around a track than the outgoing model. The new convertible shaved nearly 3.5 seconds off its lap time at Sebring International Raceway compared to the 2011 and 2012 models.? It has a track-test top speed of more than 200 mph.
Keys to the improved lap times are the power boost from the new 5.8-liter supercharged V-8 engine producing 650 horsepower, as well as the SVT-designed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers available on the Performance Package and the all-new chassis tuning.
The Bilstein shocks can be adjusted with a simple push of a button on the dash.? The normal mode gives customers a more comfortable ride over road irregularities. Sport mode is all about performance, delivering improved response time on the track and less body roll while cornering with reduced pitch under braking. The upgraded dampers allowed SVT engineers to tune the convertible more aggressively for the track, while still being able to maintain desirable on-road manners.
A new Brembo brake system is also an important part of the convertible performance equation. The new brakes offer drivers enhanced stopping power to help keep the car under control, while new six-piston calipers in front along with larger front and rear rotors further improve braking performance. More aggressive brake pads also help the car achieve high deceleration and further robustness for more driver confidence.
Similar to the coupe, the convertible will be offered with a Performance Package that also can be upgraded to a Track Package, complete with an external engine oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler for further durability.