2013 Ford Shelby GT500: The World’s Most Powerful Production V8 [Big Picture]

The day before the opening of media days at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford has spilled the details about the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, which it is calling the world’s most powerful production V8.

Bring it on Chevrolet Camaro ZL1! That’s what Ford is shouting at cross-town rival Chevy with the debut of the ultimate Ford Mustang – Shelby GT500 – raises the bar high on performance with the introduction of the new 2013 model that goes on sale next year delivering 650 horsepower and a top speed of more than 200 mph.

“SVT keeps the Shelby GT500 on the cutting edge of technology and takes muscle car performance to new heights,” said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development. “We encapsulated every aspect of performance in this car – whether it’s 0-60, top speed, racetrack or quarter-mile times. Beyond that, the daily driver also will find this car perfectly fits his or her needs.”

The 5.8-liter V8 aluminum-block engine produces 650 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful production V8 in the world. The 3,850-pound car also stays exempt from the gas-guzzler tax.

Nearly every part of the powertrain has been optimized for producing the additional horsepower, including a new supercharger, new cross-drilled block and heads, updated camshaft profiles, a new carbon fiber driveshaft and upgraded clutch, transmission and axle.

A larger, more-efficient supercharger flowing more air through the engine is key to helping produce the massive 650 horsepower. The new TVS series 2300 creates 2.3 liters of displacement and is a unique design to the 5.8-liter engine.

The entire cooling system has been significantly updated on the new 5.8-liter engine. It now includes a larger cooling fan, fan shroud with high-speed pressure-relief doors, a more efficient charge air cooler, a higher-flow intercooler pump and an intercooler heat exchanger with volume increased 36 percent.

Revised gearing

Nearly every gear on the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 was revised to manage the torque and use more of the power in a way that makes it more driver-friendly. Engineers considered more than 35 gearing combinations, finally deciding on one that delivers less torque all the way through the wheels to the ground and still enables the car to achieve fuel economy targets.

A key piece of the driveline, the six-speed manual transmission, offers upgraded gears, bearings and housing so it can properly manage the torque. The final drive ratio is now 3.31:1 for optimized overall vehicle gearing to complement the massive torque. Every gear besides fourth was optimized for competing performance metrics. The clutch has increased torque and rpm capacity and uses a dual-disc design.

“It might just seem like we’re putting a bigger engine into the car. But it’s been a balanced approach through and through,” said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief engineer. “We’ve completely redone the car to be even more sophisticated in terms of handling and control than the prior model.”

Other keys for improved traction management include:

• Torsen limited-slip differential: When customers order the optional Performance Package, they will get a Torsen limited-slip differential that helps the rear suspension deliver maximum torque and traction better and longer under track conditions

• Launch control: A new launch control system lets drivers set the desired launch rpm depending on tire temperature, street surface or other conditions. Unique to SVT’s launch control is that it is integrated with both the engine control and traction control

• Brembo braking system: A new Brembo brake system offers drivers enhanced stopping power to help keep their car under control, both on the road and the track. New six-piston calipers in front along with larger front and rear rotors help improve brake fade. New brake pads that are more aggressive also help the car achieve high deceleration and further robustness for more driver confidence

Aero advancements

Significant aerodynamic work was done on the new Shelby GT500 to ensure the car has proper downforce for optimum performance at all speeds. Engineers were able to determine how to harness the air that was moving around and through the car to improve the cooling system, maximize downforce and minimize drag.

The front fascia and splitters were modified to handle the extreme loads at 200 mph, resulting in a car that tracks more securely and feels more planted to the road at higher speeds. It offers 33 percent more effective aero loading at 160 mph compared to the 2011 model.

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