Ford’s new Shelby GT500 is the ultimate version of the long-heralded pony car. Packing a 760 horsepower 5.2L supercharged V8 engine, a dual-clutch transmission, and a host of carbon fiber components, the range-topping Ford Mustang has more in common with a Porsche GT3 than it does with the EcoBoost-powered base model. Despite what the numbers might suggest however, the S550 generation GT500 is a far more civil beast than its S197 GT500 predecessor. That isn’t to say that the 2013-2014 model isn’t a tremendous performer in its own right however. Thanks to the folks over at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds, we now have a chance to watch a 2014 Shelby GT500 try and reach it’s claimed 202 mph top speed.
The S197 generation Ford Mustang first debuted in 2005, and it was shortly followed by a Shelby variant of its own. That said, the car underwent a massive mid-cycle update in 2010. Early S197.II generation Shelbys were powered by a 5.4L supercharged V8, which made 540 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Things changed in 2013 however, when an updated version of the pony car arrived. Under the hood came a new 5.8L supercharged “Trinity” V8 engine, which provided owners with 662 horsepower and 631 lb-ft of torque. At the time, this was the most potent production V8 engine in the world, and is likely responsible for the horsepower war we are engaged in today. Unlike the current example, all of that power was fed through a 6-speed Tremec TR6060 manual gearbox. This thing also packed a live-rear axle, and was known for its hairy handling characteristics.
Back when the 2014 Shelby GT500 debuted, Ford claimed that the Mustang had a top speed of 202 mph. That is pretty impressive for a muscle car, but Car and Driver was only ever able to replicate a speed of 189 mph. This test from Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds provides us with some more context surrounding that potential discrepancy. The 2.7 mile runway is basically long enough to get close to that 200+ mph rating, and it is also only 8.3 feet above sea level. That said, this particular Ford Mustang wasn’t able to match either of the two aforementioned tests.
In the clip, we get to watch as the car hurdles its way up to 183.116, according to the two-run average. There were winds blowing between 9 and 17 mph for the runs however, which could have played a role. Either way, it’s clear that the Shelby GT500 really starts to lose steam above 175 mph, running out of room before smacking that heralded 200 mph figure. But man does that Trinity V8 sound incredible while doing it.
The 2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 isn’t as quick from 0-60 as the S550 Mustang GT500, and nor does it handle as well around the track. That’s alright though, as the S197 maintains an outright advertised top speed advantage, and there is something particularly brutal about these S197 GT500 models. They have the right look, the right sound, and of course the right gearbox for our liking. It’s a winner all around, so long as you can put up with that wild rear end.