ON THE ROAD IN THE FASTEST MUSTANG EVER
SO, what’s the Ford Mustang like to drive? We won’t get behind the wheel of the new one until some time next year but in a secret preview of the new model in Detroit two months ago, Carsguide sampled the biggest baddest Mustang ever, the current flagship Shelby GT 500. Named after the late, great racer Carroll Shelby — who earnt legend status after starting Ford’s four-year winning streak against Ferrari at LeMans from 1966 to 1969 — it is the most powerful V8 road car to date. Yes, even more powerful than the Germans. At its heart is a supercharged 5.8-litre V8 with an epic 493kW, or 662 horsepower in the old money. That’s V8 Supercars territory. The numbers beggar belief, until you turn the key and gently push the accelerator. Admittedly the roads around Dearborn were cool as winter was starting to set in — but it became a challenge to simply get any power to the ground without being accused of hooning. I can’t believe they built such a powerful, brute of a thing. Three cheers from me at least. I lost count of how many times I apologised to the Ford PR minder sitting alongside. “It’s the car, honest,” I offered repeatedly. This brief, 30-minute encounter was enough to reveal a side to Ford that Australians rarely get to see. Ford by its nature is a very conservative car company. But the likes the Shelby GT 500 show there are still enough enthusiasts high enough in the company to pilot such insane projects through the Ford bureaucracy. The Shelby GT 500 I tested was the company car of a senior executive in Detroit with a private collection of more than 50 classic Mustangs. Here’s hoping there is eventually a supercharged V8 Shelby GT 500 version of the new Mustang — and it comes in righthand drive. The queue starts here.