Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.

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