In the 21st century, muscle cars may seem like a thing of the past. The big engines, massive tires and Hulk-like bodies don't seem to fit into the overabundance of hybrids and handful of all-electrics on the road. Wait, who am I kidding? Of course they do! They're muscle cars for goodness' sake. They can do whatever they darn well please!
The 2013 Ford Mustang GT500 isn't the Mustang your friend's younger sister buys so she can look cool. At 662-horsepower, the GT500 is a pony car with serious power. But what if you're not completely satisfied with what the factory has to offer off the assembly line? Sure, the specs are impressive, but sometimes you just want something more. Sometimes you need a lot more. After all, the manufacturers do have bottom lines they need to think about, and spending tons of money on a few super-fast cars just doesn't make fiscal sense on a mass production scale.
Enter the 2013 Shelby Super Snake GT500. Think of it like a cobra on steroids ... with a pair of racing stripes down its back.
Why Other Street-legal Muscle Cars Are Weeping
Enough with the pleasantries. Let's get down to business. The factory GT500 is nothing to scoff at. Any car that has more than 600 horses in the engine compartment is doing something right. But the Super Snake takes all that power and adds a little bit of its own flavor. Shelby offers the following [source: Shelby American]:
- Six-speed manual transmission with 3.21:1 rear axle ratio and short throw shifter with optional 3.73:1
- Upgraded suspension
- Cooling package with a new radiator, heat exchange and aluminum cooling tracks
- Borla exhaust system
- Front brake cooling ducts
- Fiberglass hood
- Shelby/Wildwood brakes with 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers and crossed drilled rotors
But that's not all she wrote. Shelby also offers -- for the first time -- a wide-body package with 14-inch-wide rear tires. Just in case you missed it, that's 14 inches of rubber on the road -- per tire. You can get the full wide-body package or just opt for the rear-wheel version. The front and rear wide-body package will set you back $17,995, and the rear-only comes in at just $11,995 [source: Lingeman].
But that's not what you really wanted to know, is it? In addition to the Super Snake package and the optional wide-body package, Shelby is also offering a supercharged version that will boost those 662-horsepower engines up to 850-horsepower [source: Shelby American]. No joke. The street-legal 850-horsepower version comes with your choice of either a Whipple or Kenne Bell supercharger. And we thought the factory GT500 was amazing!
It Doesn't Hurt to Look Good, Too
You can't have all that power and internal upgrades without flaunting it a little, can you? Shelby doesn't think so either. That's why all of the Super Snakes come with 20-inch rims, Shelby signature embroidered headrests and floor mats, Super Snake badging throughout the vehicle and the Super Snake design on the hood, too. Each car also gets a unique vehicle number plate on the engine and inside the vehicle. Good to know if you ever need to call someone out on claiming they've got an authentic Super Snake.
You can have your Super Snake built based on either the coupe or convertible model, and Shelby offers the full color palette from Ford. An optional two-tone leather interior is available, and we've already mentioned the monstrous wide-body option.
Even with all the new features, the 2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake is a bit cheaper than previous models. Speaking of cost, we should mention that you'll first have to purchase a GT500 from Ford for $52,400 [source: Ford]. After that, you can add the entry-level Super Snake upgrades for an additional $28,995. And if you want the big guns -- meaning 850 horses -- it'll cost a little extra. You'll have to fork over $39,995 in addition to the original GT500 price [source: Shelby American].
When it comes to the pricing, don't think of it as an expensive upgrade to an already pricey muscle car; think of it as an investment in what could be a huge profit decades from now. Cars badged with a Shelby Snake have been known to take in a pretty penny at auctions.
Author's Note: How the 2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake Works
It's hard not to love a powerful car with the Shelby name on it, and I think the Super Snake is no different. With only 500 cars total up for grabs, Super Snake owners just might have a great collector car on their hands -- although we probably won't know for sure until, let's say, four decades from now. Either way, car enthusiasts everywhere have Shelby to thank for some amazing road machines, and the Super Snake is only adding to the history.
- Ford. "2013 Mustang Models." (Nov. 14, 2012) http://www.ford.com/cars/mustang/models/
- Lingeman, Jake. "2013 Shelby Super Snake to debut at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction." Autoweek.com. Sept. 19, 2012. (Nov. 14, 2012) http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120919/CARNEWS/120919808
- Shelby American. "Shelby American Unleashes Most Powerful GT500 Super Snake Packages for 2013 Model Year." (Nov. 14, 2012) http://shelbyamerican.com/mainarticle.asp