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How the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Works

Mustang Handling and Specs

Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company

Although American muscle cars are usually known for flat-out, straight-line speed, the history of the Mustang shows that a car made in Detroit can be successful on the technically challenging road courses in the United States and Europe. The original Shelby Mustangs were very nimble on twisting tracks. The modern GT500 is no different.

An independent MacPherson strut suspension with reverse-L lower control arms anchors the front end, while a three-link solid axle shores up the rear, aided by a track bar to prevent lateral motion. Both front and rear stabilizer bars help minimize body roll. Brembo brakes add to the handling performance, with 14-inch, four-piston discs in front and 11.8-inch, single-piston discs in the rear, linked to the car's ABS system. The 18-inch aluminum wheels hold P255/45ZR and P285/40ZR high-performance tires, and a power-assisted, rack-and-pinion steering system rounds out the handling package.


Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 dimensions:

  • Wheelbase - 107.1 inches (272 cm)
  • Length - 187.6 inches (476.5 cm)
  • Width - 73.9 inches (187.7 cm)
  • Height - coupe 54.5 inches (138.4 cm) convertible 55.7 inches (141.5 cm)
  • Front track - 61.9 inches (157.2 cm)
  • Rear track - 62.5 inches (158.8 cm)

Full Specs


Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company

Type: Supercharged V8

Configuration: Iron block and aluminum heads

Intake manifold: Cast-aluminum with screw-type supercharger and air-to-water intercooler

Exhaust manifold: Cast iron

Crankshaft: Forged steel

Throttle body: Dual 55 mm, electronic

Valvetrain: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder

Displacement: 330 cubic inches (5,409 cc)

Horsepower: 500 hp

Torque: 480 lb-ft

Transmission: T56 six-speed manual

Driven wheels: Rear-wheel drive


Front: Reverse-L independent MacPherson strut, 34-mm tubular stabilizer bar

Rear: Three-link solid axle with coil springs, Panhard rod, 24-mm solid stabilizer bar


Type: Four-wheel power disc

Front: Brembo 14-inch vented and cross-drilled disc, four-piston aluminum calipers

Rear: Brembo 11.8-inch vented and cross-drilled disc, single-piston calipers


Type: 18x9.5-inch aluminum wheels

Tires: P255/45ZR-18 up front and P285/40ZR-18 on the rear


Wheelbase: 107.1 inches (272.0 cm)

Length: 187.6 inches (476.5 cm)

Width: 73.9 inches (187.7 cm)

Height: coupe 54.5 inches (138.4 cm) convertible 55.7 inches (141.5 cm)

Track width, front/rear: 61.9 inches / 62.5 inches (157.2 cm / 158.8 cm)

Ground clearance: 5.71 inches (14.5 cm)

Cargo Volume: 9.7 cubic feet (27 L)

In the next section, we'll take a closer look at the design work that went into this Shelby Mustang GT500.