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Posted Apr 28th 2008 8:03PM by Drew Phillips
Filed under: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Ford, Shelby

Click above for a high resolution gallery of the 2008 Shelby GT500KR
I have to admit, the Shelby GT500 was somewhat of a letdown. I have no complaints about the 500 horsepower or the muscular lines, but at nearly 4,000 pounds, it's got a serious weight problem. The iron block, 5.4-liter V8 and the addition of a supercharger puts much the weight in the worst possible place -- the front -- so the GT500 feels unmotivated around the corners compared to a regular Mustang GT. Other complaints include a suspension that doesn't seem up to snuff to handle the prodigious power, as well as a vague and rubbery shifter. Despite its shortcomings, the GT500 is one of the world's best performance bargains. Never before has such a powerful car been available for so little cash (although the Ford dealers did a pretty good job of ruining its value with markups). Still, one couldn't help but think that the GT500 could have been better.

All photos Copyright ©2008 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.


Enter the GT500KR. It's the next step above the standard GT500, and the first Shelby Mustang to declare itself 'King of the Road' since 1968. A quick walk-around shows the upgrades applied at the Shelby facility in Las Vegas. Carbon fiber is used in several places, including a new heat-extracting hood, the front splitter, and on the mirror covers. The 18-inch aluminum wheels look strangely small compared to the 20-inchers on the concept, but they are handsome nonetheless, wrapped with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires. Out back is a revised spoiler lip that cleverly mimics the diffuser design below, and there's also a new exhaust system developed just for the KR. Inside, it's pretty much standard GT500, except for the plaque on the dash, KR stitching in the headrests, and a new short throw shifter with a white ball knob. Under the hood, the KR gets a new open element intake system that, along with revised programming and the new exhaust system, is good for another forty horsepower. The suspension has been modified as well. The car sits lower than before and has slightly more aggressive settings. SVT engineers claim that the GT500KR will consistently maintain 1.0g of lateral acceleration. We'll have to see about that.
[cont. http://www.autoblog.com/2008/04/28/first-drive-2008-shelby-gt500kr-part-1/ ]
 

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In a word: Ugly.

In three words: Ugly and Fast.

The stealerships in Calgary are charging $85,000 for a regular GT500 and calling it a deal. I wonder how much this one will go for? My guess is you'll be able to get a Z06 or SRT10 Coupe for less.
 

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^^^well ... yes

Ford is making KILLING on these selling them to collectors - they are only building a couple thousands of these - they are not intended for joe schmo's like me and you - we are to buy more pedestrian Mustang, or the Corvette - unfortunately.

Igor
 

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In a word: Ugly.

In three words: Ugly and Fast.

The stealerships in Calgary are charging $85,000 for a regular GT500 and calling it a deal. I wonder how much this one will go for? My guess is you'll be able to get a Z06 or SRT10 Coupe for less.
Actually, I stoped by a dealership by may house in Macomb, Michigan because thet had several regular GT500's out front. The sales manager happened to see me in the lot and told me they were selling the standard GT 500 coupes for $45,000. He said it was a 5 to 10 thousand dollar markup depending where you bought one in MI.
 

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Sounds like they really like it.
Here is more from BON.

For performance enthusiasts, the new 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR’s driving dynamics should be as big of an eye-opener as its acceleration, torque, horsepower and stopping performance.
The new model features an array of enhancements designed to give it the same poised and predictable handling at 120 mph as it has at 60 mph, according to the performance engineering team at Ford SVT in collaboration with Shelby Automobiles. The team has created the fastest production Mustang ever. This Mustang can take curves at speed.
The new GT500KR’s handling is the result of a clever combination of chassis engineering and aerodynamic honing, proven by its 1.0g lateral acceleration skidpad capability.
“The new GT500KR handling story is all about balance,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer of Ford SVT.
“That’s the big result with new GT500KR dynamically,” agrees Gary Patterson, Shelby Automobiles chief test driver. “Its balance makes this car very confident and predictable to drive, even on the limit.”
Sharp Aero
Just as on the race track, aerodynamics has played a major role in shaping the dynamic capabilities of the 2008 GT500KR.
“Our objective was to build on the GT500 to give the new model more dynamic balance, reflecting its higher power output,” said John Pfeiffer, SVT product design engineering specialist. “We focused our efforts on creating even downforce levels front and rear. That meant finding more frontal downforce than the previous model.”
Extensive engineering work was devoted to deliver more front downforce, starting with the most obvious aerodynamic feature on the new car – its slick carbon-fiber front splitter.
The new splitter is an all-new profile, more aggressive than that of the GT500. It is deeper and consistently full in shape, mirroring the shape of the leading edge of the hood and bumper above it for design coherence. Its lateral edges, which kick up small aero wall shapes at the wheel arches, are a clear statement of performance intent.
The thinner splitter aids with approach angle clearance, but downforce is its primary role helping achieve a 31 percent improvement.
The splitter structure creates a flat floor shape under the front portion of the bumper shape to the leading edge of the front wheels. Enclosing this area provides a significant downforce enhancement.
The splitter underside also incorporates an integral brake cooling feature, with molded shapes inspired by NACA ducts.
At the rear, the new GT500KR has a less prominent spoiler, a design to balance front-to-rear downforce variances. That’s an important part of its balance and poise at speed.

“You have to experience the new KR at speed in a curve to feel the difference,” Pfeiffer said. “It has an absolutely minimal aero moment of just 54 lb.-ft. at 120 mph, a 92 percent improvement versus the GT500. That is central to its confident handling ability. Because it’s just as happy at 120 as it is at 60, the GT500KR is a very special performance car.”
‘Only’ 40 More Horsepower?
KR’s slick new aero has another special impact on performance feel.
“If you drive the GT500 and new KR back to back, you might accuse Ford SVT and Shelby of sandbagging because the car feels like it has more than 40 extra horsepower,” says Patterson.
“That’s an effect of the aerodynamics,” says Pfeiffer. “Our computer model predicts a four-tenths-of-a-second zero-to-150 acceleration effect from the aero alone. That makes the horsepower go farther.”
Chassis improvements engineered by Ford SVT and Shelby Automobiles complement the aero enhancements – and not every component is bigger for better performance. In fact, the new car is 22 pounds lighter than the current GT500.
“We reduced the diameter of the rear sway bar for just the right grip under power coming out of a corner,” said Kerry Baldori, SVT chief vehicle engineer. “That’s just one example of the amount of tuning that went into engineering the KR chassis.”
That tuning and the weight reduction are immediately obvious in the GT500KR’s light and responsive steering. Impressive given the aggressive size and stickiness of new 18-inch Goodyear tires – 255/45 series in front, 285/40 at the rear – mounted on distinctive, forged and polished wheels.
Powertrain calibration also makes GT500KR ‘street friendly’ despite its impressive performance credentials. It has a gentle, balanced feel at low speed when cruising around town and an easier launch feel.
 

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These special edition and tuner Mustangs all look the same.

I've never seen a car that limits creative body modifications as much as the current Mustang.

It seems like tuners can't really do anything with it because of its design.

Even Ford can't make their Shelby cars look special.
 

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These special edition and tuner Mustangs all look the same.

I've never seen a car that limits creative body modifications as much as the current Mustang.

It seems like tuners can't really do anything with it because of its design.
I'm too lazy to look it up, but there was a body kit that moved the position of the headlights slightly and it was just what it needed.
 

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they are not intended for joe schmo's like me and you - we are to buy more pedestrian Mustang, or the Corvette - unfortunately.
See - every cloud has a silver lining. :)

But seriously....I wouldn't pay over $40k for any pony car. I'm sure that for the price of the KR one could buy an M3 or CTS-V.

How much does it cost anyway?
 

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CRAP - THIS IS THE WORST CAR I'VE SEEN

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the Mustang GT500KR is $79,995, including destination and delivery charges.
:eek: :eek: :eek:

And that doesn't include the $1300 gas tax.

I'm glad it makes somebody happy, but that thing wouldn't even make my top-20 if I had $80k to spend.
 

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Not sure how anyone can call this car as "ugly." That term should be reserved for cars like the honda element or the pontiac aztec but definately not this car. The regular gt500 looks good and this one only enhances on those looks. There is only a couple of mustang bodystyles I would put in the ugly category and that would be the mustangII and the sn95 body style.
 

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What makes this car bad is that kids with V6 Mustangs will make their car look just like your $82k GT500KR.....
 

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What makes this car bad is that kids with V6 Mustangs will make their car look just like your $82k GT500KR.....
That is like saying that the corvette is stupid because a 45k base corvette can be made to look just like the upcoming 100k zr-1. Of course people CAN do it, they are based off the same car. Fact is, most people won't.
 

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That is like saying that the corvette is stupid because a 45k base corvette can be made to look just like the upcoming 100k zr-1. Of course people CAN do it, they are based off the same car. Fact is, most people won't.
Well any Corvette can perform, and really, there's hardly any drastic changes to the Corvette, even in ZR1 form. On the other hand a V6 mustang can barely keep a Civic at bay.

Personally I'd wouldn't bother with the Mustang if I had more than 30K available to spend on a car.
 

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That is like saying that the corvette is stupid because a 45k base corvette can be made to look just like the upcoming 100k zr-1. Of course people CAN do it, they are based off the same car. Fact is, most people won't.
It's very rare that I see a C6 owner trying make their car look like something it's not. The average person buying a C6 is likely in their mid-late 40s. By that age and income level, they've probably had time to develope at least adequate taste in cars.

On the other hand, seeing a V6 Mustang made to look like a special edition (badges and all) is a common occurrence.

Regardless, a Corvette in any form is basically a super car. A V6 Mustang...not so much. The GT500KR is 4x more expensive than the base car. Would you buy a Corvette that cost 4x what the base car cost ($184,000)?
 

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BTW, are those unpainted black plastic side mirrors and side skirts that I see on this $82k car? :eek:
 

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It's very rare that I see a C6 owner trying make their car look like something it's not. The average person buying a C6 is likely in their mid-late 40s. By that age and income level, they've probably had time to develope at least adequate taste in cars.

On the other hand, seeing a V6 Mustang made to look like a special edition (badges and all) is a common occurrence.

Regardless, a Corvette in any form is basically a super car. A V6 Mustang...not so much. The GT500KR is 4x more expensive than the base car. Would you buy a Corvette that cost 4x what the base car cost ($184,000)?
What difference does it make if more people attempt it for the mustang? You said, "What makes this car bad is that kids with V6 Mustangs will make their car look just like your $82k GT500KR....."

Well the same can be said for the corvette. Plus, there are quite a few differences betweent he gt500kr and the base v6 mustang. Enough so that someone would really have to try pretty hard to make it look the same. (So some "kid" wouldn't just be able to do it.)

What does the money have to do with it anyways? The difference between a base corvette and a zr-1 is about the same as the difference between a v6 mustang and gt500kr. I'm failing to see your point other than you trying to just bash the car. Personally, I like the look of the car but it isn't worth 82k to me. That doesn't mean it is basically a v6 car though.
 

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Thats a good looking Mustang, for all of that money though they could have at least put some body colored mirrors on there. Kind of wrecks the sleek look having those plastic mirrors sticking out there.
 
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