2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Review and Prices

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2011

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2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Buying Advice

The 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 is the best car for you if the name Carroll Shelby makes your pulse race and you recognize it signals the baddest rendition of the 2010 Mustang.

The 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 received a number of cosmetic and mechanical revisions, and though Ford heralds it as a new design generation, it’s more of a moderate makeover with freshened styling and added sophistication. As before, coupe and convertible versions are offered and the 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 remains Ford’s answer to costlier domestic powerhouses like the Dodge Viper and Chevrolet Corvette Z06. The standard 2010 Ford Mustang is reviewed separately.

Should you buy a 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 or wait for the 2011 Ford Shelby GT500? Wait for the 2011 Shelby GT500. With 540 horsepower, the 2010 model certainly has more power than you can use outside a racetrack. But reports indicate the 2011 Shelby GT500 may exchange today’s V-8 for a supercharged version of Ford’s new Coyote V-8. It should have even more power and be a more modern and efficient engine.

2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Test Drive back to top

Interior:  Interior updates give the 2010 Shelby GT500 a richer feel while maintaining a stylish look that harkens back to 1960s Mustangs. For the GT500, the standard Mustang interior gets dressed up with leather upholstery, specially textured aluminum accents, and a classic white shift knob. Shelby Cobra insignias abound inside and out. Side-impact airbags are standard. A cramped rear seat that’s difficult to climb into and out of means you should consider the Shelby GT500 a two-seater with added storage in the rear.

Among noteworthy options is the latest version of Ford’s Sync system that makes it possible to operate multiple devices -- from cell phones to an iPod (or other USB audio device), navigation system and audio gear -- on a hands-free basis. The optional voice-activated navigation system includes Sirius Travel Link, which provides real-time information on weather, traffic, sports scores, gas prices and movie times on a subscription basis. And the available “MyColor” ambient illumination array allows you to change interior lighting colors for the gauges, foot-wells, cup holders, and door map pockets.

Exterior:  The 2010 Shelby GT500 differs from ordinary Mustangs thanks to a unique front-end treatment highlighted by huge air intakes. The rear gets a Shelby-specific spoiler. Dual Le Mans-style stripes run along the top of the vehicle in a nod to Mustang’s racing heritage. That heritage owes much to competition legend Carroll Shelby, a colorful Texan who developed many winning Cobras and Mustangs and transferred their aura to street versions that are now valued collector cars.

A functional hood scoop and Shelby-specific alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 performance tires that work with a specially tuned suspension further distinguish the GT500 from other Mustangs.

Driving:  The 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 packs a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 that generates both a throaty exhaust note and a rousing 540 horsepower. This is 220 horsepower more than the 2010 Mustang GT’s 4.6-liter V8 can muster and propels the 2010 GT500 from 0-60 mph in under five seconds.

A heavy-duty six-speed manual is the only transmission available on the GT500, and it’s specially engineered with a twin-disc clutch to reliably handle all that power without undue harshness. Rush-hour stop-and-go commuters might miss the convenience of an automatic transmission, however.

The 2010 Ford Shelby GT500’s suspension has been upgraded with revised shocks, spring rates and stabilizer bars to help keep all four of its wheels and high-performance tires (now 19 inches with the coupe and 18 inches with the convertible) planted to the pavement. Beefed-up discs and calipers are added to the car’s antilock braking system to help rein in the 540 galloping horses with authority.

For the GT500, Ford’s AdvanceTrac anti-skid system comes with a “Sport” mode that delays intervention to afford more-aggressive cornering with a greater amount of rear-end “drift” than in default mode. It can also be switched off altogether for drivers who can handle a full degree of slipping and sliding through the curves at speed.

2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Prices back to top

The 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 price range is $47,105-$52,175 (prices in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee; Ford’s fee for the 2011 GT500 is $850).

The coupe is the most-affordable entry 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 and starts at $47,105.

The 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 convertible starts at $52,175.

2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Fuel Economy back to top

The Ford Shelby GT500 is rated at 14/22 mpg (city/highway). Premium-octane gasoline is required.

2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Safety and Reliability back to top

In government crash testing, the 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 rates the maximum five stars for driver and passenger protection in both frontal and side impacts and rollover protection.

While the 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 is not rated separately, the Ford Mustang upon which its based received a “better than most” rating for initial quality and an “about average” rating for expected reliability by J.D. Power and Associates, the leading automotive consumer survey firm.

2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Competition back to top

2010 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: The “midrange” Corvette fits between the base model and the top ZR1 in both price and performance. Coming only as a hardtop, it rides on a lightweight-yet-rigid aluminum frame and includes a 505-horsepower 7.0-liter V-8 and a heavy-duty six-speed manual gearbox. It also comes with a stiffer suspension than the base model and other performance-minded upgrades. Base price is roughly $75,000.

2010 Dodge Viper: Offered in coupe and roadster renditions, the Dodge Viper is long, sleek and low-to-the ground in the classic sports car tradition. It packs a punch with its 600-horsepower 8.4-liter V-10. Dodge pegs 0-60 mph runs at less than four seconds. The only available transmission is a Tremec-supplied six-speed manual that’s specially engineered to handle the power. Once headed for oblivion, Viper was given a reprieve by Chrysler Group LLC’s current owners, the Fiat Group. Base price range is roughly $90,000-$92,000.

2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Next Steps