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I recently had the privilege of testing the 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. It’s everything I wanted it to be and then some. Even its lack of a manual transmission is hard to be mad about when you are blasting around the Texas Motor Speedway oval at speeds that would only ever be illegal on road. The 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will restore your faith in the American muscle car. At least––that’s exactly what it did for me.

The Ford Motor Co. Mustang Shelby GT500 | Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As an auto journalist, I am constantly reading and researching the latest ratings and news in the industry. I research the history of models, and how past DNA affects future design. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the appeal of foreign cars.

Compared with some of our domestic offerings, some foreign supercars with astronomical price tags like the new Porsche 911 GT3 feel a little more exciting and exotic––right? For particular fans of foreign cars, this may be true. However, we can’t forget about the sheer power that’s developed right here in the states.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is an American supercar

At that track test, there was an entire demonstration of the 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, its engineering, and components. The Ford Performance marketing team is top-notch, but their compelling talks weren’t the reason I walked away from the Texas Motor Speedway wishing I could go buy a 2021 Shelby GT500. This American supercar speaks for itself.

three Gt500 models in a row driving on the track
2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 | Lincoln Hill via Ford Performance

There we were, inspecting an engine autographed by the humans that made it. There was a model of the Shelby poised on its side with the entire underbody labeled for each part. This fascinating teaching session taking place in the midst of a sound you cannot ignore.

The auditory aid provided by the 30 some odd 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 models taking turns looping the track made the entire presentation that much more tangible. There is virtually no way to get this up close and personal with the new Shelby GT500 and not fall in love. This is a real car, and it proves that American muscle is still a performance leader.

Ford Performance and Shelby American: a history of American muscle

While Ford doesn’t technically own Shelby American, the two have worked together for a long time. In 1965, Shelby American produced the first Shelby Cobra model. Even since the Shelby’s beginnings in the first GT350 and GT500 models that originally went into production, it was all about creating a car that could hold its own against both domestic and foreign competition.

a bright green 2021 Shelby gt500 mustang taking a lap on the Texas motor speedway track
2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 | Lincoln Hill via Ford Performance

The 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 isn’t the fastest car in its class. But it dominates performance tests like the 0-60 mph speed test and quarter-mile sprint. Against big time domestic competition and foreign supercars like the Chevrolet Corvette and the Porsche 911, the GT500 stands out in terms of performance and power.

Against both foreign and domestics, this American muscle car rens supreme

On paper, the Shelby GT500 beasts the other two. The new Porsche 911 has a turbocharged 3.0-liter flat six. It generates up to 379 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. The Porsche 911 starts around $101,200 according to Porsche’s website.

The Chevrolet Corvette runs a 6.2-liter V8 engine good for 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. You can get one for a price starting around $60,995, according to Chevrolet.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 boasts a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 that’s good for 760 horsepower and a whopping 625 lb-ft of torque. And trust me, you can feel every bit of it when you ask the Mustang forward. The GT500 starts at $72,900 according to Ford.

In the video above, we can see these three cars in action against each other. The Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette are certainly high performance machines in their own right. However, there’s just no denying the massive power of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. It’s enough to restore your faith in American muscle.


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