Motor Trend announced that after careful consideration, the winner of this year’s Ponycar of the Year award is the 2008 Shelby Mustang GT. This is an incredible victory for Shelby since the car was pitted against refitted models from Saleen and Roush. When it came down to performance and overall value, the Shelby GT blew the competition out of the water.
“The Shelby GT is a well-balanced, fun to drive machine that draws upon our experience of making Mustangs go faster,” said Amy Boylan, president of Shelby Autos. “Every lesson we learned while earning our stripes over the past 46 years is built into these ponycars. The competition was fierce with three very good cars in this test, so I’m proud that the Ford Shelby GT has earned another victory for both Team Shelby and every Ford Shelby owner.”
Motor Trend took cars from Shelby, Saleen and Roush that were normally aspirated base models with the optional tire and packages and brakes. Each was pitted against each other and at the last round of testing, it was clear that the Shelby GT had completely triumphed.
“Our idea was to round up Mustangs from the three companies with strong factory ties to Ford,” stated Matt Stone, Executive Editor of Motor Trend. “Saleen has been producing modified Mustangs for nearly 25 years. Jack Roush’s connection to Ford began with drag
racing several decades ago. And Carroll Shelby’s involvement with the Blue Oval needs no introduction. While all three outfits have high buck, supercharged offerings atop their lineups, we focused on the more affordable, naturally aspirated models in order to get a
feel for what can be done with the Mustang GT without spending a fortune.”
All three were tested on a figure eight track, where the Shelby posted the best time, as well as tests on lateral acceleration, the fastest 0 to 80 time and the lightest overall vehicle. The Shelby GT was the clear winner in all categories.
“These three players were similar in some ways, different in others, which is interesting since they all are based on the same car,” noted Stone. “Besides our usual round of track tests, we put them on a dyno, to verify horsepower and performance claims. While the
Roush and Saleen each had a few standout features, we felt the Shelby GT was the most cohesive package, delivering the best combination of components, style and bang for buck.”
The award was a true honor for Shelby GT against such tough competition. “The Shelby Team builds a wide range of cars for real enthusiasts,” Amy Boylan, president of Shelby Autos. “Each vehicle is designed to be fun, well-engineered, distinctive and exclusive. Our Cobra continues to be the most emulated car in the world today. The new GT500KR is truly the ‘King of the Road’ while the 2008 Shelby GT offers muscle car fans tremendous value. We literally offer a Shelby for every serious performance fan.”