For horsepower junkies it seems there's no end in sight for the current crop of American muscle machines. For Ford fans it's an especially giddy time, since the 2013 Shelby GT500 is officially the most powerful production V8 powered car on the planet.
Just how powerful? Well the Society of Automotive Engineers has officially rated the latest Shelby's 5.8-liter supercharged V8 at 662 horsepower and 631 lb-ft of torque.
What's even more remarkable is that some 395 lb-ft of the engine's monster torque load is available at just 1,000 rpm with 95 percent at 2,200 all the way through to a giddy 5,800 rpm.
That means power is instant the moment you step on the gas and if you can get those monster 335 section rear tires to hook up, the Shelby promises to offer one heck of a thrill ride.
Although tremendous power and acceleration is one thing, to provide any semblance of balance, the chassis, suspension and brakes need to be up to the task. That's something that the engineering team; led by Jamal Hamedi were adamant about from the beginning.
All-Ford Mustangs spoke with Hamedi back at the 2011 LA Auto Show when the 2013 Shelby was first unveiled, at which time he said the idea was to create an all around super high performance machine. "We focused on the solid fundamental aspects of the car," he said, "with a strong emphasis on the handling and braking. We also added new features such as launch control, electric power assisted steering and adjusted the damping and spring rates to help optimize handling."
Besides the significantly improved performance the 2013 Shelby GT500 is actually slightly thriftier on fuel than its predecessor, boasting EPA miles per gallon ratings of 15 city, 24 highway (the old one delivered approximately 14/22); proof that, even in the 21st century, Ford muscle car fans can have their cake and eat it too.