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Old 09-09-2011, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default First Test: 2011 Shelby Mustang GTS

The term "begging the question" is often misused -- its definition is not the same as its common interpretation. The Shelby Mustang GTS suffers a similar problem.

To beg the question is not to suggest a related question. It's actually a circular argument, one in which the desired answer to the question is found in the question, so it affirms itself. Nothing has been proved. It's like saying that supercharged Mustangs are good, and the Shelby GTS is supercharged, so therefore the Shelby GTS is good.

The Shelby GTS' problem is one of return on investment (ROI), which is a far less vexing concept. In order to obtain a GTS, you must first buy a brand-new V-6 Mustang from your local Ford dealer and ship it over to Shelby's Las Vegas shop. With no options, you're $23,060 in before shipping costs. The basic GTS kit, which includes the bodywork, upgraded Baer brakes, Borla exhaust, new springs, shocks and anti-roll bars, and a whole mess of emblems, badges, and plaques, will set you back another $9995, so now you're up to $33,055 without any go-fast goodies. That's base Mustang GT price territory.

Our tester didn't stop there. It was fitted with the optional ProCharger centrifugal supercharger kit, which runs $9195 and boosts output to a claimed 475 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. Our car was also fitted with even larger Baer brakes front and rear, adjustable camber/caster plates, a short-throw shifter, and super-sticky BFGoodrich G-Force R1 race-compound tires that just barely reach the bar of street legality. All told, our lightly optioned test car rang in at $51,610, or about $2000 more than the Shelby GT500's starting price.

For more than 50 large, you'd be right to expect some serious performance. That's where things start to fall apart. The last GT500 we tested ran from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and finished the quarter mile in 12.4 seconds at 115.8 MPH. The similarly priced GTS needed 4.4 seconds to hit 60 and ran the quarter mile in 12.8 seconds at 111.0. Of course, the GT500 supplies 75 more horsepower and 70 more lb-ft of torque from its supercharged V-8, so it's no surprise the GTS couldn't keep up.

Certainly a more fair comparison would be to a standard Mustang GT, which makes 53 fewer horsepower and 60 fewer lb-ft of torque than the GTS, for a much lower price. Unfortunately for the GTS, the stock Mustang GT will hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and run the quarter mile in 12.8 seconds at 110.8 mph, despite being 74 pounds heavier. So, for an extra 10 grand before options, you get a car about as fast as a stock Mustang GT. To be fair, though, the GTS is certainly faster than a stock V-6 Mustang, which needs 5.1 seconds to hit 60 and does the quarter in 13.7 seconds at 102.0 mph despite being 82 pounds lighter.

If there's one place where the GTS shines, it's in grip. The car pulled an impressive 1.01 average g on our skidpad and ran the figure-eight course in 24.9 seconds at 0.75 g average -- impressive numbers. That's a substantial improvement over the stock V-6 Mustang, which pulled 0.96 g average and needed 25.8 seconds at 0.71 average g to get around the figure eight. It's also a big improvement over the Mustang GT, which pulled 0.94 g and needed 25.3 seconds at 0.75 average g to complete the figure eight. It's less impressive, though, when stacked against the GT500, which also pulled 1.01 g and got around the figure eight much quicker, needing just 24.0 seconds while pulling 0.82 g average. And of course, you can make the argument that any of the stock Mustangs would likely pull substantially better numbers if they, too, were fitted with nearly slick, 40 treadwear-rated tires.

GTS, then, doesn't make a great case for itself in bang-for-the-buck terms. What about the intangibles, though? The way the car looks, feels, and sounds? Well, we find the bodywork overwrought, but to each their own. How it feels is, in a word, harsh. The combination of a performance suspension and small tires takes the ride quality down a dark path to the point where we wouldn't recommend driving it anywhere but the track, which is where this car belongs anyway. A giant sheet of glass would also work. The handling is fantastic, as those tires simply refuse to let go, but the standard V-6 Mustang seats aren't really up to the task. And as for the sound, we know it's difficult to make a V-6 engine sound good, but the GTS is glass-shatteringly loud, and sounds much like spare change in a coffee grinder.

We have nothing, in principle, against hopping-up V-6 sports cars. Any car can be personalized and made better in the owner's eyes. However, most of the parts found on the GTS can be bought from any number of aftermarket companies, so you're really paying for the bodywork and the Shelby name. But if better performance can be had from the same car for less money, it's hard to make a case for a car like the Shelby GTS.

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...#ixzz1XUZ52Epr

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...#ixzz1XUYzBgrF
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:50 PM   #2
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This is where that "another special edition Mustang" stuff comes in. Not because there's anything wrong with that, but because I think very few people are ever gonna give a **** about this one.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:56 PM   #3
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this car....it dont make no sense. I am suprised they even made a single 1 for testing.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by aschen View Post
this car....it dont make no sense. I am suprised they even made a single 1 for testing.
Yeah, pricing on this car doesn't make sense (or, at the very least, it's hard to justify it). But, 475 supercharged HP out of the 3.7L V6 sounds pretty nice. But, then again, it all comes down to cost (way too high).
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:58 PM   #5
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Um, redundant? Spend as much or even more than a GT, or even just pick up a less than 1 year old GT500 for the same or less. I guess its for those who absolutely love the V6 and have money to waste on the upgrades.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:18 PM   #6
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Producing this car makes absolutely no sense.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:58 AM   #7
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Yikes, pricey! Pretty, though.

The 2014/5 re-do will finally have IRS, it seems. Tempting! Though it will be all anti-traditionalist, this could truly make the Mustang a major contender in many more performance categories. Let's hope they finally offer better, more supportive seats as well, in at least a few of the zillions of special editions.
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