The Dodge boys tried nibbling at the edges of the performance/value proposition with cars like the GLS, GLHS, Viper, and even V-8 Dakota, but the engineers in Auburn Hills never had all the right goodies in the parts bin to snatch victory from their cross-town rivals in Detroit and Dearborn. They kept trying though, and once the LX platform came on line in 2005 with the 5.7L Hemi-powered Chrysler 300C and Dodge Magnum, a nascent ember of hope grew into a large movement that has ignited Mopar faithful and conquest buyers alike.
If you’re looking for a good elapsed time, shallow staging is a must. Prestage, stop, collect yourself, and then carefully inch forward until you barely turn on the Stage beam. I’ve seen lots of racers dump the car in both beams in one motion, which usually results in the car being “deep” staged. Since your time starts when your front tires break the stage beam, shallow staging gives you a running start on the timing system. Shallow versus deep can be worth as much as two-tenths of a second!
Also like the Corvette, the LT1 (and 3.6L V-6) is available with a dual-mode exhaust, which features electronically controlled valves that bypass the mufflers under acceleration, uncorking the engine and more importantly enhancing the sound level. You can even personalize the exhaust sound, from a “stealth” mode to the most aggressive “track” mode.
While the drag racing launch can be violent (we’ve all seen racers dump the clutch and blast off the line), street tires require a smooth, controlled application of power to stay hooked. Your best times will come from getting off the line clean. Finesse is key. Believe it or not, we recommend novice drivers launch as if they were driving away from a traffic light, but with more rpm and slightly quicker clutch release. We would say 2,500 is a great place to start. Using this rpm, you’ll probably bog the engine a bit. No problem—add rpm, or get the clutch out quicker.
The driving experience is not altogether different than Hellcat. In fact, the first third of throttle travel feels more alert and aggressive than the more powerful SRT. Moreover, full-throttle shifts sound like artillery going off with the Scat Pack’s Hellcat-inspired active exhaust system. The power comes on quickly, and when gears are shifted manually through the steering wheel paddle shifters, you better be on your game—the rev-limiter comes up quick in the first few gears. Pulling away from the intersection, you’ve got to be ginger with the gas pedal, as the tires will erupt with squealing and chirping during what we’d call normal driving.
Once in Fourth, all that’s left is to ride it out. With 3.73 and a few mods, it may be necessary to upshift one more time into Fifth. This always makes us nervous because we don’t want to mess up the last shift, plus Fifth gear can be fragile and we don’t want to break the trans. Our test car did not require shifting into Fifth, but we’ve had to do so in 2011-2014 5.0 Mustangs.
Also, keep the rpm steady, as this will keep the Traction-Lok rear engaged properly. Floating the throttle can cause the dreaded one-wheel peel. Once you have the tires clean and warm (you can see if they are smoking by aiming your side mirrors at the rear tires), drive out of the burnout under power. This helps get rid of any residual water, and it’s fun.
The Dodge boys tell us there is a performance improvement, but it’s only in force at speed, so we can’t verify the added ponies on the dyno. Still, the Shaker is an iconic feature that many will want as the crowning jewel for their 392, and the look is absolutely stunning.
So how do you make the Shelby Raptor even better, how about slapping on King off-road racing shocks, all-new 35×12.5R18 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires wrapped around a set of custom 18-inch wheels and, oh yeah—stuffing a supercharger under the hood to give it 700hp.
You can also attack the burnout using the old-school method. Set up in the same fashion, but instead of using the Line-Lock, rev it up, dump the clutch, and quickly grab the brake pedal with you left foot. The trick is to use only sufficient brake pressure to hold the car. That’s because rear brakes will be applied, so using this technique will wear your rear brakes prematurely.
The truck features the all-new BFGoodrich All-Terrain K02 tires to handle any type of terrain you could throw at it. In addition, the special edition graphics, badging, classic Shelby striping, 18-inch custom wheels and optional Rogue Racing front and rear bumpers, will visually set it apart from any other truck on the road.
Start by remaining focused on the tach and listen to the engine—most times we have a specific rpm in mind, but generally we shift by feel. Naturally, you want to shift before the engine hits the rev limiter, but with the Coyote engine you want to get close to redline. In the 2015 we were shooting for 7,000 rpm.
If you’re wondering just how much you’ll have to pony up for the 2015 Shelby GT, the package starts at $23,995 not including the price of the 2015 Ford Mustang but if you want to upgrade to the optional Ford Performance Racing Parts 2300 TVS Supercharger, you’ll have to start with a 2015 Ford Mustang GT.