Shelby American is a name that is famous for power and performance in the automotive world thanks to its long historic racing pedigree in the early 1960s to present. Many Mustangs have rolled out of the Shelby’s doors to conquer both the street and track and for 2015, they are pulling out the stops with their all-new S550 Shelby GT Mustang. The S550 Mustang also features a fully independent rear suspension on its entire lineup, which has all corner carving enthusiasts excited.
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.
Just remember, the burnout prepares the tires for launch, nothing more, nothing less—and your first launch will give you the most traction. For that reason we don’t recommend dry hops or practice launches once you’ve done your burnout. Simply engage First gear, roll up slowly, prestage, and STOP!
Since Street & Race Technology’s debut in 2003, they’ve punished would-be performers in every segment, including compact, truck, SUV, sedan, luxury car, ponycar, and exotic categories. And in case you hadn’t noticed, none of SRT’s successes would be possible if they weren’t good at math—specifically the performance/value quotient.
We were impressed with the Scat Pack’s acceleration, turning, and braking—all of it happening with relative ease. It’s a comfortable car with a generously proportioned interior. You never feel cramped, sightlines are good, and there’s plenty of headroom. And unlike other competitors in the ponycar segment, there’s room for passengers and stuff, since the Challenger is based off a slightly shorter version of the same platform as the Charger and 300C.
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.
First came Hellcat, forever changing the gearhead meaning of the numbers “707.” Hellcat almost overshadowed what was arguably the more significant performance/value breakthrough—the 485hp Scat Pack Challenger and Charger. Nevertheless, it hasn’t escaped our attention, and we hope it won’t escape yours either.
Some detractors of the Challenger cite the two-ton mass as a negative, but for many people the practical concerns of a car take precedence, and room for people and things is key. Make no mistake, this is a car you can actually use. The beauty of the Scat Pack it that there really isn’t any downside—the performance and price of Scat Pack can hang with its lighter competitors, giving it the edge in daily use.
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.
We spent a week with this yellow screamer hitting all the local hot spots, including Bradenton Motorsports Park, home of the NMRA Spring Break Shootout. Our GT was equipped with the standard rear gear (not 3.73s) along with the Getrag MT-82 six-speed, and we ran the car 100 percent stock—so no drag radials or tune. Heck, we didn’t even cool the engine! Traction was good, but the temperature was 84 degrees with mild humidity—not mineshaft conditions, by any means, but not sweltering either. Based on our experience we were hoping to break in the 12s at about 110 mph.
We noticed a slight amount of wheelhop when doing a burnout in the 2015 Mustang. This seems to be common, but it can be reduced with stiffer rear bushing. In the name of proper reporting, we tried doing burnouts both ways and found both methods to be effective.
More on all of them below, but it’s worth noting for anyone having philosophical reservations about a four-cylinder Camaro that at 275 horsepower, it’s more powerful than any small-block V-8 offered between 1972 and 1992 and at 335 horses, the new V-6 flat-out trumps every small-block from 1967 to 2002. Progress can be a wonderful thing.
There’s also a new center console that shows Chevrolet was listening to its more enthusiastic Gen 5 owners. It is designed specifically for easier shifting with a manual transmission, thanks to a repositioned armrest and the elimination of the mechanical, pull-up parking brake. In its place is a simple switch for an electric park brake.