Tag Archive: Performance

May 17

2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 features clever variable-RPM launch control

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2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Launch Control infographic

When you've got the most powerful factory V8 in the world, even the best driver can struggle with getting that power to the pavement. The 662 horsepower and 631 pound-feet of torque the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is packing can easily turn its rear tires into expensive clouds of smoke. That's why the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 is the first Shelby Mustang to be factory-equipped with launch control. "With so much more power and torque on tap from the new 5.8-liter V8," says SVT senior engineer John Pfeiffer, "launch control makes it easier for drivers to take advantage of the performance." What's different about the Shelby GT500s launch control is that drivers can engage it by just pressing a single button, and it's also capable of being fine-tuned for the best reesults.

Launch control is by now a familiar technology, with systems operating by holding engine RPM at a set point to help facilitate clean, repeatable launches. "Launch control is essentially a special mode of the traction control system that integrates the brake and engine management systems to keep the tires balanced on the peak of the mu-slip curve," explains SVT's Pfeiffer. In plain English, it's designed to send as much torque to the tires as they can handle. What's different about the system in the 2013 GT500 is its flexibility. "Most of our competitors' launch control systems have a fixed engine launch speed," says SVT Engineering supervisor Eddie Khan, but since "not every driver has the same style, and surface, tire, and climate conditions vary," he points out, "we've given Shelby GT500 drivers the ability to adjust the engine speed to achieve the best and most consistent performance."

Drivers can use TrackApps through the instrument cluster or tap a switch to the left of the instrument panel to enable the system. Through TrackApps, the engine launch rpm can be adjusted between 3,000 to 4,500 rpm with steps of 100 rpm. There are other tricks up the GT500s sleeve, too. Extinguish the traction control while using launch control and you'll get an rpm-only mode that keeps the brakes out of the picture to avoid sacrificing any possible speed. Launch control also works with the different stability control modes to allow some wheelspin when that's the fastest way out of the hole. "It's not as intrusive as some TC systems have been in the past," said SVTs Khan. "We'e given our drivers the ability to exert control over all the power and torque this Mustang can produce."

Continue reading 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 features clever variable-RPM launch control

2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 features clever variable-RPM launch control originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 May 2012 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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May 11

Carroll Shelby, 1923-2012

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Carroll Shelby driving a Cobra

It's darn near impossible to overemphasize the impact that Carroll Shelby has had on the automotive world as we know it today. Born in 1923, Shelby took part in his very first race, a quarter-mile drag, in 1952. Later that year, he'd go on to win his first road race in an MG-TC. By 1956, Shelby had garnered enough race wins to earn the title "Driver of the Year" from Sports Illustrated. He would win that award again in 1957.

Carroll Shelby was nothing if not a keen businessman. In early 1957, Shelby opened his first car dealership in Dallas, Texas. Bolstered by his success behind the wheel - Carroll won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959, driving an Aston Martin - Shelby went on to build the iconic Cobra using a chassis built by AC Cars in England and powered by a Ford V8 engine. Officially homologated in 1962, the Cobra Roadster won its first race in January of 1963.

Driven by legendary drivers like Phil Hill, A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney, the Shelby Cobra and its aerodynamic Daytona Coupe sibling won the Sports Car Club of America's A-production title and the United States Road Racing Championship in '63. The following year brought with it the big-block 427 Cobra, and the machine went on to deal serious blows to Ferrari, the dominant sports car manufacturer of the time.

Shelby began his long-running relationship with the Ford factory in 1965, as the Shelby GT350 hit both the street and the race track. That year, Shelby secured the FIA World Championship of GT cars. In 1966, a Shelby-backed Ford team finished in first, second and third place at Le Mans; this was the first time an American team claimed victory in the historic race, but it would not be the last - Shelby's team would go on to win Le Mans again in 1967. The Ford GT40 ended up in first place four straight years from 1966-1969.

The Shelby GT350 claimed the Trans Am racing title in 1967, and in that year, the very last 427 Shelby Cobra was built. In 1970, Ford ended its partnership with Shelby, and the man would remain mostly quiet in the automotive industry until the 1980s, when Lee Iacocca approached Carroll about building high-performance versions of Dodge products. The Omni and Charger would Go Like Hell for several years, embarrassing V8-powered Mustangs and Camaros along the way.

Carroll Shelby received a heart transplant in 1990 and would go on to reintroduce Cobra 427 S/C continuation cars and 4000-series cars throughout the 1990s. Shelby was also involved heavily with both the Dodge Viper and Ford GT programs. No wonder why Carroll Shelby was inducted into the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

Today, the name Shelby may be most often tied to the latest and greatest GT500 models from Ford, but it's clear that the man has impacted the performance world for decades. While he may no longer be alive, there can be little doubt that Carroll Shelby's influence will be felt by enthusiasts for as long as cars move us from one place to another.

We've collected a couple of videos that we thought were a fitting tribute to Shelby's unending legacy. Join us in watching them by scrolling down below.

Continue reading Carroll Shelby, 1923-2012

Carroll Shelby, 1923-2012 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 May 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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May 11

Carroll Shelby passes away at age 89

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Carroll Shelby

Carroll Shelby has passed away at the age of 89. The legendary tuner and proprietor of the famous marque that bears his name had been in the hospital for several weeks, suffering from pneumonia. Shelby addressed his fans fourteen days before his death, saying that he was resting comfortably and being taken care of by his children.

Anyone familiar in the least with automotive history is well aware of Shelby's vast vehicular exploits, so we'll just touch on them here. Carroll was a successful race car driver in the 1950s before creating his own racing team to take on the likes of Ferrari, using Ford-powered sportscar called the Cobra. Suffice it to say, Shelby and his Cobra were extremely successful. Later, Shelby's name would become synonymous with the fastest and most powerful Ford Mustang models ever created.

Shelby is survived by his three children Patrick, Michael and Sharon, his sister Anne Shelby Ellison of Fort Worth and his wife Cleo. An official press release can be found below.

Continue reading Carroll Shelby passes away at age 89

Carroll Shelby passes away at age 89 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 May 2012 15:48:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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