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Smoke Show: Two Hours With The Shelby GT500 Super Snake

750 horsepower of raw American thunder.

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Story and Photography: Alex Bernstein

Last week, our friends at Shelby America invited us to take a break from the insanity at SEMA and go blast through the desert in a 2012 Shelby GT500 Super Snake. Of course, we were down with the idea. 750hp, rear wheel-drive, a big ol’ 6-speed box and some meaty tires. Unfortunately, our test mule had a hard-lived 10,500 miles on it. 2nd gear couldn’t really be engaged at a redline shift from 1st; and when you pulled off the hard 1-2 shift, my ears were met with a noise like two dentist’s drills grinding together—held up to a megaphone.

And the power… Tough as it is to believe, the car just doesn’t feel all that fast. Sure, it’ll do a burnout, but so will a stock Mustang GT. The car floats at high speeds. Around 120 mph, you have to force yourself to stay in it because the cabin starts to drone and vibrate like a ride through an incinerator. It really begins to drain your confidence around 140. And it crawls up to 160.

But really, it’s not all bad. I think the one we were handed was just heavily abused. For $30k+ on top of the price of the car, though, I think we could build one better ourselves. The Shelby GT350, for example seems like a more well rounded option. It’s meant to handle, and with the optional 650hp blower it’d probably be a good balance between straight-line grunt and twisty prowess. Here’s to next time…

  • Guy says:
    November 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Appreciate the honest review.

  • KAB says:
    November 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    thats why ford limits their cars to 155. going 200 isnt just about horsepower. if your car feels like its going to fall apart you arent going to want to push it

  • JB says:
    April 12, 2012 at 7:24 am

    The second gear grind wasn't from a hard life, It's a 'feature' ford grants to all GT500 owners, myself included. As for the crawl to 160, you must have had a bad one. I drive mine(stock gt500 11') up to the electronicly limited 155 daily and it's like letting off of the gas when it hits the limit. A hard rush of acceleration dies half way through 5th gear. Considering these do 190+ with just the limiter programmed out; I find it hard to beleve it was crawling.

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