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Average User Score
4 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 3 reviews
2009 Ford Shelby GT500 Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 3 reviews
For its third year on the market, the 2009 Ford Shelby GT500 adds standard satellite radio and ditches the Limited Edition Bullitt and KR trims. This retro pony car takes its cues from the classic 1960s Carroll Shelby muscle car with which it shares its name, and the rear-wheel-drive convertible and coupe models do not disappoint on the power spectrum.
Both coupe and convertible pack a 32-valve, 5.4-liter supercharged V8 that explodes with 500 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. It's paired with a Tremec 6-speed manual. Though its power ratings don't put it at the top of its class, most drivers will be sufficiently blown away by its 4.6-second 0-60 times. The 2009 Shelby GT500 rides on 18-inch alloy wheels with precise and instantaneous Brembo brakes, road-gripping performance tires, and a sport-tuned suspension that unfortunately seems to be its major drawback. A bit too floaty, the pony car feels vague when cornering, a probable result of the combination of rear-wheel bias with a heavy front end (due to the large engine). The lack of standard stability control doesn't help, but the sports car does come with ABS brakes, dual front-side and side impact air bags, and traction control.
Though it looks like the Mustang on which it is based, the 2009 Shelby GT500 distinguishes itself with the requisite badging, a rear ducktail spoiler, hood air extractors, and its telltale racing stripes along the side and over the top. If all this seems, well, a bit over the top, a stripe deletion option is available. Inside, bolstered sport seats feature special leather upholstery and stitching, and a dash display documents the supercharger power system.
While trying to stay lightweight, the GT500 manages to include a decent list of standard features, including power windows, locks, mirrors, and driver's seat, cruise control, Shaker 500-watt speakers, and a 6-CD changer with MP3 jack. Options add a touchscreen navigation system and an upgraded 1,000-watt Shaker sound system, in case the loud exterior styling needs loud interior accompaniment. Though the 2009 GT500 feels sportier and more upscale than the regular Mustang, the use of hard plastic material detracts from its otherwise appealing looks.
Both the coupe and convertible seat four, but the tiny backseat might be more suited to contortionists. Nevertheless, trunk space is decent, with 12.3 cubic feet in the coupe and 9.7 in the convertible. The soft top of the convertible power-retracts, though its manual latches can feel unwieldy to operate. But all these considerations rank below the power cravings of those drawn to the Shelby name, and in this area the 2009 GT500 continues to leave a windswept grin on drivers' faces.