Hobbies Cars & Motorcycles Looking Back: the 2008 Shelby GT500 Mustang Shelby pays homage to the 60s with its high-performance GT500 Share PINTEREST Email Print There are many ways in which the GT500 stood apart from other Mustangs. For one, it boasted a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 engine capable of outputting an estimated 500 hp and 480 lb.-ft. of torque. Photo Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Cars & Motorcycles Cars Mustangs Buying & Selling Basics How Tos Reviews Tools & Products Classic Cars Exotic Cars Corvettes Tires & Wheels Motorcycles Used Cars SUVs Trucks ATVs & Off Road Public Transportation By Jonathan Lamas Jonathan Lamas is a seasoned automotive journalist. He has covered cars and the auto industry for Forbes Autos, Car and Driver, Consumer Guide, and other outlets. our editorial process Jonathan Lamas Updated May 24, 2019 The Ford Shelby GT500 was based on the popular Shelby GT, and was a head turner wherever it traveled. Inspired by the Shelby big-block Mustang of the 1960s, the GT500, which was a joint collaboration between Mustang customizer Shelby and Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT), truly was a performance-powered Mustang. Performance and Power There are many ways in which the GT500 stood apart from other Mustangs. For one, it boasted a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 engine capable of outputting an estimated 500 hp and 480 lb.-ft. of torque. If that wasn't not enough to win the hearts of performance enthusiasts everywhere, the GT500 featured performance upgrades throughout. For instance, it came with a MacPherson strut independent front suspension with Reverse-L lower control arms, backed by spring rates and an upgraded stabilizer for improved handling and stopping performance. Next, the GT500 was only available with a 6-speed manual transmission, designed exclusively for performance driving. In fact, the car’s heavy-duty transmission was the same in design as the race-winning Mustang FR500C. As for braking, the 2008 GT500 boasted four-piston Brembo calipers, each fitted to 14-inch Brembo vented rotors up front. It also featured 11.8-inch vented discs in the rear. As for tread, it was available with 18 x 9.5 inch wheels featuring 255/45ZR high-performance tires up front and 285/40ZR high-performance tires in back. Talk about one mean machine! Muscle Car Looks Another key characteristic, which set the GT500 apart from the rest, was its front-end design. The GT500’s front end boasted wide upper and lower fascia openings. Heat from the engine was removed via two heat extractors, keeping things a bit cooler down below. The hood also featured a fully functional lower-air splitter. This feature, alone, made this Mustang look beefy and very reminiscent of classic muscle-car Mustangs. In addition, the car’s grille featured the famous Cobra emblem where other Mustangs featured the popular pony counterpart. Another feature of the GT500 was its classic Le Mans-style white overbody stripes. From nose to tail, this car truly resembled Shelby Mustangs of the 60s. It also sported lower body side racing stripes. Convertible Muscle Best of all, the 2008 Shelby GT500 was available as either a coupe or convertible. That’s right. Proud GT500 owners were able to drop the top as they cruise around town. Ford says the GT500’s convertible featured a high-end cloth top, not found on the standard Mustang convertible. In line with Shelby’s original GT500 Convertible, the new GT500 convertible did not feature the Le Mans-style racing stripes found on the hood and rear of the coupe version. The goal was to pay homage to the convertible GT500 of the past. Since it had no stripes in these areas, neither did the 2008 model. Performance Interior With a Taste of Style As for the Shelby GT500’s interior, it too was designed to suit the performance driver. For instance, the front seats featured additional lateral support to help keep the driver optimally positioned during cornering. The cockpit also featured a revised instrument panel and tachometer, designed to provide better viewing of shifting points in performance-driving conditions. Shelby’s GT500 script and Cobra image were featured on the steering wheel cap. The cockpit also featured an aluminum shift lever knob as well as accessories with a satin aluminum finish. A new feature for 2008 was ambient lighting. Drivers could program one of 7 different interior lighting options to suit their individual tastes. The ambient lighting featured LEDs mounted in the front console, two in the footwells, and two around the cup holder. Lighting could also be changed depending on the driver’s mood. Safety Features Another new feature for 2008 included new front driver- and passenger-seat side air bags designed to provide side-impact head protection as well as rollover protection. It also featured a theft-deterrent system as well as a tire-pressure monitoring system. The Super Snake Owners of the 2008 Shelby GT500, seeking more power, were also be able to invest in the Super Snake package for 2008. This package closely resembled that of the GT500KR. It included a KR hood and hood pins, 20-inch forged Alcoa rims, the KR cold-air intake, and a Ford Racing supercharger. Total output for this package was estimated to be between 600 - 725 hp. The Super Snake package was issued in a very limited run, and cost around $27,995.00, plus the cost of the Shelby GT500. Owners first needed to purchase their GT500, then ship it off to Shelby for the Super Snake conversion. Pricing The 2008 Shelby GT500 coupe began at around $42,170, while the convertible version was priced around $46,995. Due to its performance set up, buyers paid an extra $1,300 to suffice the gas-guzzler tax. Final Take In all, the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 was a Mustang designed for the performance-seeking enthusiast. The folks at Ford’s SVT, as well as the legends at Shelby, took a standard Mustang GT and turned it into a powerful machine. Although many found the 2008 Mustang GT powerful enough, a select few, seeking even more, found what they’re looking for with the GT500. It was powerful, it was sleek, and it was an honorable salute to performance Mustangs of the past. Of course, those truly in need of speed could opt for the GT500KR “King of the Road” Mustang which made its return in 2008 as well. In all, the 500KR was said to be the most powerful production Mustang ever. Guide to the Shelby Mustang Shelby Mustang - An Overview1965 Shelby GT3502008 Shelby GT2008 Shelby GT500KR Key Features Supercharged 5.4-liter four-valve V-8 engine w/intercooler500 hp and 480 lb.-ft. of torqueStainless steel dual exhaustSVT tuned front and rear suspension- with unique dampers and springsTremec 6-speed manual transmissionPower four-wheel disc Anti-Lock Brakes with ABSUnique SHELBY badging on rear decklidGT500 side stripes (convertible)Over-the-top Racing Stripes and “GT500” side stripes (coupe)P255/45ZR 18 (front) and P285/40ZR18 (rear) performance tiresUnique GT500 front and rear fascias and aluminum hood (with dual functional air vents)Unique rear spoiler18 x 9.5-inch bright machined aluminum wheelsShaker 500 Audio System (AM/FM stereo w/CDx6, 6-speakers &MP3)Front seat side air bags; BeltMinder®. SPECIFICATIONS BODYConstructionUnitized welded steel body, aluminum hood POWERTRAIN AND CHASSIS ENGINETypeV-8 Manufacturing locationRomeo, Michigan ConfigurationIron Block and Aluminum Heads Intake manifoldCast-aluminum with Roots-type supercharger and air-to-water intercooler Exhaust manifoldCast iron CrankshaftForged steel Throttle BodyDual 60 mm, electronic ValvetrainDOHC, 4 valves per cylinder Valve diameterIntake: 37.0 mm; Exhaust: 32.0 mm Pistons Forged aluminum Connecting RodsCracked forged steel I-beams IgnitionCoil-on-plug Bore x stroke3.552 x 4.165 in. / 90.22 x 105.8 mm Displacement330 cu. in. / 5,409 cc Horsepower500 hp @ 6,000 rpm Torque480 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm Compression ratio8.4:1 Redline6,250 rpm Idle Speed in Neutral750 rpm Engine control systemSpanish oak PCM Recommended fuelPremium only Fuel capacity16.0 gallons Fuel InjectionElectronic returnless sequential Oil capacity6.5 quarts 5W-50 Full Synthetic Coolant capacity21 quarts DRIVETRAINLayoutRear-wheel drive TRANSMISSIONStandard (Type)Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual Gear Ratios 1st2.972nd1.783rd1.34th1.05th0.806th0.63Final Drive3.31 SUSPENSIONFrontReverse-L independent MacPherson strut, 34-mm tubular stabilizer bar RearThree-link solid axle with coil springs, Panhard rod, 24-mm solid stabilizer bar STEERINGTypeRack and pinion with power assist Ratio15.7:1 Steering columnTilt BRAKESTypeFour wheel power disc with four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and traction control FrontBrembo 14-inch diameter vented discs, four-piston aluminum calipers Rear11.8-inch diameter vented discs, two-piston calipers TIRES AND WHEELSTiresP255/45Z18 front tires, P285/40ZR18 rear tires Wheels18 x 9.5-inch machined aluminum wheels with SVT center caps FUEL ECONOMY (city/hwy)14/20 DIMENSIONS (inches unless otherwise noted)EXTERIOR Wheelbase107.1 Overall length188.0 Overall width73.9 Overall height54.5 Coupe; 55.7 Convertible Track width, front/rear61.9 / 62.5 Ground clearance5.71 INTERIORSeating capacity4 passenger Headroom Front row38.6 Coupe; 38.8 Convertible Second row35.0 Coupe; 36.3 Convertible Legroom Front row42.7 Coupe; 42.7 Convertible Second row31.0 Coupe; 30.3 Convertible Shoulder room Front row55.4 Coupe; 55.4 Convertible Second row53.3 Coupe; 45.0 Convertible Hip room/ Front row 53.6 Coupe; 53.6 Convertible Second row46.7 Coupe; 45.4 Convertible Cargo Volume12.3 cu. ft., Coupe; 9.7 cu. ft., Convertible WEIGHTS AND CAPACITIESCurb weight, pounds Coupe3,920 pounds Convertible4,040 pounds Weight distribution (f/r)57/43 SAFETYSafety belts Load-limiting seat belts with pretensioners and height-adjustable shoulder belts for front seating positions (coupe); Three-point safety belts for all seating positions; BeltMinder™ safety-belt reminder chime Air bagsSeat-deployed side air bags for driver and front passenger; Dual-stage driver and front-passenger air bags with crash-severity sensor, driver-seat-position sensor and front-passenger weight sensor Child safetyLATCH anchors for rear outboard seats BrakesAnti-lock braking system (ABS);Traction-control system FuelInertia-activated shutoff switch for fuel pump SecuritySecuriLock ™ passive anti-theft system; Remote keyless entry; Separate alarm sounder; Anti-tow sensor; Ultrasonic interior motion sensor; Perimeter anti-theft battery MAJOR STANDARD EQUIPMENTAudio systemShaker 500: AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD/MP3 capable player with eight speakers EXTERIORBadgingUnique GT500 TopBlack cloth (Convertible only) ExhaustTuned dual stainless steel FasciaUnique GT500 color-keyed front and rear Fog lampsFront GrilleUnique upper with Cobra emblem Hood Unique with heat extractors LockingRemote keyless entry SpoilerUnique color-keyed deck lid spoiler Trim Over-the-top “ LeMans” stripes and “GT500” side stripes (Coupe) “GT500” side stripes (Convertible) Trunk“Fix a Flat” tire repair kit INTERIORAir conditioningManual ConsoleCenter with full armrest and storage Cup holders2 Door trim insertsSoft vinyl Floor matsFront, color-keyed with driver-side retention hook Instrument clusterIncludes boost gauge and message center, SVT graphics Map pocketsFront doors Power points2 Scuff platesDoor sills, with bright SVT script insert SeatsLeather sport buckets; 6-way power adjustable driver seat with power lumbar and 2-way adjustable head restraint Shift knobUnique with leather shift boot and parking brake handle Steering wheelLeather-wrapped with unique thumb pads, adjustable for tilt Windows/door locks OPTIONSDELETE OPTIONS“ LeMans” stripesCoupe only “GT500” side stripesCoupe, Convertible AUDIOShaker 10001000 watt audio system: AM/FM stereo, in-dash six-disc CD/MP3 player, 10 speakers Satellite radioSIRIUS® Satellite Radio PACKAGEGT500 Premium Interior Trim PackageWrapped and stitched instrument panel brow and center condole with upgraded door armrest, electrochromic rearview mirror and aluminum pedal covers EXTERIOR/INTERIOR COLORSEXTERIORPaint/stripe colors Torch Red with Oxford White, Ebony or Satin Silver stripes Alloy Metallic with Satin Silver stripes Vista Blue with Oxford White stripes Performance White with Vista Blue, Alloy or Ebony stripes Grabber Orange with Oxford White or Ebony stripes Ebony Clearcoat with Oxford White or Alloy stripes Vapor with Ebony stripes Convertible topBlack cloth INTERIORCharcoal Black/Charcoal Black Charcoal Black/Crimson Red WARRANTY INFORMATION Warranty3-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty5-year, 60,000-mile power train limited warranty and roadside assistanceSpecifications subject to change.