The era of American ""muscle cars"" was a golden age for lovers of fast vehicles. The speed, power, and overall look of these sporty classics are still benchmarks in the car industry. The 2009 Ford Shelby GT500 is a great example of a high-powered, modern car based on those classic models. The 2009 GT500 embraces the retro look and feel of its famous forbearers with high-level horsepower to match its name. This high-performance variation on the Mustang is a throwback to the 1950s and 1960s with extra horsepower and a shinier body.
Body styles: coupe or convertible
Pedals: standard or sport
Racing stripes: side stripes, nose and tail stripes, or stripe-delete
The heart of the 2009 GT500 mission is to stay true to the feel, sound, and design of the original. The only update for the 2009 Ford Shelby GT500 model is the inclusion of a satellite radio in the standard interior package. For most buyers, however, the vintage features are probably more important than what’s new in the 2009 model.
The 2009 Ford Shelby GT500 maintains the broad but still sleek and sporty look that is the epitome of the traditional American muscle cars. Both standard coupe and convertible body styles are available. The coupe is more for hardcore racing enthusiasts, while the convertible works well for those wanting racing power mixed with fun and flair. Wide body stripes highlight the retro appearance of both body styles. Both the coupe and the convertible come with the iconic ""GT500"" side stripes, while the coupe also includes racing stripes over the nose and tail. For a less flashy appearance, the 2009 GT500 comes with a stripe-delete option. These stylish bodies stand on 18-inch alloy wheels outfitted with high-performance Goodyear F1 tires.
The 2009 GT500 was built specifically to mimic its predecessors. Although the interior design replicates the dual-cowl cabins used in 1960s muscle cars, the rock-like plastics and rubber-based trimmings used make the inside of the 2009 model feel rather cheap. Despite these pitfalls, the 2009 GT500 does maintain some stylish elements with Cobra seat logos, red stitching, and more vivid side bolstering.
Both models of the GT500 do feature very comfortable sport bucket seats as well as a decent amount of cabin space. Standard features include cruise control, air conditioning, a power driver’s seat, and a 500-watt stereo with satellite radio and CD changer. The premium interior package has upgraded door panels, a leather-wrapped dash top, sport pedals, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Performance & Handling
The 2009 Ford Shelby GT500 is rear drive and powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 that produces 500 horsepower (to match its name) and 480 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission available is a Tremec six-speed manual. The 2009 GT500 coupe can go from zero to 60 mph in a stunning 4.6 seconds. The GT500 convertible can get to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.
Even though the Ford Shelby GT500 focuses on raw speed and power, its safety standards are very high. Its Brembo brakes feature four-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors in the front and two-piston calipers with 11.8-inch discs in the back. These give the GT500 amazing stopping power for its size and make brake fade a non-issue. Front-seat side airbags, traction control, and anti-lock brakes come standard. However, stability control is not available on any 2009 GT500, and there is no spare tire.
EPA Fuel Economy
Shelby GT500: 14/20 mpg city/highway
- Powerful brakes
- Vintage style
You Won't Like
- Old-fashioned rear suspension
- No stability control available
A classic, strongly built car at an affordable price
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Dodge Challenger
- Mazda RX8