The New 2011 Ford Shelby GT500 has a surprise in store
The new 2011 Ford Shelby GT500 has a surprise in store for true performance enthusiasts – an optional SVT Performance Package. One lap around the racetrack, and drivers will feel the difference.
Data show the 2011 coupe with the SVT Performance Package is 3.0 seconds faster per lap than the 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 on a 2.3-mile test track. Cars with the optional package will be able to pull 1.0 lateral g, with stopping distances improved by 7 percent versus the base 2011 Shelby.
“More and more enthusiasts are putting their cars on the track to have some fun,” said Carroll Shelby, founder of Shelby American. “It’s a great way to enjoy the performance of your car in a safe environment. No one likes to run at the back of the field, so a track-oriented package is a smart option for the serious Ford Shelby GT500 owner.”
Tires make the difference
The SVT Performance Package features the first application of the all-new Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G: 2, a tire that offers superb dry traction and precise handling, complete with a high-performance tread compound with more grip. SVT engineers worked directly with Goodyear to develop the new compound, and it’s only available on the Ford Shelby GT500. The tire is unidirectional, corner-specific – meaning the directional tread must match its specific location.
“We wanted to couple the improved weight distribution and the improved handling of the vehicle with the new tire, and with that offer the customer one of the most advanced summer tires from a manufacturer,” said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief nameplate engineer. “That led us down a road to the new tire. It’s instantly recognizable with an all-new tread pattern and construction.”
The new ultra-high-performance compound is made of a proprietary blend of race-derived carbon black and high-stiffness polymers and resins that help deliver enhanced wet and dry handling performance on both the road and track. Asymmetrical, directional tread designs with massive tread blocks on the outboard side of the tire help enhance dry cornering grip. Sweeping Aquachannel™ grooves on the inboard side of the tread help move water. An innovative multi-radius mold shape offers precise handling and smooth, even wear.
“These tires are as close as you can get to a race car tire,” said Eric Zinkosky, SVT technical specialist. “We have a tire that’s way more capable, with better grip, is firmer and more race-oriented. From there, we tuned the chassis around it. The tires told us what we had to do.
“We took some lessons from the Shelby KR program and applied them to these tires,” he added. “That was our first attempt at a similar compound, and we learned a lot and rolled those lessons into the new Shelby to provide an even better tire.”
Nineteen-inch forged-aluminum wheels in the front, which are 4.7 pounds lighter than the base Shelby GT500’s, complement the all-new wider 265/40R-19 front tires. New 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels at the rear are 2.8 pounds lighter than the standard 19-inch wheel, and the new 3.73 rear axle ratio takes advantage of the new larger rear wheels and tires.