America's lead Muscle car has been given a few updates for the 2011 model year. Although thinner stripes and new wheels might be the elements that standout in terms of exterior differences, there are enough technical modifications made to expect a completely different animal to the 2010 GT 500.
The biggest change comes in the form of using an aluminium engine block which has its roots on the engine found the Ford GT supercar. The new 5.4l supercharged V8 features an improved block structure through the use of a unique bulkhead chilled process and six-bolt billet main bearing caps. The use of an aluminium block means that the Shelby has been saved of 102 lbs, which Ford claims to have also improved the fuel economy figures, now 23 mpg highway and 15 mpg city, up 1mpg for each figure meaning that it wont be subject to a gas guzzler tax.
Power is rated at a Ford GT matching 550 hp, while torque is 510 lb ft. The Shelby also comes with an optional SVT performance package which includes; a nice new set of Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G: 2 performance tyres, lighter wheels, a higher rear axle ratio, and stiffer springs.
SVT engineers have carried over the stabilty control system from the 2010 model - AdvanceTrac - but they have gotten rid of the hydraulic steering system and replaced it with an elctronic unit called EPAS (Electronic Power Assist Steering).
In terms of noise/refinement, Ford have added additional sound absorbing and deadening materials in order to reduces road noise, while also promising more enjoyment from the exhaust note. The 2011 model comes with an aggressive 2.75inch sports exhaust system (see video below to hear it) which has played its part in the 10 extra ponies over the 2010 model GT500.
Ford have really added an extra level of excitement in the world of muscle cars, now if only Chevrolet would do the same with its Camaro. A modern day Z28 would be very nice indeed.