"But if you want to hold it up
to a whole new set of standards and be worthy of the Shelby GT500
name, then you better be prepared to roll up your sleeves."
The GT500 retains the Mustang’s
suspension setup. In the front, there are coil-over MacPherson struts
with reverse "L" lower control arms made of lightweight
I-section steel. In the rear, there’s a three-link live axle
with coil springs, Panhard rod, outboard shocks and stabilizer bar.
Because of its larger engine, the Shelby GT500 coupe has more weight
over the front wheels than does the standard Mustang GT coupe. On
the GT500, 57 percent of the weight is in the front and 43 percent
is in the back. In comparison, on the Mustang GT 56 percent of the
weight is in the front and 44 percent is in the back. Weight distribution
of GT500 convertible matches the Mustang GT coupe due to the power-top
mechanism behind the passenger compartment.
While a heavier nose generally disposes
a car to understeer or "push," the Special Vehicle Team’s
engineers were able to retain neutral handling with the Shelby GT500
through the use of stiffer stabilizer bars. In addition, the rear
bar of the GT500 is larger than that of the Mustang GT.
The GT500 uses a 34-millimeter tubular
front stabilizer bar. Coupe versions of the GT500 sport a 24-millimeter
rear bar, while convertibles come with a 20-millimeter bar.
"Stiffer stabilizer bars provide
reduced roll and deliver a more aggressive handling balance,"
says SVT Vehicle Dynamics Engineer Dean Martin. "We’ve
also given the GT500 higher spring rates at both ends to handle
the greater mass of the car and also to reduce roll."