Driving the Shelby GT500 is a lot easier than I thought it would be, at least driving it fast. I wondered if Beth, my fellow editor at Cars.com but not a normal reviewer, would feel the same after her drive. Ford claims a large number of GT500 owners will use the car as their daily driver, and I’ll admit that I felt much more in control of the Shelby’s 500 horses than I did the Corvette Z06’s 505. The Z06 is faster than the Shelby in almost every measure, but it also gives you the same feeling as other high-powered exotic cars. For me that feeling is usually “I hope I don’t crash this.”
In the GT500 there was always a sense of anticipation to see what the car could do, and it never lost grip — even on the slick roads you find in light rain.* We hit tremendous pre-rush-hour traffic on single and two-lane roads for nearly 15 minutes. There was nowhere to go. It was killing me. This is NOT how you want to drive this car. Plus its gaping front maw just looks out of place moving along among suburban minivans and wagons at slow speeds. I just needed to find more open spaces.
Luckily a quick right turn led to a lightening fast transition through the first four gears on an empty road. I’m not going to admit how fast I was going, but I managed to slow down in plenty of time to make my next left turn … right in front of two of the area’s finest. It seems karma was paying me back for the weather, and it was the perfect display of the delicate balance all GT500 owners will have to live with: Responsible driving in a totally irresponsible machine.
*Tip: Newly wet roads are often more dangerous than thoroughly drenched ones because of slickness from oil and rubber mixing with the falling water. Eventually this slick mixture will wash off the roads, but early on in a rainstorm is when to be most cautious. We always recommend obeying speed limits and traffic regulations.