"I've been coming to South Lyon Collision for almost 10 years for body and mechanical work, but now I use them for my glass, tire services and pretty much every other maintenance need. Just about anything you want is here."

CLICK HERE to read about the 2000 Mustang FR500 that earned South Lyon Collision national attention.
ROAD TEST: Ford Mustang FR500 (continued)
ARTICLE BY: John Philips, David Dehurst
February 2000
  Just as friendly is the all-alloy V-8, which revs like something Honda might have invented but is never peaky or thrashy. It's sufficiently torquey that 1500 rpm is dandy for step-off in third gear without an embarrassing chug. Throttle tip-in is as smooth and predictable as a stock Cobra's, and there's no driveline snatch --- evidence that the hours spent laboring over air-and-fuel calibrations paid off big.

Begin poking beyond 4000 rpm, and revs accumulate so quickly that you'll regularly be startled by the 7200-rpm fuel cutoff. At virtually any speed, a stab at the throttle summons power in a fast, fluid rush, resembling nothing so much as a Lingenfelter 383 at full chat. In short, the thrust here is tractable, unstressed, and sophisticated--as use-friendly as a Dodge Viper V-10's but with a noisier snarl. At around-town speeds, there are few clues that this is anything but a nicely tuned Cobra -- except for the blaring exhaust, the heavy clutch, and this: Flatten the FR500's accelerator at 5 mph --invoking no unseemly wheelspin whatsoever --and you'll be hurtling along at 60 mph within 4.8 seconds. Ask your neighbor to duplicate that in his $154,429 Ferrari 360 Modena F1.

We weren't on hand to witness it, but during development at Grattan, Ford reports that the FR500 was three seconds quicker per lap than a stock Cobra and repeatedly within 0.2 second of a Corvette's most earnest endeavors.  
What we can confirm is the FR500's behavior at DaimlerChrysler's proving ground: To 60 mph, it is 1.0 second quicker than a stock Cobra and 0.3 second quicker than a Corvette hardtop. Through the quarter-mile, it beats the Corvette by 0.2 second and eventually hits 150 mph 1.5 seconds sooner. In fact, our only trackside complaint concerned the FR500's brakes, whose stock ABS circuitry had never been informed of the fatter tires and wheels. The result: a 185-foot stop from 70 mph, same as in a stock Cobra.
Ford's engineers are still noodling over what prices they'll attach to the FR500's pieces, but Davis estimates that the car depicted here might coincidentally match the $54,000 asking price of a Cobra R. That's a pile o' cash, but several Ford execs have nonetheless expressed interest in this Mustang's unique engine and wheelbase extension, two upgrades that could conceivably enliven a limited-production model when the Mustang undergoes a major freshening in 2002. In the nearer term, it is likely that the best of the Mustang tuners -- Saleen, Steeda, and Kenny Brown-- will be the first to fiddle with the parts enumerated above, fashioning their own rocket-sled Mustangs and, in the process, we hope, abandoning their current predilection for supercharging.
Although the FR500 can outhandle and outaccelerate a Corvette, it costs about $14,000 more. And a Corvette, of course, is delivered with a warranty, better prospects for resale, and no assembly required. Justifying this $54,000 pony car may thus require not only sedatives but also a bank manager who's your brother.
What's more pertinent is this: Current Mustangs are, by even mid-'90s standards, fairly primitive conventions. That Ford Racing could so dramatically increase the car's athleticism without degrading its day-to-day tail-wagging streetability is one of those feats that lengthen life spans. In this case, the Mustang's. Would it surprise anyone if the FR500 became the next-generation Cobra?
"Course, most guys will probably just buy the engine parts, rather than the whole package," reminds Ford Racing's dealer channel sales manager, Tom Berkery. "But building even that would give you a sense of accomplishment, which Corvette buyers don't get. And if the guy leaves his Mustang looking stock, well, he could just annihilate street racers from here to . . ." Berkery's voice trails off, then he adds softly, "Not that we're promoting street racing or anything."
Which, of course, makes it slightly tricky to explain the FR500's 200-mph speedometer.
Copyright 2008 - South Lyon Collision, Inc. - Designed & Developed by: PIXELBIT New Media Group