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Possible Ford Nürburgring GT500 test mule spied

General Motors made big news in October when their new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 ripped off a lap time of 7:41.27 around the famous German Nürburgring race course but based on this image sent in by one of the TorqueNews readers, Ford Motor Company may be looking to put the Mustang on the list of the quickest lap times around the ‘Ring with the Shelby GT500.

TorqueNews reader Max was driving down Michigan's I94 last night when he came upon a car hauler carrying a Ford F150 and a pair of GT500 coupes – all of which were wearing Michigan manufacturer’s plates. Max then noticed that the GT500 at the back of the trailer had a chrome emblem next to the driver’s side taillight with the familiar shape of the Nürburgring along with the track name. As you can see, the Mustang GT500 on the trailer sporting the Nürburgring logo and “Save the Ring” decal is clearly a pre-2013 model year vehicle and based on Max’s description; this vehicle appeared to be equipped with the SVT Performance Package. Max also noted that the exhaust tips were very dark (sooty), the tires looked worn and in fine test mule fashion – there were no wheel centers on the black SVT wheels. He was not able to get pictures of the front or sides of this GT500 but the back end is likely the most important part of this discussion.

One thing that should be considered is that this is not a 2013 GT500 with the new 650 horsepower engine but based on the Michigan manufacturer plates; this is very likely a Ford test vehicle. If Ford was looking to set some Nürburgring records of their own with the new Shelby GT500 without drawing lots of attention in the process, putting the suspension, braking and drivetrain components from the 2013 Shelby GT500 in an “old” GT500 body would allow them a better chance of flying under the radar.

In most cases, when we have seen vehicles at shows or other display events that were sporting the Nürburgring name or shape, it generally means that the vehicle has set some sort of record so for this pre-2013 Shelby Mustang GT500 to wear the ‘Ring decal – you would think that it has spent (or is going to spend) some time on the incredible German race course. On the other hand, the GT500 shown on the right could be something as simple as a test car that some team member slapped some stickers on the back end to draw attention…and it worked.

However, with the 2013 Shelby GT500 bringing big power and a new suspension setup to do battle with the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 - and the ZL1 having set an incredible time last year – you have to wonder how long it will be before Ford takes their super Mustang to the Nürburgring to stake their claim as the world’s greatest muscle car. Ford has quite a bit of experience at the ‘Ring with models like the Ford GT supercar and a variety of Focus models but the Mustang name fails to appear on the long list of vehicles that have been inside of the 9 minute mark. The Mustang is arguably one of the most famous American performance cars of all time and this GT500 mule wearing Nürburgring logos could be a hint at Ford’s attempt to hurdle the Mustang into supercar status with a quick lap on the famous German race course.

Thanks to Max for the picture!