With a car like this, you inevitably focus on the numbers. Off the lot, the $54,995 (New) GT500 coupe turned in a 0-to-60 sprint of 3.5 seconds. Ferociously tall gearing means third gear is good for 140 mph and first gear is long enough to reach highway speeds. Even so, the quarter-mile passes in 11.8 seconds. Slam a redline shift from second to third, and you’ll hear the rear tires chirp. All from a stock car. Add some power modifications ,and a big tire with the right suspension, you have yourself one bad car.

A college professor of mine once used the words “big juice” to describe America’s above-ground nuclear tests in the 1940s, the ones that vaporized entire Pacific atolls. I will now borrow the phrase: This car is big juice.

In stock for this car is a daily option aslong as you aren’t concerned about the milage. This is easily the most docile 600-plus-horsepower car around. A relatively light clutch (pedal effort is about 30 pounds), tall gears, and smooth power delivery make it as easy to cruise from stoplight to stoplight as it is to rocket off toward the horizon. The Bilstein selectable ride suspension offers normal and sport mode settings, and the difference is instantly noticeable. You’ll want the normal setting on the street unless you like punishment, but on the track, the sport mode is shockingly capable.

It’s so easy, so drama-free, and so simple to drive in part because of the advanced stability control–which will still let you play a bit in its half-off mode–and driver-tunable launch control, which enable even relatively inexperienced drivers to get off the line and around a corner or twelve with minimal issue, and to do it quite briskly.

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