Ford continues to roll out hot Mustangs. The hottest of all, a 450-horsepower SVT called the Shelby Cobra GT500, made its debut last week at the New York International Auto Show. The show runs through April 3.
The most powerful factory-built Mustang to ever take to the street will be out next year. It is, Ford said, "a unique collaboration" between Carroll Shelby and the Ford Special Vehicle Team, or SVT. Carroll Shelby was the originator of the Shelby Cobra and Shelby Mustang in the 1960s. Both cars have a storied history in racing.
"The Shelby Cobra GT500 will take SVT-tuned Mustangs to a new level," said Phil Martens, Ford group vice president. "We are combining SVT's modern engineering expertise with Carroll Shelby's enduring Mustang legacy to create what we think will be an instant classic just like the 2005 Mustang."
The new Mustang brings to mind images of Shelby Mustangs from the 1960s, and the GT500 name carries that theme forward. A production version of the GT500 will go on sale in 2006. Ford said the production GT500 will be the first in a string of specialty Mustangs that SVT will help deliver.
Power for the Shelby Cobra comes from a supercharged, 5.4-liter V-8 that cranks out a whopping 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. The cast-iron-block V-8's screw-type supercharger is a key to the increase in horsepower.Products sourced from the Ford GT, which also uses a supercharged 5.4-liter engine, include the aluminum heads, piston rings and bearings.
The reworked front end has a functional air splitter at the bottom of the bumper. The headlights have been changed slightly, and the upper and lower grilles are larger for better cooling. The look also provides a visual connection to the original Shelbys. A domed hood with built-in heat extraction ducts is used to clear the supercharger.
A six-speed manual transmission with evenly spaced gears helps put the GT500's power to the ground efficiently. This transmission has been used in various other high-performance Mustangs.
Handling is an important element of a car with this much horsepower. Although the last SVT Mustang had an independent rear suspension, the GT500 uses a variation of the standard Mustang's solid axle with a panhard rod. This configuration has proven to be effective in the current Mustang GT as well as on the racetrack.
Befitting the performance nature of the GT500, it will also get revised shock absorbers, different springs and upgraded stabilizer bars.
A car with this much go needs a lot of whoa. Fourteen-inch cross-drilled Brembo brake rotors are mounted on the front, while 13-inch discs are used in the rear. Nineteen-inch wheels have high-performance tires.
The interior, including the top of the dash, door panels and center arm rest, is completely wrapped in black leather. The shift lever, shift boot and parking brake are also covered in leather. The seats and door panels have red leather inserts. The Cobra snake emblem is embroidered into the seat backs.
The gauges have titanium-colored faces, and chrome trim has been replaced by brushed aluminum. The tachometer and speedometer have been swapped to put the tachometer directly in front of the driver.
Exact sale dates and pricing have yet to be announced. The 2003 Mustang Cobra had a list price of just under $35,000, so it is reasonable to assume the 2006 won't be far from that mark.
Engine: 5.4-liter, 450-hp V-8
Wheelbase: 107.1 inches
Curb weight: not available
People Who Viewed This Car Also Viewed
Closest Dealers Listing this Car
Featured Services for the Ford Mustang
- Sell your current car quickly and easily on Cars.com.