Shelby Unleashes the Baja 700 Pickup


The recent 2015 Carroll Shelby Tribute brought nearly 200 Ford-powered cars and the original Mustang Shelby GT350 build team members to Shelby's Los Angeles office. There also was one pickup truck: the limited-edition Shelby Baja 700 based on the 2011-14 Ford SVT Raptor.

Just 50 of these 6.2-liter V-8 "ego trucks" will be built, starting at $45,000 on top of the cost of the base Raptor. Each one will be documented with a unique Shelby CSM number and entered in the Shelby registry. Shelby believes some people will not want to wait for the 2017 model year for the next Raptor and some will only take a V-8. Compared to the current Shelby Raptor, this one has more power, better suspension and 18-inch wheels.

It's not a Shelby without a mountain of horsepower, so power is up to 700 hp from the previous Shelby Raptor's 575 hp. Like many current Shelby products, the Baja uses a Whipple twin-screw supercharger with a belt that looks narrow compared to Shelby's other vehicles; at full tilt (11 pounds per square inch) it takes about 60 hp to drive the blower. The Baja 700 also is fitted with an air-to-liquid charge air cooler with dual electric fans, higher-flow injectors and throttle body, and revised spark plugs and calibration.

The cat-back Borla touring exhaust with Shelby tips continues in this version, and headers are available; the acoustic improvement is more noticeable than the few extra top-end horses. The transmission, transfer case and differentials are stock, and the truck is street legal in all 50 states (which is true of any vehicle Shelby builds more than one of). Shelby claims 11.5-12 mpg on the highway, and while the majority of its customers don't go off-road, the factory speed limiter remains since the tires aren't built for triple-digit speed.

Shelby turned to Rogue Racing for suspension improvements. Some bits are off the shelf and others, like the traction bars and the valving for the remote-reservoir King shocks, are Shelby specific.

Along with rear leaf packs, the new shocks and Rogue's hydraulic bump stops are said to increase travel by 2 inches and soften hard landings.

Up front, the Stage 3 Rogue kit is used with new uprights, coil overs, upper and lower A-arms, and steering arms that necessitated the change from 17-inch to 18×9-inch Custom Fuel wheels. Load range BF Goodrich K02 35×12.50R18LT 123R tires aren't shy of load capacity at 3,415 pounds each.

By default the front reservoirs are rail-mounted behind the tow hooks for the best cooling; with considerable rearrangement they can be moved inside the fender wells for the 20 percent of owners who might damage them. At cursory inspection, Rogue and Shelby didn't skimp on hardware or hoses.

Shelby upgrades the Baja 700 cabin with blue-and-black leather upholstery from Katzkin and uses the gauge pod from its cars with pressures for boost, oil and fuel without compromising A-pillar visibility.

Options include Shelby bumpers and AMP electric side steps in place of the Raptor cutouts and headers. Bedside braces to keep the tailgate from falling off are being considered. Do you think Shelby might have lost one during testing?

The tribute didn't offer a Baja 700 drive opportunity, but we'll bring you driving impressions as soon as possible. Regarding a future second-generation EcoBoost Raptor, which Ford has said will make more power than the 6.2-liter and about 600 hp in its GT, Shelby said Ford Racing hasn't touched the new Raptor but the two are working together closely. As a smaller company, Shelby can do some things faster. We also believe Shelby is working on the current F-150 and to our "sport truck" query, Shelby replied that it can't share details yet, but stay tuned. photos by G.R. Whale




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