In terms of special editions, the Ford Mustang is among the hardest-working cars in the industry. In addition to Ford’s own limited-run Mustangs, countless tuners and aftermarket companies owe their entire existence to the Ford pony car. Chief among the companies cashing in on the Mustang’s performance potential is Shelby, who has pumped out a variety of special-edition Mustangs over the years. But, in addition to the 800-hp Super Snake Shelby unveiled at the New York auto show, the fabled company announced a plan that is fundamentally different from nearly everything it has ever done.
Shelby builds almost all its cars in runs of nearly identical cars. It sources Mustangs directly from Ford, converts them at its facility in Las Vegas, and then sells the completed vehicles. But, with the Shelby Mustang GTS, buyers procure their own Mustang, which they then take to Shelby to have the work done. Shelby will perform the GTS conversion on V-6 or V-8 cars and offers a number of options for the cars as well—including supercharging for either engine.
V-6 drivers will be in for at least $9995 for a Shelby transformation, while those with Mustang GTs have to pony up $11,995. The basic modification includes a Ford Racing handling pack with new springs, anti-roll bars, a strut-tower brace, Baer brakes, and a little more power from tweaks to the intake system and a Borla exhaust. Shelby won’t yet say how much it can extract from the V-6 without forced induction, but claims the V-8 will produce 430 hp, 18 more than stock. Cars will be recognizable as Shelbys thanks to a unique hood and front fascia, a black grille insert, and striping along the car’s center line and rocker panels. The requisite badging will appear on the fenders (“Powered by Ford”) and the center console (“Shelby GTS”).
From there, the GTS options list opens up. On V-6 models, the aforementioned supercharger will crank output up to 475 hp. Those with V-8 cars have two choices: 525 horses or 624. Shelby tells us no internal modifications are necessary to achieve those figures, although we’d recommend those with blown V-6 cars look into disabling that 114-mph governor. Additionally, customers can upgrade to six-piston front calipers, adjustable control arms, a Watts-link rear suspension, 18- or 20-inch wheels, and a two-tone leather interior.
While this approach puts Shelby on a different plane than the company usually occupies, it is a plane that is vastly more accessible. No Shelby creation has ever been cheap, but if you add the $9995 cost of upgrading a V-6 car to its base price of about $23,000, the GTS almost qualifies.
Thanks to: Car and Driver