Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible kicks out 650HP, limits top speed

Twenty years ago, Ford debuted the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra at the Chicago Auto Show and introduced the world to its high-performance skunkworks department, known as SVT or Special Vehicle Team.

Today, Ford celebrates SVT's platinum anniversary the only way it knows how: with another Mustang variant. And as suspected, it comes in the form of a topless Shelby GT500.

The 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra (which, along with the F-150 Lighting, launched Ford’s performance division) delivered 235 HP from its 5.0-liter V8. Today’s Shelby GT500 is a whopping 415 HP more powerful, proving that the horsepower game has moved on significantly these days. The result is an output of 650 ponies and 600 lb-ft of torque.

“The Shelby GT500 convertible is every bit the performer that the coupe is”, said SVT Global Performance Vehicles chief engineer Kerry Baldori. “All of the significant changes we made in the program were instrumental in delivering a convertible that could really shine on the track but still be driven on a daily basis.”

In addition to the carbon fiber driveshaft, upgraded clutch, transmission and axle, SVT fitted its own specially developed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers, along with six-piston Brembo calipers squeezing massive discs up front.

Like the coupe, the Bilstein setup is part of the Performance Package (why it's not included as standard is beyond us) and Ford will also offer a Track Pack that includes an external oil cooler, differential cooler and transmission cooler to keep temps in check when flogging the drop top around the tarmac.

And before you ask: No, the GT500 coupe's 200 mph top speed doesn't carry over to the Convertible. In a rare moment of sanity, Ford's engineers saw fit to limit the GT500 'vert to 155 mph – like the rest of the roofless Mustangs. Hit the jump for the full details.

Buyers can also opt for the upgraded Track Package that adds an external engine oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler.


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