Shelby Cobra GT500, the most powerful factory-built Ford Mustang in history, hits the street next year. A successor to the Shelby GT500 of the late '60s, the 450-plus-hp Cobra is the product of a collaboration between performance-car legend Carroll Shelby and Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT).
The new GT500 combines SVT's modern engineering and big-block performance: "Its chassis was engineered from the beginning to be the basis of a highperformance, world-class sports car," says Phil Martens, Ford group vice president. The supercharged, 5.4-liter, 32-valve, DOHC V8 delivers 450 lb-ft of torque, with a six-speed manual transmission and SVT-tuned suspension.
Shelby lends his support to SVT, adapting his earlier role as a senior advisor on the team that developed the 2005 Ford GT. The production GT500 will be the first in a line of specialty Mustangs that SVT will help deliver, creating a portfolio stretching from under the $20,000 V6 Mustang coupe to the $35,000 450-plus-hp GT500.
The GT500 goes on sale next year, followed by a stream of performance products, including Ford Sport Trac Adrenaline, the industry's first performance sport-utility truck, in 2007.