Although it isn’t located on the main show floor, visitors to the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, especially fans of the Blue Oval, may want to make the trip downstairs to view some of the hottest Fords east of the Mississippi.
Shelby American also hosted the last official manufacturer’s press conference of this year’s auto show at 1pm on Tuesday of last week. But for those of us still present (for many journalists Tuesday was also a travel day) it was certainly worth the wait.
“Carroll Shelby’s innovative and aggressive hot-rodder spirit lives on at Shelby American today,” said John Luft, president of Shelby American. “His Cobra redefined the sports car genre and then Shelby turned what some called a ‘secretary’s car’, the Mustang, into the fire-breathing GT350. A few years later, Shelby practically invented the American ‘pocket-rocket’ with the four-cylinder turbocharged, front wheel drive Shelby GLH. This year, we’re returning to our roots with a pair of game-changing cars that will rewrite the rules for American performance.”
Taking a stock 662 horsepower 2013 Mustang GT500, Shelby takes it up a notch or two to a street-legal 850 horsepower while managing to keep this monster emissions legal in all 50 states and tuned for 91 octane pump gas.
Putting all that power to the tarmac with as little traction loss as possible are two new Wide Body options that were also unveiled in Detroit as customers will also be able to choose between a rear-only or front and rear packages.
“Now with 13 inch rear and 10 inch front wheels that are wrapped in serious rubber, the car launches and handles like the super car it is,” added Gary Davis, vice president of production at Shelby American. “The optional wide body package isn’t just a cosmetic change, it now gives the Super Snake much more traction and makes it easy to exploit the Shelby’s potential right past the competition.”
Return of the pocket rocket Shelby
For those of you out there looking for slightly more affordable fun in a smaller package, there was also some good news – harking back to those thrilling days of yesteryear.
“Carroll Shelby ignored critics who said the turbo four Omni couldn’t be an affordable performance car in the 1980s,” noted Gary Patterson, vice president of Operations/Sales. “He proved them wrong with an impressive, lightweight four cylinder performer. Ford Motor Company’s new Focus ST is the perfect platform for the rebirth of the front wheel drive turbo four cylinder Shelby. It is a car that Carroll wanted to build before his passing and is a worthy successor to his ‘Pocket-Rocket’ GLH.”
The Shelby skunkworks in Vegas has massaged the stock 2013 Ford Focus ST by lowering it with Ford Racing pieces and replacing the stock wheels and tires for better grip. Shelby also added bigger brakes with drilled rotors and a Shelby/Borla exhaust system.
Outside the Shelby Focus ST gets functional hood vents as well as hydro-carbon front and rear grille inserts and rear spoiler while on the inside customers will get a Shelby-branded custom interior.
And while under-the-hood changes are currently limited to a number of hydro-carbon components, Shelby is currently in the process of developing an optional performance package that is “expected to significantly increase horsepower.”
The post-title package (that is, y’all bring your own car) for the 2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake starts at $28,995 (662 hp) and $39,995 (850 hp). The wide body option adds another $17,995, not including the base GT500. The 2013 Shelby Focus ST post-title package begins at $14,995 not including the Ford Focus ST and will be limited to 500 per model year.