The Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang is an impressive machine, but it’s not the only Shelby Mustang out there.
Tuning legend Carroll Shelby’s original company, Shelby American, still produces its own souped-up Mustangs independent of Ford. Its latest effort is the 2017 Shelby GTE, which the company says is a more affordable, saner option than its existing cars. The GTE is inspired by the GT-H rental car Shelby launched in collaboration with Hertz earlier this year. Of course, you don’t have to settle for just borrowing the GTE.
Shelby’s latest is available with either a 5.0-liter V8 or a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder, both derived from powertrains offered in the stock Mustang. The V8 gets a Ford Performance Power Pack, boosting output from the stock 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque to 456 hp and 424 lb-ft. EcoBoost output increases from 310 hp and 320 lb-ft to 335 hp and 390 lb-ft.
Shelby didn’t mention transmission options, but both engines are available with six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes in the stock Mustang. Other performance upgrades include a Ford Performance Handling Pack and exhaust system. Shelby also offers a supercharger option for the V8 that increases output to a claimed 650 to 750 hp.
To give the GTE a bit more visual spice, Shelby added a model-specific vented hood, carbon fiber front splitter and rear spoiler, and Ford Performance 19-inch wheels. The GTE is also speckled with Shelby badging, including a dashboard plaque displaying the serial number. Unlike the GT-H rental car it’s based on, the GTE is available as either a coupe or convertible.
The 2017 Shelby GTE certainly makes a statement, but with its heavy reliance on Ford Performance parts, it may not be as special as Shelby’s other Mustangs, or as compelling a package as Ford’s own GT350. Granted, that might not matter to potential buyers. They may be more interested in buying into the legend of Carroll Shelby, even if it means passing over objectively better options.