Apparently, you can never have enough horsepower. Ford decided to give the newest version of its Shelby GT500 Mustang 650 horsepower, 100 more than last year’s model. That’s enough, Ford claims, to propel the GT500 to a 200 mph top speed. Why stop there, though? Shelby American will unveil a Mustang with 1,000 horsepower at April’s New York Auto Show.
Tuning legend Carroll Shelby, 89, may put his name on the GT500, but that car was actually developed by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT). Shelby American is an independent company run by the man himself, that builds its own tweaked Mustangs. “I want this to be the fastest car we’ve ever built, and it’s got to be street legal and idle like a Lincoln,” Shelby said. To make Shelby’s ultimate Mustang, the 5.4-liter V8 from last year’s GT500 is completely disassembled. It then gets rebuilt with a new crankshaft, rods, and pistons, as well as modified cylinder heads. Finally, the power plant is topped with a new supercharger that delivers more boost.
To give other drivers a fair warning, the front fascia gets an aggressive makeover. The Shelby 1000 also gets forged 20-inch wheels and the obligatory compliment of Shelby Cobra badges. Some modifications will be made to the suspension, but don’t expect anything major. This Mustang is all about power, not finesse.
There will be two versions of the Shelby 1000: one for the street, and one for the track. The basic street version will only have 950 horsepower, but it will also meet emissions standards in all 50 states. The track-ready Shelby 1000 S/C will live up to its name with the full 1,000 ponies.
Carroll Shelby is most famous for building the Cobra, a small British sports car stuffed with a big American Ford V8. That car was first unveiled 50 years ago at the New York Auto Show. Shelby and Ford have been collaborating off-and-on ever since. Shelby ran Ford’s all-American LeMans-winning team in 1967. He built the first performance Mustang, the GT350, in 1965.
To get a Shelby 1000, you’ll have to buy a stock GT500 first. Shelby will have the cars delivered to its shop, where the conversion from 500 to 1000 will take place. The street package starts at $149,995, the S/C will cost $154,995. Including the price of a base GT500, the completed Shelby 1000 should cost around $200,000.
That is a lot for a Mustang, but it’s a bargain for any car with 1,000 hp. To put things in perspective: a Bugatti Veyron has 1,000 hp, and it costs $1,000,000. It will be interesting to see exactly how fast the Shelby 1000 will go. Will it improve on the GT500’s alleged 200 mph top speed? With 350 more horses under the hood, it should.