2013 Detroit Auto Show: Shelby shows off Focus ST and Super Snake Wide Body

2013 Shelby Focus STShelby American debuted two new cars at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, and they couldn’t be more different from each other. One is a Ford Mustang with a wide body kit; the other is a Focus.

The former shouldn’t raise any eyebrows, but Shelby isn’t normally associated with compact front-wheel drive hatchbacks. The brainchild of Cobra-creator Carroll Shelby is known for building high performance Mustangs, but the company decided to take stab at another, more affordable, Ford product.

The Shelby Focus is a tuned version of the ST performance model. Shelby’s Las Vegas “skunkworks” added Ford Racing suspension, a Borla exhaust systems, and bigger brakes with drilled rotors.

The exterior gets a big dose of attitude with Shelby graphics, a blacked-out and vented hood, and a hydro-carbon rear spoiler. Three graphics packages will be offered, including traditional stripes, the checkered pattern seen on the yellow Detroit show car, or “competition graphics.” There’s also plenty of Shelby branding in the customized interior, including a shifter with a Shelby badge.

One thing is missing, though: horsepower. Shelby says it is developing performance options for the Focus ST’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, but for now the only changes under the hood are “stylish hydro-carbon components.” Buyers will have to make do with the stock ST’s 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque.

A Shelby Focus may seem shocking but, as with most things automotive, there is nothing new under the sun. Carroll Shelby collaborated with Chrysler on a performance version of the Dodge Omni, the GLH (Goes Like Hell).

What is surprising is that Shelby’s company would add some bolt-on performance parts and stickers to a car without even touching the engine. This could be an attempt to make the Shelby Focus ST more affordable, but it will still cost $14,995, on top of the price of a stock 2013 Focus ST.

2013 Shelby Super Snake wide bodyAt the other end of the spectrum is the 2013 Shelby Super Snake Wide Body. As before, the Shelby takes a stock GT500 Mustang, and increases power from 662 hp to 850 hp. For 2013, a wide body kit gives the Super Snake an appropriate amount of visual muscle. The flared fenders cover massive 10-inch front and 13-inch rear wheels.

The full 850 hp package adds $39,995 to the cost of a stock 2013 GT500 Mustang, and the wide body kit costs $14,995. That means someone could almost buy another stock GT500 (base price: $55,445) for the cost of the Shelby add-ons.

It’s hard to top a 662 hp car with a claimed top speed of 200 mph, but adding and extra dollop of power and an aggressive body kit is a good way to try. It will be interesting to see if Shelby offers the wide body kit on the 1,000 hp Shelby 1000.

Shelby is synonymous with American performance, but its 2013 Detroit presentation was more about style than substance. That’s fine for the already-impressive Super Snake, but maybe Shelby should give the Focus a little more power to match its racy looks.

Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!