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First Look: Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible

“Every bit the performer.”

by on Feb.08, 2012

Ford's new Shelby GT500 Convertible storms into the Windy City.

Exactly 20 years after the original SVT Mustang Cobra made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show, Ford is back in the Windy City with an all-new top performer, the 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible.

If the 1993 Mustang Cobra was impressive, with its 235-horsepower V-8, the latest SVT offering will be positively overwhelming, the Shelby GT500 powered by a 650-hp, supercharged 5.8-liter eight-banger.  And reflecting the more sophisticated turn today’s muscle cars have taken, the new ragtop features electronically adjustable shocks and oversized Brembo brakes.

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“The Shelby GT500 convertible is every bit the performer that the coupe is,” said Kerry Baldori, chief engineer for the SVT Global Performance Vehicles group. “All of the significant changes we made in the program were instrumental in delivering a convertible that could really shine on the track but can still be driven on a daily basis.”

The debut of the Shelby GT500 Convertible comes 20 years after SVT's original Chicago introduction.

If simply having 650 horses under the hood of the new pony car isn’t enough, Ford is offering an optional Performance Package, as well as a Track Package that enhances both performance and durability with an external engine oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler.

While Ford isn’t offering up o to 60 times they’re expected to be in the low 4-second range.  The maker does hint that with the Performance Package it was able to pull a full 3.5 seconds off the 2011 and 2012 GT500’s already solid lap times at the Sebring International Raceway.

The Bilstein adjustable shocks are operated by a push of the dash-mounted button and can be instantly switched from “Normal” mode to “Sport,” which speeds up response time, while reducing both body roll and pitch under braking.

The new Brembo brakes are designed to scrub off speed fast, with new 6-piston calipers up front and larger brake rotors in the rear.


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