The question few have asked, concerning a car even fewer can afford, was answered at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show this week when the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 convertible took the stage. How can Ford outdo the 2012 GT500 and the 580-hp Chevrolet Camaro ZL1? Bristling with a 650-hp supercharged V8, the next GT500 answers the call by pushing the boundaries of topless American muscle.
Based on the updated 2013 Ford Mustang, the latest Shelby GT500 elevates the pony car to near-supercar status, with a special 5.8-liter engine, track-tuned suspension, high-performance Brembo brakes, carbon-fiber driveshaft, and upgraded transmission and clutch. An optional performance package can further enhance the GT500, with electronic-adjustable Bilstein shocks. And the one trick the convertible has over the coupe introduced at the LA Auto Show is that it has a power cloth top. While that may not be ideal for track days, it can add appeal for relaxed cruising or tearing through the countryside.
This Shelby GT500 commemorates the 20th anniversary of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT), the performance mavens responsible for the 1993 Mustang Cobra, F-150 Lightning, F-150 Raptor, SVT Contour, SVT Focus, and numerous Mustang iterations.
Clearly, the Shelby GT500 is much more Mustang than most drivers need. For those on a more modest budget, the Mustang V6 and Mustang GT are highly entertaining. And relatively speaking, the 305-hp Mustang V6 is a veritable bargain.
2011 LA Auto Show: 2013 Ford Mustang - Freshened styling, more horsepower
2011 LA Auto Show: 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 with 650 hp