With the release of Bold Moves Episode 9, Ford has officially launched the new Shelby GT Mustang. The Shelby GT is the third modern Shelby Mustang produced through a collaboration of Ford and Shelby Automobiles. In addition to the 2007 Shelby GT500, Ford and Shelby created 500 copies of the Ford Shelby GT-H, which are available only through select Hertz rental centers.
As we’d already reported, the Shelby GT is essentially a retail version of the rental-only Shelby GT-H. In some ways, it’s more appealing, though. For one thing, it can be had with a five-speed manual that appears in the form of a classic Hurst cueball-topped shifter.
The Shelby GT begins life as an ordinary Mustang GT which is then shipped off to Shelby Automobiles in Las Vegas for transformation into a 325-horsepower snake. Its soul comes largely from Ford Racing performance parts. First up: the Ford Racing Handling pack, which drops the car and gives it more athletic suspension settings. To accent the changes, all the important suspension bits are painted Ford Racing Blue.
The Ford Racing Power Pack improves on the stock 4.6L V8 by adding a new cold-air intake, performance-oriented engine recalibration, a freer-flowing, better-sounding exhaust, and a shorter rear axle ratio. The aforementioned short-throw Hurst is also included if the car’s equipped with the standard tranny. Power numbers rise to 325-hp and 330 lb-ft of torque.
Outside, cars are painted either Performance White or Black and receive silver LeMans striping. Lower side accent stripes with “Shelby GT” markings also appear in the transformation. GT-H-style front and rear fascias are installed and centered Shelby badging is added to the trunklid (this looks better than the offset “SHELBY” on the GT500). Unlike the GT-H, the Shelby GT does not include the rear declkid spoiler — a change for the better, in our opinion. The stock Mustang GT badge stays in its familiar spot on the front quarter panels, and 18″ chromed “Bullitt”-style rims reside in the wells. Finally, hood pins and a Cobra-style scoop are added to complete the visual upgrades. (This is another area where the Shelby GT differs from the GT-H, which wears a Shelby Performance hood).
The interior is highly reminiscent of the Hertz car, with its prominent dash and branded sill plates. Shelby GT floor mats and the Hurst (on 5-speed-equipped cars) complete the look. The number on the dash plate matches the one found on a similar plate in the engine bay.
“We have been overwhelmed at the number of people who want to buy a version of the Shelby GT-H,” said Carroll Shelby, CEO of Shelby Automobiles, Inc. “The Shelby GT will deliver the power and balanced handling of the Shelby GT-H, but with more performance potential, especially due to the available manual transmission.”
“Our goal is to offer a steed for every need,” says John Felice, Ford brand general marketing manager. “The new Shelby GT is a low-volume, extremely collectable Mustang for enthusiasts. It also offers a few more customers the opportunity to experience firsthand magic of Mustang and Carroll Shelby.”
Still no word on pricing, which will slot in somewhere between the Mustang GT and Shelby GT500. Whatever the cost, we certainly like the appearance of the new Shelby, and expect that it should be as fun to drive as it looks. Credit goes to Autoblog for the story.