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Detroit show: Ford teases savage Shelby Mustang

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 to pack more than 520kW, Australian debut unlikely

17 Jan 2018

FORD has used the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit to tease what will be its most powerful street-legal production car yet, in the form of the savage Mustang Shelby GT500.

Hot on the heels of the reveal of the reborn Mustang Bullitt, Ford has continued the Mustang theme with a re-imagining of the original 1967 Shelby GT500 – only with twice as much power.

Although official performance figures are yet to be revealed, Ford is estimating it will be able to develop “700-plus horsepower” (521kW) from its supercharged V8, eclipsing the 647hp (482kW) in the twin-turbo EcoBoost V6-powered GT supercar.

The Blue Oval has otherwise revealed few details on the Shelby-branded monster, other than it is being developed by Ford Performance and will feature “new innovative track technologies, performance hardware, plus aggressive and functional track-tuned styling.”

A teaser video was released with the announcement, which gives a hint as to some of the aforementioned aggressive and functional styling.

In the video, the original 1967 GT500 sheds its skin to reveal the new model, which can be seen with black Shelby alloy wheels, quad-exit exhaust tips with an intricate black mesh rear diffuser, Shelby front and rear badges, an aggressive black-and-red front splitter with mesh lower air intake, a louvred bonnet cover, black side sills and a fixed wing spoiler at the rear.

While it has been confirmed for the North American market, an Australian debut for the GT500 seems unlikely due to its niche nature and left-hand-drive configuration.

If it were to be brought Down Under, it would join a select group of vehicles capable of producing 500 or more kilowatts, including the Ferrari 812 Superfast, Lamborghini Aventador S and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy said there were currently no plans to bring the GT500 here.

“The recently announced Mustang Shelby GT500 is a US-market model,” he said.

“We have no announcements to make regarding this model for Australia.”

The other Mustang revealed at Detroit, the Bullitt, pays homage to the 1968 Steve McQueen movie of the same name that featured a now-famous dark green Mustang in one of the most iconic car chases in cinematic history.

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