Carroll Shelby stands in front of the Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 at the New York International Auto Show in New York.

Carroll Shelby stands in front of the Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 at the New York International Auto Show in New York.


Shelby Cobra GT500, the most powerful factory-built Ford Mustang in history, hits the street next year. A successor to the Shelby GT500 of the late '60s, the 450-plus-hp Cobra is the product of a collaboration between performance-car legend Carroll Shelby and Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT).

The new GT500 combines SVT's modern engineering and big-block performance: "Its chassis was engineered from the beginning to be the basis of a highperformance, world-class sports car," says Phil Martens, Ford group vice president. The supercharged, 5.4-liter, 32-valve, DOHC V8 delivers 450 lb-ft of torque, with a six-speed manual transmission and SVT-tuned suspension.

Shelby lends his support to SVT, adapting his earlier role as a senior advisor on the team that developed the 2005 Ford GT. The production GT500 will be the first in a line of specialty Mustangs that SVT will help deliver, creating a portfolio stretching from under the $20,000 V6 Mustang coupe to the $35,000 450-plus-hp GT500.

The GT500 goes on sale next year, followed by a stream of performance products, including Ford Sport Trac Adrenaline, the industry's first performance sport-utility truck, in 2007.