liter DOHC V8
supercharger with intercooler
hp per liter
(from Ford Press
Release) The most powerful factory-built Ford Mustang in
history will take to the street next year, following a unique
collaboration between performance car legend Carroll Shelby and the
Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT).
Ford took the wraps off the 450-plus horsepower Ford Shelby Cobra
GT500 show car at the New Year International Auto Show March 23.
Designed in the unmistakable image of Shelby Mustangs of the 1960s,
the Shelby Cobra GT500 melds SVT's modern engineering with the
big-block performance that made the original GT500 the king of the
"The all-new 2005 Ford Mustang is one of the hottest cars in many
years," says Phil Martens, Ford group vice president, Product
Creation. "Its chassis was engineered from the beginning to be the
basis of a high-performance, world-class sports car from SVT, and
the Shelby Cobra GT500 is it."
Carroll Shelby lends his support to SVT, adapting his earlier role
as a senior advisor on the "Dream Team" that was assembled to
develop and build the 2005 Ford GT.
"I've worked with the SVT guys for several years now, and I know
they have the guts, the talent and the passion to deliver the best
performance Mustangs ever," says Shelby.
A production version of the GT500 will go on sale in 2006,
continuing the high-performance lineage of the SVT Mustang Cobra
model line. It will be followed by a steady stream of performance
products developed by SVT, possibly including a version of the
production-intent Sport Trac Adrenalin, the industry's first
performance sport-utility truck.
"SVT led the modern-day factory performance trend with the Mustang
Cobra and the industry's first high-performance truck, the F-150
Lightning," says Hau Thai-Tang, director, Ford Advanced Product
Creation and SVT. "Today, we're building on that pioneering vision
with vehicles like the Ford GT, Shelby Cobra GT500 and Sport Trac
Adrenalin – great performance machines that connect with enthusiasts
in a way no other companies or vehicles can match."
The production GT500 will be the first in a string of specialty
Mustangs that SVT will help deliver. This will create Ford Motor
Company's – and one of the industry's – broadest product portfolio,
stretching from under $20,000 for the V-6 Mustang coupe to the
450-plus-horsepower GT500, each offering performance and value.
The GT500 and the production-intent Sport Trac Adrenalin teaser
accelerate the wave of momentum at SVT since the launch of the 2005
Ford GT supercar. SVT also now will develop non-SVT branded Ford
Division performance vehicles – including heritage-based performance
Mustangs in the spirit of the 2001 Bullitt GT and 2003 Mach 1 – as
it becomes more directly integrated into Ford's mainstream product
Shelby Cobra GT500's supercharged
5.4-liter DOHC V-8 produces over 450 hp
Just as the original
Shelby GT500 was the "step up" to big-block power from the GT350,
the new Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 steps up to Ford's 5.4-liter "MOD"
V-8. The result? The GT500 is the most powerful factory Mustang
ever. Its supercharged 5.4-liter, 32-valve V-8 evolves from SVT's
experience with supercharging the "MOD" engine to deliver more than
450 horsepower and 450 foot-pounds of torque.
The cast-iron-block, four-valve engine is force-fed an air-and-fuel
mixture via a screw-type supercharger at 8.5 pounds per square inch
of boost. Aluminum cylinder heads, piston rings and bearings sourced
from the Ford GT program bring a high level of proven durability to
the drivetrain, while upgraded cooling components promise longevity.
"Powered by SVT" camshaft covers are the finishing touch to the
"This version of the 5.4-liter V-8 has a higher horsepower rating
than any other factory Mustang in history," says Jay O'Connell, SVT
chief vehicle engineer. "It really delivers on the essence of two
great names in Ford performance – a mix of SVT's modern-day
experience with supercharging and the Shelby GT500's heritage of
The engine has been further tuned from its first application in a
Mustang, the 2000 SVT Mustang Cobra R, a limited edition model of
Helping to put the power of the GT500's supercharged V-8 to the
pavement is a T-56 six-speed manual gearbox. The evenly spaced gears
mean less stirring is needed to find the "sweet spot" in keeping the
revs "on cam" for power to pass, while at the same time making the
most of the engine's broad torque curve. The heavy-duty transmission
has proven itself a willing companion to V-8 power in Mustangs in
both road and track environments, including the 2000 SVT Mustang
Cobra R, 2004 SVT Mustang Cobra and the new race-winning Ford Racing
Great power requires great control
The great Shelby
Mustangs of the 1960s were anything but one-trick ponies. They
earned their stripes on twisty roads and race tracks across America
and Europe. The Shelby Cobra GT500 show car continues that legacy of
The GT500 starts with the solid 2005 Mustang underpinnings. The
all-new Mustang's platform was designed from the beginning with
performance derivatives in mind, providing an exceptionally rigid,
well-engineered starting point for SVT chassis engineers.
Using real-world experience gained during more than 12 years of
building great-handling SVT Mustang Cobras, SVT engineers retune and
upgrade key chassis components. Improvements such as revised shocks,
spring rates and upgraded stabilizer bars help the GT500 stop and
turn with the same authority as it goes.
The GT500 features a MacPherson strut independent front suspension
with "Reverse L" lower control arms, and a solid-axle, three-link
rear suspension with coil springs and a Panhard rod for precise
control of the rear axle.
This rear suspension design has been validated on the track by Ford
Racing. The race-prepared Ford Racing Mustang FR500C was
purpose-built from the base 2005 Mustang body structure and
suspension geometry to run in the Grand-Am Cup series, a class of
road racing for production-based cars. Competing against the best
from Germany and Japan, a Mustang FR500C competed in and won its
first ever race in the season-opener at Daytona International
Speedway in February 2005.
"SVT and Ford Racing will be working closer than ever as we go
forward on future projects, especially Mustangs," says Thai-Tang, a
Ford Racing alumnus who served as the race engineer for the
Newman-Haas Racing team in 1993. "The Mustang FR500C racing program
is an exact demonstration of the capability we engineered into the
mainstream Mustang to be capable of. Now, we have both a Daytona
victory and the return of the Shelby Cobra GT500 to showcase Mustang
To match this power and handling ability, SVT fitted some of the
biggest brakes in the business to the GT500. Fourteen-inch
cross-drilled Brembo rotors up front and 13-inch discs in the rear
continue SVT's legacy of great-braking Mustangs. Secure footing is
provided by 19-inch wheels wrapped in high-performance tires.
The snake is back – Legendary
looks with SVT function
The Shelby Cobra GT500
combines the dramatic design genes of the all-new Mustang with
Carroll Shelby's legendary performance image to create an SVT
Mustang that broadens the power brand's design approach and appeal.
1968 Shelby GT500 was one of many Mustangs that served as the design
inspiration for the new Shelby Cobra GT500.
"The restrained, performance-oriented SVT design theme has become
instantly recognizable to enthusiasts without brash styling cues,"
says Doug Gaffka, design director, Ford SVT vehicles. "The GT500
takes a huge leap forward by combining the modern Mustang muscle car
with the classic Shelby performance look to expand SVT's reach to a
much bigger audience."
The 2005 Mustang design team drew inspiration from classic Shelby
Mustangs, the models that transformed the mild-mannered pony car
into a muscle car with attitude. Envisioning an SVT model, the team
tested GT500 design cues on the Mustang GT coupe concept that was
unveiled at the 2003 North American International Auto Show. In
2004, designers further developed the GT500 look on the Mustang GT-R,
a race-bred concept with the dual purpose of foreshadowing SVT's
Mustang design direction and Ford Racing's plans to return Mustang
to road racing.
The GT500 now comes into full light, punctuated by the classic
LeMans-style white stripes that race along the top of the show car's
"SVT Red" paint from nose to tail. The stripes recall the Shelby
Mustangs that marked another important 1960's Mustang transition
when Ford put it on the track to becoming a racing legend. The GT500
nomenclature is prominent in the lower bodyside racing stripe,
another cue from the classic Shelby Mustangs.
"The new Mustang has classic design cues from some of the
best-looking Mustangs of all-time, including the Shelbys," says
Keith Rogman, Mustang senior designer. "The design of the GT500 has
been at the forefront of our minds since the outset of the entire
The Shelby design elements alone are enough to tell the GT500 story
but are not the only visual cues that set this Mustang apart. The
reworked front fascia features a functional air splitter and the
unique hood has heat-extraction ducts, combining to provide improved
airflow and aerodynamics. Revised headlamp insets offer a more
aggressive look and result in symmetrical upper and lower grilles
with large air openings, creating a visual connection to vintage
The unique rear fascia features strakes inspired by the Ford GT's
integrated rear airflow diffuser, and a rear spoiler reminiscent of
a classic GT500. To mark the collaboration of two Mustang
performance icons, the GT500 features Shelby and SVT badging.
Continuing the snake logo tradition of past-generation SVT Mustang
Cobras, as well as late-model Shelby Mustangs, the fenders each
feature an updated design of the Cobra. For the first time on any
SVT Mustang, the front grille features an off-center snake in place
of the standard running horse. "GT500" is emblazoned inside the side
rocker stripes, and the name "SHELBY" is prominently featured across
the rear deck. The SVT logo can be seen on the wheel center caps, a
signature SVT location, as well as on the doorsill plates. To top if
off, the "gas cap" medallion between the taillights reads "Shelby
GT500" centered on the Cobra image.
The interior is completely wrapped in ebony black leather, including
the top of the dash, door panels and center arm rest. Also wrapped
in ebony leather are the shift lever, shift boot and parking-brake
handle. SVT Red leather seat and door panel inserts provide a marked
contrast to the rest of the leather-trimmed cabin, surrounding the
performance enthusiast with luxury and comfort. Snake logos
embroidered into the seat backs finish the package.
"We've taken leather design trends to a new level by using it on
almost every exposed surface in the GT500," says Rogman. "Leather
has long been a performance fashion accessory for enthusiasts, from
jackets to racing gloves, so it perfectly matches all the other
driving oriented cues."
The Shelby GT500 script and Cobra image are repeated on the steering
wheel cap. Behind the wheel are titanium-faced gauges swapped in
location so that the tachometer is dominant visually for the driver.
The chrome accessories inside the cabin have been replaced with a
satin aluminum finish, including the aluminum shift lever knob that
is nicely positioned for quick, positive shifts of the six-speed
SVT and Shelby: The Legends Grow
With the look and legend
one would expect from Carroll Shelby and the kind of power and
performance enthusiasts have come to expect from SVT, the GT500 show
car points to a brand new era in Ford Motor Company's performance
"Carroll Shelby is truly a living automotive legend, a Ford
performance legend," says Martens. "It's a dream come true to be
able to put the Shelby name on a Mustang again."
Carroll Shelby first put his name on a Mustang back in 1964 when he
was asked to inject some high performance into the brand-new pony
car. The result was the GT350R, a lightweight, handling-focused race
car that earned the Mustang its first performance credentials.
Subsequent Shelby Mustangs included a street version of the race
car, the GT350, and what was known as the "rent-a-racer" Mustang,
the GT350H, a joint project with the Hertz rental car corporation.
The ultimate Shelby Mustang of the era was the GT500KR, or "King of
the Road." Powered by a big block 428-cubic inch "Cobra Jet" V-8,
the GT500KR was one of the most powerful, and memorable, muscle cars
of that period. Shelby Mustang production ceased in 1970 with a
total volume of 14,559 units.
The Ford Special Vehicle Team brought performance back to Mustang in
1993. After 12 years and with nearly 80,000 high-performance
Mustangs on the streets, and a total SVT vehicle production nearing
145,000 vehicles, SVT is primed for growth with the GT500 serving as
the foundation for other performance Mustang projects.
By bringing together Carroll Shelby and Ford SVT, the company's
commitment to performance becomes as powerful as at any time in its
history - including the famed "Total Performance" days of the 1960s.
From the Ford GT supercar, the GT500, to a rejuvenated Ford Racing
Performance Parts program - performance and racing adds luster to
its proud brand heritage.
"SVT has been and will remain the leader in performance vehicle
engineering and marketing," says Martens. "SVT remains unique in
offering the total performance experience. The return of Carroll
Shelby to our performance family only strengthens our firepower."