2007 Shelby Mustang GT500

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 road. 

"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 

development process. 

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 engine. 

"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 big-

block power." 

The engine has been further tuned from its first application in a 

Mustang, the 2000 SVT Mustang Cobra R, a limited edition model of 300 


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 

Mustang FR500C. 

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 all-around performance. 

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 


"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 

performance possibilities." 

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. 

"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 Mustang 


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 

Shelby Mustangs. 

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 future. 

"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." 


Just as the big-block GT500 from 1968 was a step up from the GT350, 

the Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 show car's 450-plus-horsepower, 5.4-liter 

V-8 is a step up from the 4.6-liter V-8 used in the previous-

generation SVT Mustang Cobra. 

In fact, the 5.4-liter, 32-valve, supercharged V-8 configuration is 

similar to that of the 2005 Ford GT supercar, offering the right 

combination of classic Ford big-block power and modern technology. 

Using the Ford GT as a blueprint, SVT has given the GT500 more total 

horsepower than any factory Mustang in the muscle car's celebrated 41-

year history. 

"We are applying our Ford GT engine experience to the GT500 to bring 

over 450 horsepower to a much bigger enthusiast audience," 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 big-block power." 

The result: More than 450 horsepower and 450 foot-pounds of torque. 

Engine upgraded for supercharger's power increase

With the stout cast-iron, 5.4-liter Triton V-8 engine as a starting 

point, the Shelby Cobra GT500 adds a screw-type 8.5-pounds-per-square-

inch supercharger and water-to-air intercooler. 

But, adding forced-induction power is more than just a bolt-on 

proposition. The engine's internals need upgrading for the sake of 

strength and durability. To that end, the Shelby Cobra GT500's 

powerplant benefits from unique connecting rods and forged pistons to 

handle the extra strain on the lower end of the block. 

An all-new intake manifold helps to efficiently channel the 

supercharged fuel-air mixture into the cylinders. The low-profile 

manifold design also effectively packages the entire induction system 

under the GT500's special air-extraction hood. Fuel comes from a dual-

bore electronic throttle body borrowed from Ford's 6.8-liter truck 

engine program. To manage heat produced by more than 450 horses, a 

larger radiator and increased-capacity cooling system also are 


Aluminum, high-performance Ford GT heads tout "Powered by SVT"

While supercharging is a key element in the Shelby Cobra GT500's 

ability to generate so much horsepower, another major contributing 

component is the design of the cast-aluminum, four-valve cylinder 

heads sourced from the Ford GT supercar. 

Developed specifically for supercharged applications, these high-

performance heads use high-flow ports and specially calibrated dual-

overhead camshafts to deliver optimum engine "breathing" along with 

surprisingly good fuel efficiency and emissions. Also borrowed for 

use in the GT500 are the Ford GT's proven piston rings and connecting 

rod bearings. 

To enthusiasts, the real beauty of any performance car rests with its 

engine. That idea certainly wasn't lost on Carroll Shelby because 

Mustangs that bore his name have traditionally brought his unique 

sense of style and personality right into the engine compartment. One 

Shelby signature feature – special finned valve covers embossed 

with "COBRA Powered By Ford" – soon became the envy of so many Ford V-

8 owners that they quickly became one of the best-selling dress-up 

accessories on the market. 

With that in mind, the GT500 is equipped with special "Powered by 

SVT" finned cam covers to hint at the beauty of 450 horses lurking in 

the engine below. Mated to the Ford GT four-valve cylinder heads are 

unique exhaust manifolds that help to better scavenge spent gases out 

of the cylinders and into the custom-tuned mufflers and dual-exhaust 


Strong transmission for powerful engine

Few transmissions exist in the marketplace today that can handle the 

torque loads generated by the supercharged GT500, so SVT engineers 

are opting to stick with the proven heavy duty performance of the T-

56 six-speed manual gearbox. The T-56 first appeared in the 2000 SVT 

Mustang Cobra R, powered by a naturally aspirated 5.4-liter V-8 with 

385 horsepower, and later in the supercharged 2003 SVT Mustang Cobra 

whose DOHC 4.6-liter produced 390 horses. For the Shelby Cobra GT500 

show car, the T-56 will be geared to make the most out of the 

supercharged 5.4-liter's broad power band. 

Exp 958

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