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PREVIEW: SNAKES ON A LANE

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Aug 14, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

 

By Roy Nakano We're not trying to compete with TV's Psych, but we're happy to report that LA Car's prediction back in April (see Back Seat Driving, April 2006) that Ford will produce a non-H version of its Shelby GT-H has come true. This past week, Ford confirmed production of the Shelby GT as one of nine new product introductions coming in the next six months for Ford and Lincoln Mercury. The for sale Shelby GT (as opposed to the for rent only GT-H) will feature a 4.6-liter V-8 producing 325-horsepower. Production will be limited in volume like all Shelby Mustang models. "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."

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. "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." Ford says the Shelby GT driving dynamics are fine tuned with the Ford Racing Handling Pack, which was developed by the same engineers that developed the Ford Racing FR500C, which won the 2005 Grand-Am Cup Championship. New coil springs drop the overall ride height by an inch-and-a-half for a more aggressive stance and reduced body roll. Stiffer dampers and front swaybar further enhance cornering feel and body control. To showcase the key performance modifications, Ford Racing painted all the key suspension components, including the damper, spring, and swaybar Ford Racing Blue.

A front strut-tower brace adds additional strength to the chassis structure, and P235/55ZR18 high-performance tires maximize the benefits of the chassis upgrades. Under the hood, the Ford Racing Power Pack increases the output of the naturally aspirated, three-valve, 4.6-liter V-8 to 325-horsepower, and 330 pound-feet of torque. The Power Pack includes a 90 millimeter cold-air intake and a new performance engine calibration for improved response. The high-flow exhaust system with X-pipe crossover offers better power delivery and a throaty V-8 exhaust note. A shorter rear-axle ratio is installed to capitalize on the Shelby GT coupe's extra power, especially accelerating off the line. For Shelby GT models equipped with a manual transmission, a Hurst short-throw shifter is installed for more precise shift action. The Shelby GT will be offered only as a coupe, and only in two exterior colors, Performance White or Black. Both colors are accented by silver LeMans-style racing stripes - a signature detail of classic Shelby Mustangs. The LeMans stripes extend over the hood, roof, and trunk, and are complemented by matching side stripes with "Shelby GT" nomenclature.

The face of the Shelby GT features a unique front fascia, with a more aggressive lower air dam. The brushed-aluminum grille is accented by an offset Mustang logo. In addition, the Shelby GT has a new hood scoop that comes directly from the Shelby Cobra roadster.

The side profile features chrome-finished 18-inch wheels and unique side scoops just before the rear wheel arches. The rear fascia frames the larger dual exhaust tips, and is topped by Shelby badging on the trunk lid. Inside, features include 'Shelby GT' logo floor mats and custom sill plates with Shelby GT nomenclature. In addition, the Shelby GT features an authentication plate on the center dashboard, as well as matching tag underhood. This tag features the CSX number, which is recorded in the Shelby Automobiles registry.

Shelby GT models will begin as a stock Mustang GT assembled at AutoAlliance International assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The cars are then shipped to the Shelby Automobiles facility in Las Vegas for modification before delivery to Ford dealerships. No prices have been announced, but the Shelby GT is expected to hover somewhere between the Mustang GT coupe and the 500-hp Shelby GT500. For more information about Shelby Automobiles, Inc., and a sneak-peak of the build of the first Shelby GT prototypes, visit www.shelbyautos.com

SPECIFICATIONS Vehicle: 2007 Ford Shelby GT Price: Not yet announced  Engine type: 4.6 liters, 24-valve SOHC V8, with cold-air intake and high-flow exhaust system Horsepower: 325 hp  Torque: 330 pound-feet Transmission: 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic Drive configuration: Front engine/Rear-wheel drive EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway) Not yet established

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