The history of the SVT (Ford’s Special Vehicle Team) began at the 1992 Chicago Auto Show with the unveiling of the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra and SVT F-150 Lightning and now, as a celebration of their 20th anniversary, Ford has unveiled the 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.
Just like with the coupe version, the GT500 Convertible is powered by a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 engine that delivers a total of 650 HP. When equipped with the optional Performance Package, the new GT500 Convertible is nearly 3.5 seconds faster than the outgoing model at Sebring International Raceway.
"The Shelby GT500 convertible is every bit the performer that the coupe is," said Kerry Baldori, SVT Global Performance Vehicles chief engineer. "All of the significant changes we made in the program were instrumental in delivering a convertible that could really shine on the track but can still be driven on a daily basis."
UPDATE 02/08/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible.
Exterior and Interior
The new GT500 Convertible will carry all the design elements from the coupe model, meaning you will get the same aggressive and sporty car, in a topless version of course. The Shelby GT500 is distinguished from the other Mustangs in the line-up by a more aggressive exterior look with a signature coiled Cobra badge on the front grille and front fenders. It also separates itself with a unique aluminum power dome hood with functional heat extractors and unique Shelby front and rear fascias, rear diffuser, and decklid spoiler. Both coupe and convertible versions come with racing stripes on both the top and the sides with 19" painted forged-aluminum wheels rolling at the bottom.
The interior gets leather sport buckets w/racing stripes coordinated to the exterior stripes and Alcantara Suede accents.
When it comes to the GT500, its most amazing feature can be found under the hood. The GT500 Convertible is powered by the same 5.8L V8 engine as the coupe model. This engine can push out a total of 650 HP and 600 pound-feet of torque.
If the customer opts for the additional Performance Package, they will get a car that is nearly 3.5 seconds faster on the Sebring International Raceway when compared to previous models. However, the bad news is that Ford has opted to limit the top speed to only 155 mph, so if you expected to hit the same 200 mph as with the coupe, you can expect to be sorely disappointed.
Other new elements of the GT500 Convertible are a carbon fiber driveshaft; an upgraded clutch, transmission, camshafts, and cross-drilled block and heads; specially developed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers and six-piston Brembo calipers; and all new chassis tuning.
Drivers will have two driving modes to set the stage. In "Normal" mode, the GT500 Convertible allows for a more comfortable ride over road irregularities during every day travels, while "Sport" can be used for the track, delivering improved response time and less body roll while cornering with reduced pitch under braking.
Just like with the coupe, the Performance Package can be upgraded to a Track Package that includes an external engine oil cooler, a rear differential cooler, and a transmission cooler.
The new Shelby GT500 Convertible will be produced at the AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. Prices will be announced at a later date.
The biggest competitor for the new GT500 Convertible is, of course, Chevrolet’s latest ZL1 Convertible. However, when it comes to power, the GT500 has a big advantage over the ZL1: it delivers 650 HP compared to the 580 HP coming out of the 6.2 liter "LSA" engine in the Camaro Convertible.
Lots of possible upgrades
Top Speed limiter