The Shelby Series 2 Makes its European Debut in Paris
Lightweight muscle in a new-old roadster bodyby Ciprian Florea, on
Since most American automakers offer only a small fraction of their vehicles in Europe, it’s not surprising that the U.S.-based brands skipped the 2018 Paris Motor Show. But surprisingly enough, Shelby American came to France to showcase its latest products, including the new-old Series 2 sports car.
Revealed back in May, the Series 2 picks up where the Series 1 left off more than a decade ago. The latter was introduced in 1998, and it was supposed to start a sports car series for the brand. Designed by Carroll Shelby himself, its exterior was a nod to the iconic Shelby Cobra. Power came from an Oldsmobile 4.0-liter V-8 engine.
Production ended due to financial problems, and Shelby canceled plans for the Series 2.
Some 12 years later, Shelby teamed up with Wingard Motorsports which purchased the remaining Series 1 chassis and parts some time ago, and the Series 2 finally became a production model. The sports car rides on the same aluminum monocoque chassis as its predecessor, but several upgrades bring it up to date. Shelby also designed a new suspension system and a set of 19-inch wheels. Aside for the wheels, the Series 2 is actually identical to the Series 1 on the outside.
Other upgrades include a high-performance braking system with six-piston calipers at all four corners and track-ready Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tires. The Series 2 is also 12-percent lighter than the Series 1, which tipped the scales at around 2,850 pounds. All told, the Series 2 weighs less than 2,600 pounds or around 1,165 kg.
While the exterior carries over almost unchanged, the interior looks way better.
There's leather everywhere, sportier seats, and a bigger infotainment display in the revised center stack.
Naturally, Shelby ditched the old 4.0-liter V-8 in favor of the supercharged V-8 engine found in the Mustang-based muscle cars. The base model cranks out 580 horsepower, but Shelby says it can be upgraded to deliver more than 800 horses. That’s a notable upgrade over the Series 1, which generated 460 horsepower in its most powerful configuration.
Shelby plans to build only four examples per year. You can choose between three bodies: aluminum, carbon-fiber, or the original titanium shell of the Series 1. The aluminum cars can be had with a brushed or polished look. Shelby delivers the Series 2 as a kit car only, but you can have Wingard Motorsports assemble the roadster for you for an extra fee.
There’s no word on how much the Series 2 costs in Europe, but given it’s being showcased in Paris it’s safe to assume that Shelby wouldn’t mind exporting it here.
Read our full review on the 1998 Shelby Series 1.