Lightweight muscle in a new-old roadster body

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.

The Shelby Series 2 Makes its European Debut in Paris
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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.

The Shelby Series 2 Makes its European Debut in Paris
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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.

The Shelby Series 2 Makes its European Debut in Paris
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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.

Further reading

1998 Shelby Series 1
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Read our full review on the 1998 Shelby Series 1.

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