• The Superformance GR-1 May Borrow the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500’s Power V-8 Engine

Can I borrow someone’s time machine and go into the future to get the damn car already

Superformance had signed a deal with Ford and Shelby in the last decade to recreate the magic known as the GR-1. The GR-1 was unveiled to the world 14 years back as a working prototype, but the car never made it to Superformance’s line up. Fast forward to 2019, and the project is about to be resurrected, but what’s more important now is what will give it motivation. When asked about the drivetrain, the tuning company’s CEO has hinted that the GR-1 could use 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500’s V-8 engine!

We Are More Than Happy To Have A V-8 Mill

The Superformance GR-1 May Borrow the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's Power V-8 Engine
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Back in 2005, Superformance signed a deal with Ford and Shelby to build the GR-1. It was created in homage to the Cobra Daytona Coupe, and was showcased to the world at the North American International Auto Show in the middle of the last decade. Although the project did not materialize back then, Superformance’s CEO, Lance Stander, has now announced that the company will soon be adding replicas of Ford’s 2004-2005 GR-1 show car to its product line up.

Naturally, one would assume that the resurrected project would revive the same engine that powered the original GR-1 – a 6.4-liter, all-aluminum V-10 that created around 605 horses.

However, Stander announced that instead of the V-10 engine, the car would use a supercharged V-8 engine. He told Robb Report, “The plan is a supercharged V-8. It sadly won’t be a V-10. Ford doesn’t have a V-10 apart from one they utilize in trucks, and we want the GR-1 to be a production car with a production engine—all coming from Ford.”

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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Wait a minute! Ford’s supercharged V-8 engine sounds familiar. It was recently plonked in the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500! When Stander was asked if it’s the same engine, he neither confirmed, nor declined. He just said, “You’re thinking on the right track.”

So, even though Ford has been tight-lipped about the actual power specs from that mill, we can now safely assume that the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will churn out well over 700 ponies.

Not just this, but Superformance will be bringing a six-speed manual as well. Currently, Ford uses the engine that is mated to the Tremac dual-clutch transmission. Stander said, “[The Tremac] is a very exciting transmission, and we are in talks with them, but at this point, we are also planning a six-speed manual.”

We Could Have An Electric GR-1 As Well

The Superformance GR-1 May Borrow the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's Power V-8 Engine
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The big announcement was made at Shelby’s annual tribute at the Petersen Automotive Museum earlier this month. Lance Stander, Superformance’s CEO made the announcement in the presence of Shelby American Vice President, Vince Laviolette.

Stander said that Superformance has teamed up with Shelby American to develop AN electric drivetrain for the gorgeous GR-1 in addition to a gasoline-powered drivetrain

Superformance is known to be "a distributor of complete, rolling-chassis replica and continuation race cars of the 1960s." The current crop of Superformance vehicles includes replica or continuation Shelby Cobra, Ford GT40, Shelby Cobra Daytona, Caterham, and Corvette Grand Sport models. But this not mean the technology is old. In fact, Stander said there’s also been talk of an electric drivetrain, and that they are “looking into an all-electric version, that’s definitely on the table with Shelby American.” Knowing the company’s affinity towards combustion engines, expect the tuner from Irvine, California to build an electric along with hybrid model. In fact, Ford has already sent Superformance the original 2005 Shelby GR-1 so that engineers and designers could draw inspiration to build their own car.

Why Is The Government Playing The Villain Here?

The Superformance GR-1 May Borrow the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's Power V-8 Engine
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When all the things are in place, why is there a delay?

According to Robb Report, Superformance wants to make and sell its Ford Shelby GR-1 under the Low Car Volume Manufacturers Act, which allows the production of up to 325 models.

All the paperwork from the various government agencies has cleared, except for a stamp of approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Basically, the car is not here because of the government’s shutdown. Stander added that, “we expected a delay, we didn’t think it would be this long. We thought it would come through in early January of 2019, but with the government shutdown, who knows how much longer it will take”.

This Might Be Superformance’s Best-Selling Vehicle

The Superformance GR-1 May Borrow the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's Power V-8 Engine
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The GR-1 has garnered a hell lot of interest. “The reaction to the GR-1 has been the largest we have ever had for a vehicle. For our GT40, we took 150 orders back in 2005 and 2006. We still haven’t opened the order book for the GR-1 and interest has far surpassed the GT40. It’s incredible and very overwhelming. Not a bad problem to have, though; too many people wanting your car,” Stander said.

But don’t get excited reading that Superformance could produce 325 units of the GR-1.

Superformance will be launching around 100 to 200 aluminum bodied special editions with a provision to be polished or painted. But who knows, maybe the tuner will roll out more copies of the GR-1since it has a high demand already.

Final Thoughts

The Superformance GR-1 May Borrow the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's Power V-8 Engine
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The original GR-1 came with a 6.4-liter, all-aluminum V-10 that was officially rated at 604 horses and 501 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a six-speed manual transmission that allows it to accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.9-seconds. It had a projected top speed of 190 miles per hour.

The new GR-1 will most certainly be better than the original one in almost all departments.

The fact that it might feature the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500’s 5.2-liter, V-8 engine is the best thing we heard this week. Now, all we have to wait is for the government to give the necessary approvals to the company so that production can begin at the earliest. There is no word on the pricing yet, but expect it to be priced well into six-digit figures. What are your thoughts on this news? Let us know in the comments section below.

Further reading

The Superformance GR-1 May Borrow the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's Power V-8 Engine
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Read our full review on the 2005 Ford Shelby GR-1.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Shelby GT500

Source: Robb Report

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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