In 2007, Ford, Carroll Shelby and Ford Racing teamed up to create a new muscle car that would slot between the Mustang GT and the bonkers Shelby GT500. The result was the Shelby GT, which featured a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine tuned to generate 319 horsepower. Visual differences include a rear-spoiler delete, a retro Shelby hood scoop, and silver stripes. First available only as a coupe, the GT received a convertible version in 2008. Vista Blue, the color that would become the signature hue of the nameplate, was added the same year. Axed before 2009, the Shelby GT returned for the 2014 model year with 430 horsepower in base form and 624 ponies as the GT/SC. Now that the 2015 Mustang is already upon us, Shelby revised the GT for the second time with updated looks, an upgraded engine and a host of Ford Performance Parts.

Equipped with carbon-fiber body parts, a supercharged V-8 that cranks out 627 horses, three more when compared with the previous, range-topping GT/SC, this new Shelby GT is the most powerful Mustang wearing a Shelby badge as of 2015. Yes, it is more powerful than the 2016 GT350, although the GT is the kind of muscle car best tuned for running in a straight line rather than on a twisty track like the GT350. Keep reading to find out more about Shelby American’s latest muscle car.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Shelby GT.

Exterior

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Modification are most visible up front, where the Mustang's standard grille has been replaced by a Shelby piece made out of billet aluminum.

The GT may be devoid of the GT350’s fast-looking body kit, but it’s menacing to look at nonetheless. Sure, the GT350 is arguably the meanest sixth-generation Mustang around, but the added Shelby parts enable the GT to stand out in a pack of regular Ford Mustangs. Modification are most visible up front, where the Mustang’s standard grille has been replaced by a Shelby piece made out of billet aluminum. The lower apron also received a larger splitter, while the bulged hood with functional vents signals there’s a mean supercharger in the engine compartment.

Around back, the Mustang GT received a unique trunk-lid spoiler, a two-piece diffuser with body-colored fins and chrome exhaust tips in order to become a Shelby. When viewed from the side, the Shelby GT boasts WELD Racing wheels wrapped in Michelin tires and Shelby decals right above the side skirts.

Customers can also select to have their carbon-fiber parts painted or the chrome exhaust tips replaced by carbon-fiber outlets.

Interior

Add-ons include Shelby-branded headrests and floor mats, Shelby GT door sill plates, a CSM dash plaque, and a carbon-fiber dash pod with three gauges.

Interior modifications are less extensive, but they do help set the Shelby GT apart from the standard Mustang GT. Add-ons include Shelby-branded headrests and floor mats, Shelby GT door sill plates, a CSM dash plaque, and a carbon-fiber dash pod with three gauges. All told, the Shelby GT’s cabin features 95-percent of the Mustang GT’s interior.

Shelby American mentions the availability of a "custom interior on both stock and Recaro seats" as an option, but no actual details are given.

Drivetrain

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the supercharger strapped to the tried-and-true 5.0-liter, Coyote V-8 whines to the tune of 627 horsepower.

Granted, here’s where the big news lies. The Shelby GT might not feature Ford’s brand-new, 5.2-liter, flat-plane-crank V-8, but the supercharger strapped to the tried-and-true 5.0-liter, Coyote V-8 whines to the tune of 627 horsepower. And that’s just the base figure, as an optional performance upgrade will take the output beyond 700 horsepower. Not just powerful, the Shelby GT sounds incredible too, mainly thanks to its Borla exhaust system.

Keeping all those ponies on their best behavior are Ford Racing half-shafts, upgraded shocks, springs and sway bars, and performance Wilwood front brakes. Further upgrades are found on the options list, which includes performance rear brakes, an updated front-brake cooling system, a Shelby Extreme cooling system, and an adjustable track suspension package.

There are no performance figures available as of January 2015, but I expect the Shelby GT to storm from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds, with either the six-speed manual or the automatic transmission.

Prices

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Shelby American is taking orders for the GT muscle car starting January 2015, with deliveries to begin in the second quarter of the year. Pricing starts from $39,995, not including the base Ford Mustang GT. The latter starts from $32,300 for the 2015 model year, meaning the Shelby GT fetches a whopping $72,295 before options.

Competition

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat High Resolution Exterior
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Although it’s only a few months old as of January 2015, the Challenger Hellcat SRT has many credentials to its name. Firstly, the Hellcat is the most powerful production muscle car thanks to its 707-horsepower, supercharged, 6.2-liter, HEMI V-8. Secondly, it needs only 3.5 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph and just 11.2 seconds to run the quarter-mile. Once the regular tires are replaced by drag radials, that benchmark drops to an incredible 10.8 seconds.

What’s more, the coupe begins from only $60,990, providing the best horsepower-for-the-buck ratio in today’s market, beating anything both Ford and General Motors have to offer. Granted, the Hellcat is arguably superior to the GT in many aspects, but Ford fans will find it difficult to say no to a Shelby emblem. And they can’t have it on a Hellcat...

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 SC652 by Callaway Cars

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 SC652 by Callaway Cars Exterior
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When it comes to supercharged muscle cars wearing a GM badge, the Chevy Camaro ZL1 is the only factory option. But even though it comes in an enticing package that boasts 580 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque, the ZL1 is no match for the Shelby GT. Killing the latter will require a trip to Callaway Cars, which took Chevy’s naturally aspirated Camaro Z/28 and turned it into a force-fed beast that cranks out 652 ponies and 620 pound-feet. That’s an extra 147 horses and 139 pound-feet, which is enough to lower the Z/28’s 0-to-60 sprint to 3.7 seconds and quarter-mile time to 11.5 seconds.

As exciting as it may sound, the Callaway’s Z/28 comes with one major problem. It’s a lot more expensive than its rivals at $94,994 including the base car and it’s quite rare to find, as Callaway built it in only 10 examples. Good luck chasing one.

Conclusion

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The arrival of the Shelby GT is great news for two reasons. Firstly, Ford finally has a Mustang to give the Challenger Hellcat a run for its money. Secondly, the GT signals that Shelby is not yet willing to give up on the heritage of its fifth-gen Mustangs and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a brand-new GT500, as well as a Super Snake upgrade arrive in the near future. If a beefed-up Mustang with more than 850 ponies at its disposal isn’t exciting enough, I don’t know what is.

  • Leave it
    • * Challenger Hellcat brings more power for less moolah
    • * Likely not very capable at the track

Press Release

Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI:PK), launched the first global Shelby GT muscle car, which is based on the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang GT. One of the most popular cars in Shelby history the 627 HP 2015 Shelby GT was unveiled today at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction in Ford Motor Company’s booth. Shelby is now taking orders with delivery of cars planned for the beginning of the second quarter of 2015.

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“This 2015 Shelby GT incorporates all of the engineering lessons we’ve learned building high performance vehicles over the past 50 years,” said Joe Conway, co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American “With the international distribution of the current Ford Mustang, we worked closely with our partners to develop a car that can be offered in both North America and overseas. It’s the first Shelby muscle car in our history designed from day one to be a truly global vehicle.”

In 2007, Ford Division, Carroll Shelby and Ford Racing created the Shelby GT. Beginning as 4.6L Mustang GT’s assembled at Ford, they were shipped to Shelby in Las Vegas for transformation. Around 8,000 Shelby GT’s were built from 2007 to 2008 and the wildly popular car dominated its SCCA racing class. In 2013, Shelby American returned the Shelby GT to its lineup after a five year hiatus.

“We took a new approach with the 2015 Shelby GT,” said Shelby American Vice President of Operations Akos J. Feher. “We had a lot of fun designing these cars and ended up building the most powerful Shelby GT ever offered without sacrificing reliability. All exterior parts were designed and developed in-house, with every component exclusive to Shelby. We only used lightweight carbon fiber for all the aerodynamic components, including the brand new hood. The components were designed to allow a high level of customization for our customers, like the new billet aluminum front grilles.”

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Every aspect of the Shelby GT is enhanced to create a potent all-around performer. Like it’s predecessor, this car features Ford Racing Performance Parts including a 627 HP supercharger, performance handling kit and half shafts. Gearing has been upgraded 3.73 gears and paired with chrome-tipped Borla exhaust. The Shelby GT rides on a staggered set of WELD Racing wheels shod with sticky Michelin tires.

This car loves the twisties and can handle the curves thanks to the new performance handling kit. The Wilwood six piston front brakes ensure the car can stop on a dime. The base car’s good looks are enhanced by adding a new hood with functional air vents and other functional aerodynamic components like a 2-piece rear diffuser. All of the Shelby exclusive exterior parts are made of carbon fiber; they are not only functional but also look great either painted or unpainted. Shelby exclusive front grilles, made entirely out of billet aluminum highlight the already aggressive nose of the car.

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A Shelby GT can be built based on either a manual or automatic Mustang GT, is 50 state emissions legal in the USA and runs on pump gas. Shelby’s most demanding customers can order a ’15 Shelby GT with a long list of options including a 700+HP performance upgrade, adjustable suspension, upgraded big brake kit, and a number of interior upgrades.

“The 2015 Shelby GT is a nicely balanced muscle car that does everything well, whether on the track or on the drag strip” said Gary Patterson, Shelby American Vice President of Strategic Sales and Media Relations. “This post-title program takes performance to extreme levels. At the same time, the styling is sleek yet uniquely American with touches from Shelby history. Based on the fantastic new Ford Mustang platform, the Shelby GT can easily double as formidable daily driver and then run rings around the competition at track events.”

This is a post-title program; Ford dealers worldwide can contact Shelby American to build a Shelby GT based on a car owned by a customer or one of their 2015 Mustang GT fastbacks or convertibles. Each car will be issued a Shelby American CSM number for documentation in the official Shelby American Worldwide Registry to maximize potential collectability.

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“The demand for Shelby vehicles, parts and products around the globe continues to skyrocket,” said Neil Cummings co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Carroll Shelby Licensing. “In addition to a superb facility in Las Vegas, Shelby is establishing mod shops worldwide. This will allow enthusiasts worldwide who have access to a Ford Mustang to transform it into a Shelby GT locally.”

The price of the base Shelby GT modification, not including the Ford Mustang GT, is $39,995. Customers can build their Shelby GT online at http://www.shelbyamerican.com/2015shelbygt.asp or call (702) 942-7325/ (844) 974-3529.

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