The Shelby name has been attached to a lot of different kinds of cars from different manufacturers and with different kinds of engines. But so far, Shelby Mustangs have all been powered by V-8s. Displacements and power outputs have varied by a lot, and some have been naturally aspirated while others have used forced induction, but it has always been a V-8. That all changes this year, as Shelby has just announced a Shelby GT package for the EcoBoost Mustang. The package will be available in North America, but it is intended to appeal primarily to customers in other parts of the world. This is why the car will make its first public appearance at the Goodwood Revival in the U.K., also marking the official European debut of Shelby International.

To a lot of Americans, the idea of a four-cylinder Shelby Mustang might seem blasphemous; but for those living in other countries, particularly in Europe, V-8 Mustangs may be out of reach due to huge price increases caused by tax and insurance regulations. The GT EcoBoost is therefore a way for Europeans to be able to buy a Shelby Mustang without having to pay near-supercar prices for it.

Continue reading to learn more about the Shelby GT EcoBoost Mustang.

  • 2016 Shelby GT EcoBoost Mustang
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    335
  • Displacement:
    2.3 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    23995
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Shelby GT EcoBoost Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Shelby GT EcoBoost Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Shelby GT EcoBoost Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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The GT EcoBoost package is not cheap, and the exterior changes are extensive. Many of the upgrades are the same as the ones found on packages offered on V-8 Mustangs. This includes the extensive use of carbon fiber, notable in the front splitter, hood, rear spoiler and rocker panel. There are bigger wheels, which now completely fill the wheel arches, and the usual stripe package that you would expect from a Shelby. The grille has been changed and has much more of a ’60s race car look to it, similar to that of the V-8 GT, but still noticeably different. It’s quite an aggressive look, but that’s what you want in a Shelby Mustang.

Interior

Shelby makes no mention of any changes to the interior of the car, but it’s safe to assume that the same option list as other Mustangs will be offered. The package comes with essentially nothing as standard, but with the kinds of performance-oriented options you’d expect: racing seats, five-point harnesses, gauge pods and a roll cage are all on the list, but can quickly add several thousand to the price. But as sports cars go, the Mustang has a good interior as it is, and the many options for it that are available from Ford should keep customers happy.

Drivetrain

2016 Shelby GT EcoBoost Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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This is generally where Shelby cars shine, but this time around the engine hasn’t been changed all that much. The GT EcoBoost is putting out just 25 extra horsepower, up to 335, with the upgrade. It’s not entirely clear whether this had to do with EU carbon emissions regulations or what, but the press release does at one point say that the bump in performance hasn’t altered the car’s fuel economy numbers. The car has instead been modified to be lighter, and Shelby says that it now handles considerably better.

There are upgraded brakes, and a Ford Performance handling pack upgraded suspension. The exhaust has also been replaced with a system that Shelby calls “throatier.” It’s kind of disappointing that Shelby hasn’t turned the EcoBoost Mustang into some kind of screaming 500-horsepower beast, but the truth is that this isn’t too far off from the treatment given to the original 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350 back in 1965. There was a mild power bump for that one too, but the tuning concentrated more on reducing weight and improving handling.

Prices

The GT EcoBoost will set you back $23,995, plus the cost of the car, which starts at about $30,000. But that’s U.S. pricing For countries on the euro, it starts at 37,000 (about $42,000) and its £30,000 price tag in the U.K. is equal to about $46,000. V-8 Mustang prices easily clear the $50,000 equivalent mark for both currencies, and it’s easy to see why the tremendous amounts that taxes and insurance add to that would price a V-8 Shelby out of competition for any but the most diehard of fans. The GT EcoBoost is still quite expensive, even in the U.S. it could easily double the price of the car once you start selecting optional equipment, but it does manage to stay in a price range where European sales aren’t impossible.

Competition

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG

2014 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG High Resolution Exterior
- image 499293

Since the GT EcoBoost is meant primarily for Europe, we should take a look at some of the European competition. One of the big criticisms that the CLA 45 AMG usually faces is that it’s a bit too expensive for a four-cylinder performance car, but that isn’t such a big deal anymore, when compared to the Shelby. You get 40 more horses with the Mercedes, but the styling isn’t nearly as aggressive and there are two extra doors.

Read our full review here.

2014 BMW M235i

2014 BMW M235i Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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This will likely be the car to beat for the Shelby. While the Shelby is cheaper than a 2015 BMW M4 by enough not to be threatened by it, the M235i is cheaper than the Shelby by at least as much and offers very nearly the same kind of power. Handling is superb as well, and will probably be a close rival to that of the GT EcoBoost. Personal taste will be the reason why anyone chooses the Shelby over the BMW.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Shelby GT EcoBoost Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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After its European debut, Shelby plans to open up operations in South Africa, China and Australia. The V-8 models will probably be a bigger hit in Australia, but on the whole, it’s hard to argue with the GT EcoBoost as a business decision. Because even if every single person on the planet was completely enamored of the V-8 Shelbys, there are just some markets where it isn’t going to work out all that well. The GT EcoBoost produces more power than the first Shelby Mustangs too, as well as quite a few other cars that have worn Shelby badges. It’s probably not going to be a big hit in the U.S., true, but that’s no reason to make it overly difficult for Europeans to own Shelby Mustangs.

  • Leave it
    • 25 extra horsepower is not a very Shelby number in 2015
    • very expensive
    • disappointing that it isn’t a V8, no matter how much you tell yourself that it’s OK

Press Release

Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI.PK) is expanding its vehicle lineup for global customers by offering a Shelby GT version of the popular EcoBoost model 2015-2016 Ford Mustang. The new car will debut this fall, just after the Goodwood Revival kicks off the company’s official European debut.

2016 Shelby GT EcoBoost Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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“Ever since Ford announced that its terrific new Mustang would be available worldwide, requests for Shelby versions of the car have rolled in from across the globe,” said Joe Conway, Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American. “Since the majority of Mustangs that Ford offers in many of those countries will be the EcoBoost model, our team has been developing a Shelby GT model for the nimble new turbocharged four cylinder car, as well as the V8 powered GT. This package was specifically developed for the recently announced network of Shelby Mod Shops that will stretch from Europe to South Africa, China and Australia. They will add the Shelby package to a Ford Mustang that a customer has purchased in that area.”

Like the manual and automatic transmission 5.0 liter model Shelby GT, the EcoBoost version of the car is far more than stripes and a badge. Shelby American spent significant time developing the car, putting it through extensive testing on the track. The car was refined with a Ford Performance handling pack upgrade, engine tune and a throatier Ford Performance exhaust. The result is over 335 horsepower on 91 octane fuel and significantly better handling.

2016 Shelby GT EcoBoost Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 645551

“Shelby American has delivered a car that not only provides superior handling, it has smooth progressive power and great braking capabilities,” said Vince LaViolette, SAI lead designer and factory test driver. “Yet it doesn’t negate the EcoBoost’s outstanding fuel economy. And the car offers the aggressive styling of the new Shelby GT that enthusiasts demand.”

The $23,995 starting price (not including the base EcoBoost Mustang) includes performance upgrades to the suspension, a least 20 more horsepower, a new exhaust, bigger wheels and tires. Aesthetically, the car will also share some of the treatments from the V8 version of the Shelby GT including a carbon fiber front splitter, hood, rear spoiler and rocker panel. A list of additional performance options are also available including even more aggressive brakes, stronger half shafts, more cooling, brake ducts, etc.

“The Shelby GT EcoBoost is the perfect step into a Shelby Mustang platform for customers around the world,” said Akos Feher, Vice President of Operations. “We now offer Mustang owners everything from aggressive Shelby carbon fiber aesthetic touches to legendary tuning and performance for both the V8 and EcoBoost cars.”

Ford’s family of turbocharged, direct injection EcoBoost four-cylinder was designed to deliver power and torque consistent with those of larger displacement, naturally aspirated engines while achieving approximately 20 percent better fuel efficiency and 15 percent reduced greenhouse emissions.

“The Shelby GT EcoBoost is designed to appeal to a new Shelby enthusiast audience,” said Gary Schechner, Shelby American Vice President Marketing and Sales. “While we believe that Americans will embrace the car, we expect significant demand from this platform internationally where the availability of the V8 Mustang GT may be more limited or taxes and tariffs might prevent ownership of the V8 engine.”

2016 Shelby GT EcoBoost Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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The Shelby GT EcoBoost package starts at $23,995, not including the base car. More information is available at www.Shelby.com or by calling (702) 942-7325. Shelby American will be accepting deposits on a first-come, first-served basis.

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