Chicago Auto Show: 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible marks SVT’s 20th anniversary

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 8, 2012

Ford unveiled today at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show the 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible, a car that marks SVT’s 20th anniversary. For those who don’t know, the official launch of SVT (Special Vehicle Team) was made back in 1992 at the Chicago Auto Show with the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra and SVT F-150 Lightning. The 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra offered a 235-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine, but now things are changes and the 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible comes with a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 aluminum-block engine producing 650 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque.

Moreover, the 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible comes with the optional Performance Package, which makes it faster around a track than the outgoing model.

According to Ford, the 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible shaved nearly 3.5 seconds off its lap time at Sebring International Raceway compared to the 2011 and 2012 models. Apparently, the SVT-designed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers available on the Performance Package and the all-new chassis tuning are the reasons.

In addition, the 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible offers a normal mode driving which gives customers a more comfortable ride over road irregularities while the sport mode is all about performance and delivers delivering improved response time on the track and less body roll while cornering with reduced pitch under braking. Similar to the coupe, the convertible can be upgraded with the Track Package, complete with an external engine oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler for further durability. P.S. Also check the 2013 Shelby GT500 Coupe!

Press Release

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible

Twenty years after the launch of the original 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra and SVT F-150 Lightning, Ford is celebrating with the fastest open-air Mustang of all time, the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible.

In honor of SVT's anniversary, a commemorative lighted sill plate will be used in the 2013 Shelby GT500 to celebrate the many years of performance vehicles. The 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra offered a 235-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine, which demonstrates just how far the cars have come in 20 years. The 2013 Shelby GT500 with its 662-horsepower V8 marks the latest offering from one of the oldest and most successful automotive performance groups in the world.

"The Shelby GT500 Convertible is every bit the performer that the coupe is," said Kerry Baldori, SVT Global Performance Vehicles chief engineer. "All of the significant changes we made in the program were instrumental in delivering a convertible that could really shine on the track but can still be driven on a daily basis."

The 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible with optional Performance Package is faster around a track than the outgoing model. The new convertible shaved nearly 3.5 seconds off its lap time at Sebring International Raceway compared to the 2012 model.

Keys to the improved lap times are the power boost from the new 5.8-liter supercharged V8 producing 662 horsepower, as well as the SVT-designed Bilstein™ electronic adjustable dampers available on the Performance Package and the all-new chassis tuning.

Accessed on the dash with a simple push of a button, normal mode gives customers a more comfortable ride over road irregularities. Sport mode is all about performance, delivering improved response time on the track and less body roll while cornering with reduced pitch under braking. The upgraded dampers allowed SVT engineers to tune the convertible more aggressively for the track while still allowing desirable on-road manners.

A new Brembo™ brake system also is a key enabler in boosting the performance of the convertible. The new brakes offer drivers enhanced stopping power to help keep their car under control, while new six-piston calipers in front along with larger front and rear rotors further improve braking performance. More aggressive brake pads also help the car achieve rapid deceleration and further robustness for more driver confidence.

Similar to the coupe, the convertible is offered with a Performance Package that also can be upgraded to a Track Package, complete with an external engine oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler for further durability.

Twenty years of high-performance innovation

Each of the more than 210,000 SVT vehicles produced since 1993 has been designed and developed with the four SVT attributes in mind: Performance, Substance, Exclusivity and Value. These hallmarks still guide the brand's vehicle development today.

"In the past 20 years, SVT has engineered world-class mid-engine supercars, front-wheel-drive performance cars, rear-wheel-drive muscle cars and high-performance on-road and off-road pickup trucks," said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief engineer. "There is no other performance house in the world that can match that diverse résumé."

Since 1993 more than seven different SVT vehicles have been produced, including several versions of the Cobra and Shelby GT500, the F-150 Lightning performance pickup and F-150 SVT Raptor, the SVT Contour sports sedan, plus both three- and five-door versions of the SVT Focus. Special SVT Mustang Cobra R models were made in 1993, 1995 and 2000.

SVT has joined with Team RS in Europe to form the Performance Vehicles Group to devise a strategy for all future global performance Ford cars. The resulting Focus ST is Ford's first truly global performance car, giving drivers around the world the opportunity to share the exhilarating performance, excellent handling, addictive sound and sporty design Ford's ST badge represents. The Ford Fiesta ST Concept also signals the next step in Ford's global performance vehicle strategy and hints at how a future Fiesta ST model might look when it joins the Focus ST in the global small car portfolio.

2013 Ford Shelby GT500

The ultimate Ford Mustang - Shelby GT500 - raises the bar high on performance by delivering a track-tested top speed of more than 200 mph. The 5.8-liter supercharged V8 aluminum-block engine produces 662 horsepower and 631 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful production V8 in the world.

Nearly every part of the powertrain has been optimized for producing the additional horsepower, including a new supercharger, new cross-drilled block and heads, updated camshaft profiles, a new carbon fiber driveshaft and upgraded clutch, transmission and axle.

And nearly every gear on the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 has been revised to manage the torque and use more of the power in a way that makes it more driver-friendly.

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