Ford Motor Co. is considering selling the 650-hp Shelby GT500 Mustang Convertible to other profitable markets outside North America. Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive director of global product programs, says the company believes the muscular GT500 has potential in China and Brazil, among other markets.
"The China market is the largest market in the world, and we believe there's room for a product like this," Thai-Tang said after unveiling the GT500 in Chicago. The GT500 is specifically marketed in North America, where big horsepower vehicles are more popular. It is part of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team unit, which is a line of performance-enhanced models, like the F-150 Raptor pickup.
Thai-Thang, who also works with the SVT business, said the plan to introduce the GT500 to the rest of the world is part of Ford’s new design outlook, the one-world “One Ford” strategy, according to Autonews.
He envisions seeing “a lot of gray-market Mustangs” in all areas of the world. Thai-Tang added that as the company executes its one-Ford strategy, they will look at the global viability of Mustang in other markets. Ford will commence production of the GT500 at Flat Rock, Mich. plant this summer.
Shelby GT500 Mustang is powered by a 5.8-liter supercharged V-8 aluminum-block engine, which Ford describes as "the most powerful production V-8 in the world." The engine provides 650 hp of input and 600 pounds-feet of torque.
GT500 is also enhanced with a new supercharger and camshaft, a new carbon fiber driveshaft as well as a performance-class clutch, transmission and axle. Thai-Tang declined to confirm how much they’re planning to price the GT500 but typically, current GT models have a starting price of around $50,000.
With the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the brand hopes that it will offer what no other Mustang has done considering that it has a complete package that both racing enthusiasts and daily drivers can appreciate. Powering it is the aluminum-block 5.8-liter V8 engine capable of delivering 662 hp with maximum torque at 631 lb.-ft., allowing maximum of at least 200 mph. The figures are indeed excellent and this is mainly due to the supercharger that is not only larger but also more efficient. This allows more air flow to the engine.
Specifically this is the Twin Vortices Series 2300. Not only that, the brand made sure to enhance the whole cooling system. For example, there is now a high-capacity cooling fan and even a charge air cooler that is more efficient. There is also an intercooler pump that offers higher flow and a fan shroud that comes with high-speed pressure-relief doors.
Even the intercooler heat exchange was updated as it now has a volume that is 36% larger. All of these are able to blend well and ensure that heat is regularly dispelled especially when undergoing extreme-use situations. Indeed, aside from the new supercharger, almost all components of the powertrain have been optimized in order to give that amount of power.
Other new parts include the driveshaft in carbon fiber, all-forged engine rotating assembly, and the cross-drilled heads and block. Upgraded components include the clutch, axle, transmission, head gaskets, and camshaft profiles. Hermann Salenbauch, who is the director of Advanced Product Creation, revealed that SVT has managed to ensure that the Shelby GT500 continues to utilize innovative technologies in order to bring muscle cars to new levels.
The brand has managed to condense all performance aspects of the model, be it the racing circuit, top speed, acceleration from 0 to 60 mph, or the sprint to a quarter mile, he added. Salenbauch continued by saying that even for those who just want to do a daily drive, this model will clearly suit their needs.