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!
More than 210,000 vehicles have been produced by SVT since 1993, and each of them has been designed and developed possessing four SVT attributes: substance, performance, value, and exclusivity. These hallmarks still actually guide SVT’s vehicle development until today.
Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer at SVT, says that in the past two decades, the company has engineered mid-engine supercars that are world-class, front-wheel-drive performance vehicles, rear-wheel-drive muscle cars, as well as high-performance on- and off-road pickup trucks. According to him, no other performance house can match SVT’s diverse résumé.
Since 1993, SVT has produced more than seven different vehicles, including several versions of F-150 SVT Raptor, F-150 Lightning performance pickup, SVT Contour sports sedan, Cobra and Shelby GT500, and the SVT Focus’ three- and five-door versions. Moreover, special SVT Mustang Cobra R cars were produced in 1993, 1995, and 2000.
SVT joined hands with Team RS in Europe in order to form a group called Performance Vehicles Group for the purpose of devising a strategy for global performance Ford cars. This resulted in a Focus ST that is Ford's first real global performance vehicle, giving drivers the chance to share the exciting performance, outstanding handling, addictive sound and athletic design that Ford's ST badge truly represents. What’s more, the Ford Fiesta ST Concept signals the next step in the company’s global performance car strategy and gives a hint at how a Fiesta ST model will look in the future when it unites with the Focus ST in the international small car portfolio.