Ford and its Special Vehicle Team (SVT) in-house tuning crew are celebrating 20 years of high-performance Ford cars and trucks with one of the fastest and most powerful Ford cars ever made. The 2013 Shelby GT500 coupe made its official at the 2011 Los Angeles International Auto, but the drop top version was unveield today at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.
For those who have seen the new GT500 coupe, there aren’t too many surprises with the new GT500 convertible including the 650-horsepower engine under the hood. The drop-top Shelby features all of the same styling changes as well as the same options that include the Performance Package and Track Package. After testing at the Sebring International Raceway, Ford says that the new GT500 convertible lapped the track a full 3.5 seconds faster than the 2011 and 2012 GT500.
The Ford SVT division is responsible for building more than 210,000 high-performance cars and trucks over the years ranging from the F-150 Lighting, Ford GT and F-150 SVT Raptor, but it had one of its first models on display, a 1993 Mustang SVT Cobra R (the first one to roll of the assembly line no less). The 1992 Chicago Auto Show is where Ford originally launched this Cobra as well as the F-150 Lightning. Compared to the 650-horsepower 2013 GT500, the 1993 Mustang Cobra used a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 that was rated at just 235 hp. The future of SVT includes the all-new Ford Focus ST.
“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.”