The much talked about 2008 Ford Shelby GT is now officially launched by Ford, as Ford Mustang and Carroll Shelby once again bring open-air excitement to the road with the return of the Ford Shelby GT this time, coming with a new convertible body style and a new standard color combination.
The 2008 Ford Shelby GT convertible is being formally introduced to Shelby and Ford enthusiasts at the annual Mid-America Ford Performance and Shelby Meet, which opens today in Tulsa, Okla.
And like all Shelby Mustang models, production will be limited to assure exclusivity for collectors. The 2008 Shelby GT coupe and convertible will be available from select Ford dealers beginning in August 2007.
In 2007, Ford Division, Carroll Shelby and Ford Racing collaborated to create a retail version of The Hertz Corporation Shelby GT-H coupe called the Ford Shelby GT. Not more than 6,000 2007 models of the vehicle were produced, with every vehicle available only in Performance White or Black.
For 2008, the highly-coveted Shelby GT is available in a new striking paint combination of Vista Blue with Silver stripes and the choice of two body styles, coupe or convertible.
Shelby GT models start out as a specially-equipped Mustang GT assembled at the AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The cars are then shipped to the Shelby Automobiles facility in Las Vegas for transformation before delivery to Ford dealerships nationwide.
Each Shelby GT is built for performance. Extensive development has been made in each model, with aerodynamics as a key factor to the car’s powerful, unique front fascia with an aggressive lower air dam. The hood scoop comes straight from the famed Shelby Cobra roadster while unique side scoops are located just before the rear wheel arches. The rear fascia frames dual exhaust tips, and a Shelby badge graces the trunk lid.
Jamie Allison, Ford Racing Performance Group Manager says that the partnership between Ford Racing and Shelby demonstrates the company’s ability to work together to deliver some of the most exciting Mustang’s ever built, “Ford Racing has a full line of performance parts for Mustang enthusiasts. The Shelby GT convertible is another example of how working together, Shelby and Ford Racing are developing, producing and delivering niche performance Mustangs directly to the customer.”
And the numbers? First check out what’s under the hood — the engine is improved with a Ford Racing Power Upgrade Package to increase output of the 4.6-liter V-8 to 319 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. A high-flow exhaust system with X-pipe crossover enables better power delivery and a throaty V-8 exhaust note. Shelby GT comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission featuring a Hurst short-throw shifter for precise shift action. A five-speed automatic transmission is optional.
Also in the offing is a Ford Racing Handling Pack with special-tuned dampers, unique sway bars and a 3.55:1 ratio rear axle assembly for improved off-the-line acceleration. To reduce body roll the overall ride height was dropped while a front strut-tower brace adds additional strength to the chassis structure. The 2008 models will sport 18-inch polished wheels with high-performance P235/50ZR18 BF Goodrich gForce tires to maximize the upgrades.
Around 2,300 Shelby GT coupes and convertibles are set to be built for model year 2008, available with manual or automatic transmission. Each car will feature an authentication plate on the center dashboard, as well as a matching tag under the hood for documentation in a forthcoming registry.