Las Vegas - Shelby American has concocted something truly special to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the tuning company that was formed after Carroll Shelby teamed up with Ford to create the original Shelby Cobra.
For only the third time in its history, Shelby is attaching its ‘King of the Road’ label to a GT500 model and the new creation will be a very rare machine, with just 225 set to be built. 45 of these will be exported outside of the US, although it has yet to be confirmed whether any are on course for South Africa.
The Shelby GT500KR, as it’s dubbed, takes performance to a whole new level. Set to produce over 900 horsepower (or 671kW in metric speak) the new edition is over 100kW beefier than the ‘regular’ GT500. This is largely thanks to a brand new 3.8-litre Whipple supercharger that’s equipped with a larger throttle body, cold air intake, updated pulley system and dual-core pass intercooler.
Owners can also look forward to a rumbly Borla cat-back exhaust system.
But the Shelby GT500KR doesn’t just add power, it “adds lightness” as Colin Chapman would have said. The key ingredient here is a carbon fibre bonnet that cuts over 13kg off the kerb weight, while also employing water managed side vents to improve engine cooling. The exterior package also includes a front splitter, rear diffuser and Gurney flap all made from carbon fibre.
Chassis mods include adjustable front and rear springs as well as recalibrated adaptive dampers. The car rolls on 20-inch forged alloy wheels that are available with a polished or gloss black finish.
Although the Shelby GT500KR was built for the 2022 model year, owners of existing MY2020 and 2021 GT500s can have their cars converted to KR spec too, although only the MY2022 versions will have 60th Anniversary badging.
“The current Shelby GT500 already has amazing capabilities,” said Shelby American R&D chief Vince LaViolette. “We’re taking it to an entirely new level for the extreme driver. We integrated a new supercharger and coolers, then tuned the 5.2-liter V8 to churn out 900 plus horsepower on pump gas.
“The KR has more aggressive adjustable springs, Ford Performance sway bars and a new aggressive suspension tune. The exhaust was reworked to be even bolder and we sliced 30 pounds off with an ultra-light dry carbon fiber hood that delivers even more cooling. An optional wide body version is even available.”
The first Shelby GT500KR build will be auctioned at No Reserve in late January at the Barrett-Jackson event held in Scottsdale, Arizona.