• Jun 13th 2007 at 9:29AM
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Last week, the info leaked onto the web. Today, Ford made it official, announcing the 2008 Shelby GT, which will indeed me available as a convertible. Also, as reported previously, the only color available will be Vista Blue with GT Silver stripes. Convertibles get a light bar with supplemental bracing, and on all cars, the 18" polished Bullitt wheels complement things nicely.

2008 Shelby GTA coupe will also be available, and total Shelby GT production for 2008 will be capped at 2,300 cars (over 6,000 '07s were produced). Everything else having to do with the car is a known commodity. The lower bumper is grabbed from the California Special, and the Shelby also gets an aluminum grille, hood pins, a (non-functional) scoop, Shelby badging outside, a number plate inside, and a cue-ball-topped Hurst shifter for cars with the 5-speed manual transmission. A 5-speed auto is also available. Horsepower is raised to 319 ponies and 330 lb-ft of torque thanks to the Ford Racing Performance Upgrade Package plus a revised exhaust, and the Ford Racing Handling Pack delivers a more sporting ride.

The Shelby GT will be formally introduced today at the Mid-America Ford Performance and Shelby Meet in Tulsa. Production at Carroll Shelby's Las Vegas facility begins in August, and pricing won't be announced until they begin showing up at dealers, who will gleefully slap a surcharge on them. Hang on to your wallets, kids.

[Source: Ford]

2008 Ford Shelby GT Convertible

* New convertible version of the Ford Shelby GT available beginning this summer
* New signature color: Vista Blue with Shelby GT Silver stripes
* Production of 2008 Shelby GT aimed at 2,300 to assure exclusivity for collectors
* Ford Mustang is America's top-selling convertible

DEARBORN, Mich., June 13, 2007 – The magic duo of Ford Mustang and Carroll Shelby bring open-air excitement to the road for the 2008 model year as the Ford Shelby GT returns with a new convertible body style and a new standard color combination. 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.

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.

"The Shelby GT was engineered for people that put performance first," said Carroll Shelby. "Working with Ford Racing, we created this Shelby to be an everyday driver that's tuned for fun at the track. Those who value a well-balanced package will appreciate it. Those who don't will be left behind staring at its tailpipes."

In 2007, Ford Division, Carroll Shelby and Ford Racing joined forces to create a retail version of The Hertz Corporation Shelby GT-H coupe called the Ford Shelby GT. Fewer than 6,000 2007 models were built and all were available only in Performance White or Black.

For 2008, the highly-coveted Shelby GT is available in a new paint combination of Vista Blue with Silver stripes and the choice of two body styles, coupe or convertible.

"The Mustang convertible is the number one selling convertible in the U.S.," states Robert Parker, Ford Division Car Marketing Manager. "Since t he Mustang program never stands still, we wanted to continue offering consumers what they want, and they told us it was a Ford Mustang Shelby GT convertible. "

Shelby GT models begin life 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.

"The birth of the Ford Shelby GT was so well received last year, especially by young enthusiasts, that we brought the car back for the 2008 model year," said Amy Boylan, President of Shelby Automobiles. "The enormous response to Hertz's Shelby GT-H convertible convinced us to offer customers a drop top Shelby GT. And we had so many requests for blue that we decided to make it our signature color in 2008."

Every Shelby GT is built to perform and is the result of extensive development. Aerodynamics were key to sculpting t he powerful, unique front fascia with an aggressive lower air dam. The hood scoop comes directly from the famed Shelby Cobra roadster while unique side scoops are positioned just before the rear wheel arches. The rear fascia frames dual exhaust tips, and a Shelby badge graces the trunk lid.

"The partnership between Ford Racing and Shelby demonstrates our ability to work together to deliver some of the most exciting Mustang's ever built," said Jamie Allison, Ford Racing Performance Group Manager. "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."

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 offers 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.

The balanced package includes 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. The overall ride height was dropped to reduce body roll 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. Like all Mustang convertibles, each drop top will have a stylish light bar and supplemental bracing to give the car additional stiffness.

"The Shelby GT is for drivers," says Boylan. "We enhanced the motor, the chassis and other bits to make it a fun, balanced car that is equally at home on the street or track. It's easy to drive, very fast and offers great value for the price."

Approximately 2,300 Shelby GT coupes and convertibles will 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. Shelby Automobiles production is scheduled to begin in August 2007. Pricing will be announced as vehicles arrive at dealerships.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With more than 280,000 employees and more than 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.

About Shelby Automobiles, Inc.

Founded by legend Carroll Shelby, Shelby Automobiles, Inc., manufactures and markets performance vehicles and related products. The company manufactures authentic continuation Cobras, including the 427 S/C, 289 FIA and 289 street car component vehicles. The company has partnered with Ford Motor Company to produce the Shelby GT, Shelby GTH and GT500KR, which are based on the Mustang. For more information about Shelby Automobiles, visit www.shelbyautos.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Christopher Watts
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah, thought this was (officially) coming after seeing the HERTZ add in this months Autmobile magazine. I'm a Mustang man, fan, and owner; but I can't see the justification in the extreme cost jump. But, there ARE enough die-hard Shelby fans that will relish the idea of having (yet another) CS signed Mustang. Gitrdun!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford vehicles are always a disappointment. At least they upgraded the suspension so it may not handle as bad as it the previous one. If you’re going to spend the money, and you actually want a sports car – buy a used E39 M5, E46 M3, 911, S4 – something that doesn’t need 4.6L to generate 319 hp. But, I guess mustangs are still made because there are plenty of red necks and middle aged men who have hit their mid life crisis.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Its not about comparing apples to apples - its about buying a good sports car for your money. I am sure that someone looking at a shelby mustang isn't looking for something to tote the kids around in, they are looking for an element of performance (an illusion of performance in ford's case). that was the founding logic behind my comment. Yes, i think it is quite obvious that anything german is going to be vastly superior to the zenith of american technology - but then again, that was not the argument. you must be a mustang fan...
        • 8 Years Ago
        I mean - even if you are a muscle car person - do you really want something with FAKE scoops on it? I mean, regardless of who you are, that is a little cheesy - and the "good old american muscle" mustang has been doing it for almost ten years now. While you're at it you should go to Wal-Mart and pick up some Lund scoops and put them on the boot.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Matt - yes, i agree, i claimed nothing about muscle cars and yes, if you want a muscle car, you aren't going to get a porsche. However, the older mustangs, in my opinion are more "muscular." but, i was solely speaking about sports cars (of which it is not necessarily one).

        Alex, again - yes it is more of a collectible, again, not what i was saying (even though an older porsche or BMW would still be better - but that is a matter of taste). In my claim i was discounting driver taste and preference and using track times as a base. Which may not be fair to the mustang, because as Matt said, it is a muscle car, not a sports car. Maybe i was wrong placing it into a category where it doesn't belong, but i was not wrong in my assertion that it is inferior when it is placed in that particular category (which i am sure any ford salesperson calls it a sports car, or muscle car interchangibly, which is my justification to my comparison).
        • 8 Years Ago
        I like Mustangs, sure. I've also driven the current GT and can say that it's good, and offers ridiculous bang for the buck.

        "Buying a good sports car for your money" also needs to take into account the tastes and the nature of the buyer. The Shelby GT is an enhanced Mustang GT that offers a slight power bump and better handling. It is also limited-availability and will be treated as a collectible (which it is) by most buyers. Those people don't want a used 911 or M3. They want a new Shelby GT, which may well be living in a garage next to an equally-new edition of any of the cars you mentioned.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Give me a break Keith. I'm no redneck and I love my MUSTANGS! Great american muscle. Those other cars you named are SPORTS cars, not MUSCLE cars. There is a difference. To each their own, ya know?
        • 8 Years Ago
        Way to compare apples to apples, dude.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Mustang with a smaller, less powerful engine and narrower tires is a couple tenths faster than a ls1 fbody. At least that extra 1.1 liter gets you an extra 10hp. If the Camaro was that great, they would still make it. It was an imitation.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Rob, this Mustang is not a couple of ticks faster than a stock LS1 fbody. The LS1 had around 350 HP regardless of year or body style. A stock fbody whether stick or auto ran mid 13's all day long. Heck, good drivers managed to get stock LS1's into the high 12's.

        Besides...they stopped building fbodies in 2002....SIX YEARS AGO!!!!

        GM now has the L76(6.0L 362 HP). LS3(6.2L 430 HP), LS7 (7.0L 505 HP) and LS9(not sure of the name yet, but will be supercharged 6.2L 600+ HP)
      • 8 Years Ago
      did that sports pack fix the mush handling? Shelby should at least be as good as Roush. So far thats not the case. I know I know, price price, still, when you hear the name Shelby ....
      • 8 Years Ago
      Agree with the cheap interior thing. the plastics are hard and cold. I do like the toned down dash panel color, rather than sun-glaring silver.

      If I were going to get a mustang, a Shelby GT coupe 5-speed would be where I would start from, although why no 6-speed?

      But for me to get a mustang, it needs to lose several hundred pounds, and gain an IRS, at the same time.

      but until that point, I'd almost rather completely gut, modify and rebuild a fox body t-top, or spend the cash on a new car with a new suspension.

      G37 looks very nicely modern almost as much power from a V6 (I would salivate over a G45 V8 6-speed coupe...), and the proposed hyundai genesis V8 coupe could be very interesting, and probably lighter weight.

      That isn't to mention the A5/S5 and the 330 twin turbo BMW, which are not THAT much more expensive than a Shelby GT, and less than a GT500.

      The mustang can't survive forever on it's replay outward good looks. The Mustang isn't bad, but it badly needs to live in the now, rather than "back in the day..."
        • 8 Years Ago
        Mustang (V8 coupe) is only 3600lbs, G35 and G37 are heavier, with less balz.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Mustang (V8 coupe) is only 3600lbs, G35 and G37 are heavier, with less balz.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice golf ball shift knob!
      Geesh...can't they ever put any decent interior styling into these things? For gosh sakes this car has the same heating/cooling and radio as the F350. Rediculous in my opinion.
      • 8 Years Ago
      With Ford being in the predicament it is these days a rolling advertisement (and a damn good one at that) is welcome. I truly love this automobile.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not a fan of the interior, but LOVE the Hurst shifter and knob!!! It's a shame it's taking so long for the newer Challenger and Camaro to arrive. Then after they do, it'll be close to a year for a convertible??? Argh, it's taking too LONG!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes, we all know Ford is whoring the Mustang for every little thing. What do you expect from a company in the tank and in need of cash? Shelby is just as much of a prostitute as the Mustang. He heckled carmakers for building heavy sport coupes, then he attaches his name (the only this he contributed) to some obese and overprices machines. I hate to hear Carroll Shelby being called "America's Enzo Ferrari"--Ferrari never went this low.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Its funny to me that literally 10 years after the LS1 Camaro Debuted, the mustang still isnt up to where the camaro was in terms of power.Fords V8's are pathetic.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Mustang could never compete? LOL. You are high. The mustang has always been the all round car that F-bodies never were. By the way the N/A Cobras 96-01 ran with the big bad LS1 no problem and handled waaaaay better. 10 years ago with the (1993) aged 32v , so stop holding onto this image of GM dominance years ago BS. The 03-04 Cobra stomps all F-bodies, btw, and no we don't care that its F/I, heck ford had the N/A Cobra R which ran in Corvette (C5) territory. PS: There are no f-bodies any more.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Pathetic how? Pathetic like GM's 3800 which pushes out a whopping 197 hp? Or the 5.3L that pumps out 303hp? Or the Northstar that pumps out 275hp or even 320hp (1 more than Ford's "pathetic" V-8)? Ford V-8s can pump out some good power with some simple mods. Also, the LS1 in the Camaro and Firebird only pumped out 330hp.

        Dont get me wrong, I loved the Camaro and Firebird/Trans Am. But basing horsepower and performance by the size of a car's engine is just plain silly. Whether you want to believe it or not, the Mustang is a good deal. And it will be hard for GM to price the next Camaro in the same price bracket (if they want to make it feel like it actually has some quality this time around).
        • 8 Years Ago
        Alright now, The "330" hp LS1 is over 10 year old technology and still beats this, fords highest powered n/a 'stang. The northstar v8's are for caddilac's not supposed perfomance cars, and even so, northstars are smaller displacement than the ford v8. I have friends with lightly massaged LS1's, well into the 12's, stock z28's and SS's have been known to be as fast as 13.0 or so, the mustang could never compete, even 10 years later its a girls car. nice my little pony on the hood, ford=fags
        • 8 Years Ago
        Whatever. You have your opinion and that's cool. Plus, I know people with lightly massaged GTs that could easily take on those Camaros. Also, the Northstar is 4.6L...same as the Mustang.

        While I do love the Mustang, I personally wanna get my hands on a late model WS-6. Plus, you were right about the HP rating. Sorry. In 2002, power was up to 345. I somehow forgot about that...
      • 8 Years Ago
      My point is the z28 made 310hp, not 350. C&D put the Gt at 5.1 to 60 and 13.8@103et. Thats well within what the z28 did. If the camaro would have been so great the mustang wouldnt have out sold it 4 to 1. It would also not have been canned and gone on 6,7,8 year hiatus. If it were alive today, no doubt it would have a 6.0 and soon to be 6.2. It would also be looking at cobra rear end.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't know what it is but something about the way it looks is just wrong...really odd. I love the picture of the rear seats- looks like loads of leg room back there ;)
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