2011 Ford Shelby GT500 – click above for high-res image gallery

We've just gotten off the horn with Ford's SVT performance division, and we've learned that the Blue Oval's hot-rod arm is going to limit production of the 2011 Shelby GT500 to 5,500 units for this model year. According to Ford spokesman Henry Platts, the move is not the result of slow sales, but rather a desire to maintain exclusivity. In fact, sales of Ford's king of the Mustang range have "exceeded expectations," with in excess of 3,300 orders already placed.

The 550-horsepower GT500 has not only been performing surprisingly well in a down economy, it's been going out the door loaded-to-the sills with options. According to Platts, there have been three times as many GT500 coupes ordered with the $1995 glass roof option as compared to the regular Mustang. In the "News That Makes Us Happy" category comes word that a full 68 percent have been spec'd out with the $3,495 performance package (includes 19- and 20-inch painted forged alloys, 3.73 limited-slip, tuned suspension, Gurney flap rear spoiler, etc.), and additionally, 70 percent of all GT500s have been ordered with the $2,340 electronics package (navi, dual-zone HVAC and Sirius/HD radio). With the GT500 starting at an out-the-door price of $49,495 before options, we're guessing that the GT500 is more than carrying its weight for Dearborn's bottom line.

While Ford is limiting total output of the GT500 to 5,500 units for 2011, Platts says the automaker has no plans to dictate how that shakes out in the coupe/convertible bodystyle mix. That said, if you've been fence-sitting on whether to pick up a GT500 of your very own this year, might we suggest that you make up your mind... quickly.


Related Gallery2011 Ford Shelby GT500 with SVT Performance Package

[Source: Ford]



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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2011 FORD SHELBY GT500 IN HIGH DEMAND, RAPIDLY APPROACHING PRODUCTION LIMIT

• Annual production of the 2011 Ford Shelby GT500 has been limited to 5,500 units to maintain exclusivity of the product

• Demand for the new 2011 Ford Shelby GT500 has exceeded expectations with more than 3,300 initial dealer and retail orders received to date

• Premium features including the glass roof and the Electronics Package with SYNC, navigation and HD Radio™ are exceeding expectations as consumers show an appetite for new features and technology

DEARBORN, Mich., July 12, 2010 – Customer demand for Ford's new 2011 Shelby GT500 is growing nearly as fast as the world's fastest production pony car. More than 3,300 orders have been placed for the new Shelby GT500. To ensure exclusivity, U.S. sales of the 2011 Shelby GT500 will be limited to 5,500 units.

"We are pleased with the pace of retail orders for the 2011 Shelby GT500," said Fritz Wilke, Mustang brand manager. "The car continues to be popular with sports car enthusiasts and collectors who are blown away by the increase in horsepower and performance. The limited production of the 2011 should make this year even more desirable."

The 2011 Shelby GT500 is powered by a new aluminum-block 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine, which produces 550 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque, a 10 horsepower increase over the 2010 model. The engine is 102 pounds lighter than its predecessor, delivering a better power-to-weight ratio, improved fuel economy, acceleration, handling and steering precision.

The new engine uses a state-of-the-art Plasma Transferred Wire Arc (PTWA) liner coating, a process that applies a 150-micron composite coating that contains nanoparticles on the internal surfaces of engine cylinder bores, replacing cast-iron liners typically used in aluminum engine blocks. The Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation honored the inventors of the Ford-patented PTWA technology with the 2009 National Inventor of the Year Award.

Customers are showing an appreciation for the GT500's performance on and off the track, as well as its many features.

Standard 2011 performance features include the 550-horsepower aluminum 5.4-liter V8 engine, a new 2.75-inch exhaust system, revised brake cooling and pedal box construction for more consistent brake pedal efforts and feel, and electric power-assisted steering (EPAS). SVT worked hard to make EPAS better than the outgoing hydraulic steering system, with improved torque build-up and road feel.

New for 2011 is an optional glass roof providing customers with yet another open-air option that does not compromise the coupe's versatility, headroom or climate-controlled environment. Three times more 2011 GT500s have been ordered with the glass roof compared to the base Mustang showing the popularity of this new feature.

Interior options have proven immensely popular, with almost 70 percent of the GT500s ordered with the Electronics Package, which includes voice-activated navigation, SIRIUS Travel Link™, HD Radio and dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control.

The new SVT Performance Package is also proving to be a popular option with just over 68 percent of coupe orders selecting the enhanced performance delivered through this all-new option. The package was developed to provide track performance. SVT engineers worked directly with Goodyear to develop all-new Goodyear Eagle® F1 SuperCar G: 2 tires that give this already great handling car supercar grip and control levels. The optional package also offers unique styling, staggered lighter wheels with 19-inch fronts and 20-inch rears, a numerically higher rear axle ratio, stiffer springs and dampers, and a lowered ride height. The SVT Performance Package is available on both the coupe and convertible.

Other standard items new for 2011 include high-intensity discharge headlamps, MyKey™ programmable vehicle key, integrated spotter mirror and fold-down rear headrests.
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