In May, the automotive world was saddened by the passing of racing icon Carroll Shelby. Following that sad event, it did not take long for attention to quickly turn to the future of the performance brand. Given the significance of Shelby American in the aftermarket and performance worlds, that makes some sense.
According to Autoweek, business partner John Luft was told by Carroll, to "Keep Shelby American alive," in his waning hours. Following his late chief's request, Shelby American is set to roll out new products at the North American International Auto Show in January, as well as the Chicago and New York shows. So we know product is on the way, but what can we expect?
The report was foggy on details, but claimed the Las Vegas-based performance outfit would look towards the Ford EcoBoost family of engines, and to wringing more power from smaller displacement. Shelby has already taken advantage of forced induction with smaller engines, in the form of the 475-horsepower supercharged V6 in the Shelby GTS. The GTS is considered an entry-level Shelby, with a $35,000 price tag, making it accessible to more enthusiasts.
Also part of the plan will be the continued relationship with some 2,300 Ford dealers, through which Shelby American markets parts. Both Roush and SVT compete for this business.
Meanwhile Jim Farley, global VP of marketing at Ford, issued a statement that Shelby, "will continue to influence Ford performance cars for many years to come." While that may not be a confirmation of future product, all of these efforts point to a brand that is positioned to live on long after Carroll Shelby's passing.