Click above for a gallery of the 2010 Shelby GT500 at NAIAS '09

Before this auto show season is over, we'll probably see another Ford Mustang variant unveiled. That's the juicy takeaway from a Detroit Auto Show conversation we had with Ford's vice-president of Powertrain Engineering, Barb Samardzich. In the course of discussing the 2010 GT500 and the new Mustang in general, this author made the offhand remark that, after sitting in the 2010, perhaps picking up a used '06 GT just over a year ago was a bit premature. In response, Samardzich gave a knowing look and said, "You want to wait a little longer." That was all we were able to get, but given her position, it seemed noteworthy. After all, she'd know.

We followed up with Ford spokesman Alan Hall after the show in a bid to extract more information. Alan saw this as a fun opportunity to obfuscate, joking that the Blue Oval is readying a Knight Rider edition. (They're not. Relax.) More importantly, however, he didn't deny anything either.

So now we'll take the rumorball and kick off the speculation. We wouldn't expect anything in Chicago. Traditionally, the Windy City isn't a big Mustang show, and the Taurus SHO seems likely to be the big news there anyway. That leaves New York, which has been a solid Mustang venue in recent years. In 2005, the Shelby GT500 was revealed. In 2006, the Shelby GT-H made its debut there. In 2007, we got the production Shelby GT500KR. Last year, no Mustang announcement in Manhattan, so Ford's due.

History would suggest that we'll see another Shelby model in New York, but that's really just a shot in the dark. It could really be anything. Boss? Bullitt? Mach 1? EcoBoost?! You could go on forever with the guessing. Obviously, we could also be wrong, and it could be nothing, but something tells us Ford has a treat up its sleeve...

UPDATE: And Mike Levine at pretty much lays it out: 5.0, shared with F-150.

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