By on February 8, 2012

We’ve already heard that the 2013 GT500 droptop will be limited to a relatively poky 155MPH. That’s probably for the best, really. It’s much safer to roll a convertible over at 155 than it would be at, say, a buck-ninety.

During the press conference, however, we heard an interesting factoid, one that got us interested enough to sucker-punch SVT’s Jamal Hameedi for a brief Q-and-A:

Hau Thai-Tang told the press that the 2013 convertible with the SVT Performance Pack, which includes driver-adjustable Bilstein shocks to help the pony posse get over their ZL1 Magnaride envy, is “three seconds faster than the outgoing coupe.” What does that mean?

Mr. Hameedi was happy to help: the 2013 Performance Package convertible is about three seconds a lap ahead of the 2011 Performance Package coupe around Sebring. “Which,” he chuckled, “should give you an idea of where we will be with the coupe.”

No doubt that the current SVT GT500 is one of the fastest American cars to ever hit a showroom floor, but sitting next to the new hotness, Ford had helpfully displayed a ’93 Fox-body Cobra. It did the quarter-mile in 14.5 seconds with 230 horsepower. Not enough to hang with a Camry in 2012. Know what? We’d still like to have one.

Photography courtesy of Julie Hyde

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28 Comments on “2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible: Track Focused?...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    Yeah, I’d rather have the ol’ red Fox too.

    I grew up with that 80s design aesthetic, and prefer it to the scaled-up retro look.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I don’t know how you can make a car like that without a rollbar. Seems a bit suicidal to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Advo

      Even at 60 mph, if it gets into a roll-over accident, the results will be the same.

      Probably why I saw a red Mustang a while ago with a rollbar taking up the back seat area.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I don’t know how you can make a car like that without a rollbar. Seems a bit suicidal to me. And that’s a nasty way to go.

  • avatar
    SilverStang88

    Three seconds is three seconds. Oh, and isn’t it a 2013 model year?

  • avatar
    mmdpg

    Is this the 2012 or the 2013? The 2013 V6 and GT’s are due out in a couple of months and I thought the 2013 GT500 is due out this summer.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    Nice, but that smooth plastic center stack is damn cheap looking. Really, how expensive is good plastic vs this stuff? Somewhere in the trim levels you should get better plastic than the base car.

  • avatar

    Not trying to be snarky, this is a real question:
    Is there a legitimate case for a “track focused” convertible (with no rollbar)?

    I mean, if it’s just for cruising and burnouts and post-middle-age d*ck wagging, then than makes sense (in a fashion).

    • 0 avatar
      jco

      yeah, I mean there are plenty of tracks that will tell anyone with a convertible and no corresponding roll-protection to pound sand without a hardtop. the mustang has neither. seriously, some tracks won’t even allow S2000s, which have integrated roll protection at the windshield frame and behind the seats.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        I’m actually looking at S2000s right now and there is not a single track in the mid-atlantic region that will let you HPDE without an aftermarket bar. Same with Z3s, Z4s, and newer Miatas with roll hoops.

        Hasn’t disuaded me from getting one, I just have to hand hard dog $600 in the first 3 months of owning the car.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    I would love to have that ’93 Cobra R. Stripped of anything that added unnecessary weight, including the rear seats. Without a doubt the ultimate Fox Mustang. 235 HP was a bit conservative.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Not enough to hang with a Camry in 2012.”

    It also wasn’t enough to hang with the F-body in 1993.

  • avatar
    imag

    The fact that they are doing a track pack with the various coolers pretty much slams the door on the ZL-1 designers’ attack on the car.

    As far as I’m concerned, both Camaro and Mustang are too boatlike to want to own, but I have to be impressed nonetheless.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    A convertible “track car” with no roll bar, 155 mph governor, and live-axle rear suspension.

    Yep, has all the boxes checked for the middle aged crowd to tool about in trying to relive past glories. Even comes in Viagra blue.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Who cares about actual track use? The whole point is making the target market feel like they spent money on something that is capable of a pursuit deemed more noble than redneck drag racing. The days of redneck salaries keeping performance Marques profitable are long gone.

    A pace like that around a track, does make me wonder if would hang with the 911 or ‘vette ‘verts on backroads and down canyons, something a live axle car really shouldn’t be able to.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      The most popular 911 droptop — the base Carrera 4 Cab — wouldn’t be even close to this car on any back road more wide-open than the Tail of The Dragon, and perhaps not even on that. On the Cherohala Skyway next to the Dragon, the Shelby would simply disappear.

      A Corvette convertible would be a tougher foe but I still think the Shelby would have an edge. It would take that new LS7-engined Collector’s Edition to mount a real challenge.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      A lot of rednecks have some pretty fat paychecks; they just prefer to spend their money on trucks. A drive through the oil patch or a factory parking lot will show a lot more trucks than sports cars, and some fairly high dollar trucks at that. Plus, you can put a four wheeler or hunting/camping stuff in a truck more easily than a coupe.

      Rednecks have figured out that on the road hijinks in a car can cost you your drivers license, but off road fun is pretty lawless. As an aside, in certain demographics women are more attracted to men with trucks vs. cars. YMMV.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I don’t mean to offend anyone, as I love this car as much as the next man, but forgive me my curiosity, how do they make it handle as well as it does. The whole suspension is eerily similar to the ’78 Volvo 242 I once owned (so it really has roots in the 60′s) Or did I just underestimate what I could have done to that Volvo with just some intelligent dampers, fatter sway bars, traction control and huuge anti lock brakes?

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      You forgot to mention the massive, sticky tires: P255/40Z19 on the front and P285/35ZR19 on the rears (edit: from the 2012 specs, maybe different for 2013).

      And no, those sizes don’t have an 80K treadwear warranty either!

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Jack,

    I think it’s a 1993 Cobra R. Only 107 were produced, all in Vibrant Red clear coat, with 5-lug wheels, no radio or A/C, 235HP and 125lbs lighter that regular Cobra GT.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      It was certainly equipped like an R but we were told it was a private owners car… could have been a ’93 Cobra dressed up as an R. I don’t know the Foxes enough to say for sure either way

  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    Excellent, Jack; excellent!


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