Which of Ford’s pony-car Mustangs is the best looking? It’s a topic we could likely dwell on until the cows come home; any of its works from 1970, most of its racers, and maybe even the odd modern-day Shelby GT350 or GT500 could all claim to be contenders for the title. And, to our eyes, so could the newly revealed Shelby Speedster Super Snake.
Overnight, Shelby American unveiled its 2021 line-up of tuned, widened, and slammed Mustangs — each with a production count of 98, as a nod to what would’ve been the year of Carroll Shelby’s 98th birthday.
The Speedster Super Snake is arguably the most jaw-dropping unveiling of the bunch. It packs all the performance fruit of the standard Super Snake, including Shelby’s changes reaping up to 825hp (615kW) from its supercharged 5.0-litre Coyote V8 and a suspension system sourced from Penske.
But it’s the visual that takes centre stage here. The tonneau rear cover with dual buttresses (note the rear-seat delete), gives the quintessentially American ‘Stang a small dose of Europe in its appearance. This is paired to Shelby’s tried and true Super Snake formula of widened hips, twin nostrils in the bonnet, and a deeper front splitter and rear diffuser makes it one of the most furious drop-tops on the market.
Shelby also unveiled its new GT and GT500SE models. The former has been confirmed for New Zealand with a $132,995 sticker price (including donor vehicle), which includes a 358kW power upgrade, a Borla cat-back exhaust, 20-inch wheels with improved rubber, and Shelby’s visual changes among other tweaks. There’s also a more powerful supercharged version of the GT available, developing 522kW.
“The 2021 model year represents a significant new chapter at Shelby American. This is the most diverse group of Ford Mustang-based Shelby’s in our history. While the amazing Ford Mustang is a world-class car from the factory, our team created additional models so we can offer something for everyone who dreams of owning a high-performance Shelby,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American.
“The new Speedster is stunning. From a styling perspective, there is simply nothing like it on the road. With the widebody option, it’s a rare combination of sleek elegance and American muscle machismo. This is the automotive equivalent of a powerful heavyweight boxer fitted into a stylish, fine suit.”
“The unprecedented energy spent on our lineup demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the enthusiast,” added Shelby American Vice President of Operations and Chief Designer Vince LaViolette.
“Collaborating with Ford Motor Company, Penske, Borla, Brembo and other key companies, we dialed in a unique personality for each car targeted to a specific type of driver. And then we spent countless hours, miles and laps refining the vehicles. That quality shows in every car we build today.”