Ford’s various performance projects and how they interconnect are an interesting thing.
On one hand, Shelby’s Mustang projects seemingly exist in another stratosphere compared to Ford’s own Mach 1 and Bullitt Mustangs. On the other hand, Ford’s own F-150 Raptor has historically been far more popular than Shelby’s equivalents. Although perhaps not for long.
Shelby has just shown off its latest F-150 creation, aptly named the Shelby F-150. The iconic tuning firm isn’t pulling any punches in its marketing either, labelling it the “most powerful, refined and competent version of the truck in its history.”
Looking at it, there’s no mistaking that it’s a Shelby. It has those familiar stripes, a bespoke aggressive front bumper and grille (‘Shelby’ insignia loud and proud front and centre), two big nostrils in the bonnet, and a neat little spoiler lip built into the tonneau cover.
While we’re not sure it’s going to scare a Raptor on gravel any time soon, Shelby has no less given it some fairly meaty 35-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain shoes and a lift kit sourced from BDS. A set of Fox 2.5 shocks with internal bypass functionality are also present, as are some new rear traction bars.
Most potential buyers will be more curious about its powertrain. Being based on the Lariat 4×4, the model gets a 5.0-litre V8. There are two versions with different power outputs. The base model produces 298kW of power, and the flagship (which will likely be the bigger seller) produces 578kW (775hp).
Like most licked Ford 5.0s, the extra power comes via a supercharger (in this case a Whipple). It also gets a billet throttle body, high-flow injectors, and a performance air intake. These tweaks make it, in Shelby’s terms, the most powerful truck in its history.
Strictly speaking, the folks at Hennessey have produced several pick-ups with higher output. But, whether an independent can claim a crown like that is up for debate. Arguably the Ram 1500 TRX is the most powerful mass-produced OEM truck creation, with its 523kW 6.2-litre Hemi.