Shelby releases a Snake on the Detroit Auto Show stage
New Super Snake and Focus ST packages seek to continue founder's legacy.
Nearly a year after the passing of the legendary Carroll Shelby, Shelby American comes to the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit with a tribute to his achievements and a first look at the future of the Shelby name. The 2013 Super Snake package adds a wide-body option for drag-strip Mustang warriors, while the Shelby Focus ST sees the hot-rod shop tackling Ford's EcoBoost-powered hot hatch.
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2013 Shelby American Super Snake Package
What is it? For drivers who just can't get enough out of their Mustangs, Shelby offers its Super Snake package, beefing up the stock ride's horsepower numbers, suspension, brakes and more.
What's hot? Besides the choice of 662 or 850 horsepower, Shelby has added a wide-body option to the package, allowing for the use of up to 355-series tires on the rear of the car.
What's not? The Shelby touch comes at a premium: The wide-body option alone runs $14,995. This kind of pricing makes the Super Snake package an option for only a small fraction of Mustang enthusiasts.
How much and when? Orders for the 2013 Super Snake package are being taken. The 662-horsepower package starts at $28,995, the 850-horsepower package starts at $39,995, and the wide-body option tacks $14,995 onto that. All prices are in addition to the cost of the base Mustang.
MSN Autos' verdict: At nearly $100,000, the Shelby American 2013 Super Snake package with the wide-body option is not for the meek, nor is it for the hobbyist. If you want to go in a straight line very fast, however, there are few ways to do it that are more fun.
2013 Shelby American Focus ST
What is it? Shelby's tweaked version of Ford's hot hatch is the spiritual successor to its "pocket rockets" of the 1980s.
What's hot? The Shelby Focus ST gets a Ford Racing suspension, larger brakes, a short-throw shifter for the 6-speed manual transmission, and some bodywork add-ons that will eventually include a carbon-fiber hood.
What's not? The audience for a racier Focus is unlikely to be willing or able to shell out the money Shelby is asking ($14,995 — and the company retains all take-off parts). Also, while apparently in the works, there are no performance upgrades for the EcoBoost engine, which is a letdown.
How much and when? The Shelby Focus ST package begins at $14,995 on top of the cost of your base Focus ST. Orders will be taken soon; only 500 will be available per year.
MSN Autos' verdict: The Shelby Focus ST may be great, but for many enthusiasts it will never match the venerated all-wheel-drive Focus RS that Ford refuses to offer U.S. consumers. And for those who love the ST, the cost of the Shelby upgrade may be prohibitive. We'll reassess the attractiveness of the Shelby Focus ST package when its EcoBoost mods are revealed.
James Tate cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trend and European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.
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Just another exercise in stupidity. 850 horses to go from A to B. Or more really, nowhere.
You gotta drive a stock GT500 to appreciate the insanity of this car. Once you get used to the factory horsepower you change the pulley on the supercharger to give it more boost, then change the rear end ratio to a 3.73.
After that you just drive it normal whenever you want...or floor it from a 60 roll and hang on for the ride and try to keep it going straight. It puts the late 60's hemi cars to shame. It will idle in traffic all day long with the air conditioning on, or turn the rear tires up to 90 mph if you so choose. Or you can drive it cross country on a whim.
Its so powerful that you seldom use the power, but its fun to know its there if you want it. 2008 versions of this car in a convertible have been showing up on Ebay for less than $35000 with only three thousand miles on them. And its still a 500 HP car that gets 20 mpg on the freeway. Don't fault this car for anything until you have driven it. It is indeed a wolf in sheeps clothing.