Ford GT500 Convertible revealed
Ford has today unveiled the 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible to the world's media at the Chicago Auto Show.
It marks as the celebratory vehicle for the 20th anniversary of Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT). They were officially launched at the same show back in 1992 which Ford unveiled the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra and SVT F-150 Lightning.
The new GT500 Convertible is powered by the same unit found in its coupe sibling (that we reported on back in November) - a 5.8-litre supercharged V8 engine. It generates a mammoth 650 bhp and 600 lb/ft of torque enabling the open-top model to lap Sebring International Raceway 3.5 seconds quicker than the previous generation model. However, SVT have taken an unusual step by introducing a speed limiter which gives the convertible a top speed of 155mph (250kph). This is likely because the roof arrangement can’t cope above those speeds, as it would require considerable strengthening.
"The Shelby GT500 convertible is every bit the performer that the coupe is," said Kerry Baldori, SVT Global Performance Vehicles chief engineer. "All of the significant changes we made in the program were instrumental in delivering a convertible that could really shine on the track but can still be driven on a daily basis."
Like the Coupe, a Performance Package and a Track Package will also be available for the Convertible. The Performance Package includes Bilstein electronically-adjusted dampers while the Track Package features an external engine-oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler to prevent over-heating on the track.
The GT500 Convertible is also the more powerful converible currently on sale.
Production of the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 will begin at the AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan this summer. Ford has yet to comment on whether the GT500 Coupe and Convertible will be coming to Europe or the UK, but they will certainly be available through specialist importers.
Images courtesy of Ford