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Shelby's 588kW snake bite

2011-04-07 10:31

SUPERCAR OWNERS BE WARNED: The latest in a long line of GT500-series Mustangs, this latest blow Super Snake edition is the most powerful yet.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ford
Model Shelby Super Snake
Engine 5.4l supercharged V8
Power 588kW
Torque 800Nm
Discounting Bugatti’s silly Veyron, what is the world’s most powerful soft-top car?

Lamborghini’s Murcielago? Out of production, unfortunately. Gallardo Spyder? Possibly. New 911 Turbo cabriolet? No, not really.

If you want real eardrum damaging open-top motoring performance, you need to contact an 88-year old Texan gentleman called Carroll Shelby.

The doyen of American sports-car racing is, of course, best known for shoehorning a Ford V8 into Britain’s delicate AC Ace and then beating Europe’s established racing teams at Le Mans with Ford's GT40, a car with significant design input from Shelby.

Suffice to say, then, that Shelby has always been synonymous with competition Fords and Blue Oval performance cars. Despite nearing his ninth decade, Shelby is still busy overseeing the design and production of high-performance Ford projects from his company’s Las Vegas headquarters.

SUPER SNAKE HAS REAL BITE

The grand ol' man of American motorsport’s latest offering is called the Super Snake package and upgrades the company’s Mustang GT500 to a level of simply epic performance.

Bolting a supercharger to the 5.4-litre aluminium small-block Ford V8 boosts power to an amazing 588kW and torque to 800Nm. Shelby estimates it should be good for a sub-11 second quarter-mile, which is faster than any production Ferrari...

In an effort to tame such awesome output urge, Shelby’s Super Snake GT500 has Ford’s racing handling pack, an upgrade bundling things such as Baer-sourced performance brakes, German Eibach shocks (oscillating within lowering springs) and recalibrated stabaliser bars.

A front suspension tower strut brace does its bit to increase torsional rigidity but we all know it's actually there to rest your hand against whilst showing off the heavily reworked 5.4-litre V8’s engine bay…

'LESS THAN' R700 000

Distinguishing the Super Snake from its mere GT500 siblings are 20" Alcoa alloy rims (available in either a durabright or anthracite finish) and a Borla custom exhaust that endows this latest Shelby product with an acoustic signature not dissimilar to a vintage P-51 Mustang fighter plane.

Shelby says he’ll bring his Super Snake package to market for less than R700 000 at American domestic market taxation rates. The order book will open on May 1, 2011, for convertible and coupe versions.

If you own a 911 Turbo cabriolet or Gallardo Spyder and intend cruising down the Ballito or Camps Bay beachfront in it for posing value, you’ll be glad to know that South African legislation now prohibits the importation of left-hand drive vehicles - unless you ar a genuine collector. Simply put: if there were a Shelby Super Snake soft-top on that selfsame stretch of beach road, you'd be made quite the fool of in a robot-to-robot dice.

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