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Auto Show:  2012 Chicago Auto Show

2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible: Chicago Auto Show

author photo by Nick Palermo February 2012

Output of 5.8-liter supercharged V8 now 650 horsepower

Upgraded brakes and available electronic adjustable suspension

Lighted sill plates commemorating SVT's 20th anniversary

Ford's Special Vehicle Team has come a long way in the twenty years since its inception. The performance group showed the SVT Mustang Cobra here at the Chicago Auto Show in 1992; that pony car made 235 horsepower with a 5-liter V8. Their latest creation celebrates this twentieth anniversary with a far more powerful V8 and some performance-enhancing upgrades that make the 1993 SVT Cobra seem quaint by comparison.

To be fair, automobiles of all types have seen a drastic increase in output and performance in these twenty years. Still, the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible is spectacularly powerful by any measure. Its 5.8-liter supercharged V8 now makes a stunning 650 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, a 100-horsepower advantage over the 2012 model and greater output than any other production V8 engine available.

Increasing rear-wheel horsepower was achieved by revising both external and internal engine components and employing stronger and lighter drivetrain parts. A new supercharger and improved camshaft profiles are among the changes. A new carbon fiber driveshaft and a better clutch, transmission and axle deliver the power to the pavement.

The SVT crew recognizes that huge power alone does not make a performance automobile capable of quick laps of a twisty track. Making the most of the V8 demands excellent handling and braking characteristics, too. To that end, the 2013 GT500 gets new Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers up front and bigger rotors at all four corners.

The Performance Package makes available SVT-designed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers. With the flip of switch, the adjustable suspension toggles between a more forgiving street setting for normal use and a stiffer Sport setting that minimizes pitch and roll, ideal for track laps. For peak performance, a Track Package adds an oil cooler, transmission cooler and differential cooler.

Open the door of the 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible and a lighted sill plate commemorates the 20th Anniversary of SVT. What better way to commemorate two decades of high-performance accomplishments than with a truly special machine like the GT500 Convertible?

What it means to you: Celebrating 20 years of Ford's SVT, the 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible has spectacular power and, with the Performance Package, a track-tuned chassis that adds agility to the equation.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible: Chicago Auto Show - Autotrader