2019 Shelby GT: The Mustang Gets a Head-to-Toe Makeover

It'll also get an optional 700-plus horsepower supercharged V-8 down the line.

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Topline: Shelby American announced Friday the return of its Mustang-based Shelby GT, which it will launch at the Woodward Dream Cruise on Aug. 18.

What's New: The Shelby GT plumps up the already plentiful performance of the Ford Mustang GT. A specially-developed Borla exhaust system eases the pony car up to an estimated 480 horsepower from the naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V-8's 460, which customers can couple to either a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic transmission. Down the line, a Ford Performance supercharger will be available to escalate horsepower above the 700 mark after Shelby achieves emissions compliance.

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The engine hides underneath a custom vented hood, which is but one of many pieces of bodywork redesigned for the Shelby GT. Rocker panels, the spoiler, taillight panel, and other smaller components differ on the Shelby GT, which also rides on special 20-inch wheels. A CSM dash plaque and embroidered floor mats remind drivers that they're driving a Shelby, should they somehow forget.

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Ford Performance cooperated with Shelby American to develop the Shelby GT's handling, which maximizes cornering capabilities at no penalty to ride quality using different springs, sway bars, and caster/camber plates. Upgrading to the Shelby GT-H (Heritage edition) changes out the front struts and rear shocks, and a Heavy Duty package can add an enlarged radiator and coolant reservoir, performance axle shafts, and uprated wheel studs.

GT-H models can be ordered in either black or white, with a gold stripe, optional gold wheels, and a special front bumper, building on the extensive bodywork modifications already present on the GT. A short-throw shifter, Shelby-themed leather interior, and a fitted car cover are also available.

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Quotable: "The 2019 Shelby GT exudes serious sex appeal," stated Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. "We designed a gorgeous car to make any drive an adventure with thrilling performance and dynamic handling. The Shelby GT can gobble up miles on a road trip or rip up the corners on the track. It is equally fun cruising to the beach or to the office. Plus, this is the only naturally-aspirated V-8 Shelby car that can be optioned in convertible and with an automatic transmission. Enthusiasts will love to drive it all day, every day."

"Launched for the 2007 model year, the first generation Shelby GT is one of the most popular vehicles in our history," added Joe Conway, CEO of Shelby American. "Available through North American Ford showrooms, it delivered sizzling performance in a refined car that could be driven every day. We’re returning this iconic pony car to dealerships for the 2019 model year. We are pleased to once again unveil this newest version alongside our close friends at Ford Motor Company during the Woodward Dream Cruise."

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What You Need to Know: The 2019 Shelby GT will debut at the Woodward Dream Cruise on Aug. 18, and orders open on Aug. 20.

Shelby American has been busy this year, releasing its Series 2 sports car almost two decades after the original Series 1. Even more belated was its production launch of the Mustang Shelby GT500 Super Snakedelayed 51 years—but at least it's reaching the roads of America. We can't help but wonder if the busy bees over and Shelby are cooking up any special versions of the eight-second Mustang Cobrajet drag car.

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