Here’s Why Ford Didn’t Make a Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible

Sorry, droptop fans: it's not going to happen.

Ford Shelby GT500
Lincoln Hill for Shelby

Ford’s Mustang Shelby GT500 is in its second model year with a 760-horsepower supercharged 5.2-liter V8. Driving it is pure pleasure and it shifts in an incredibly quick 80 milliseconds. In short, the GT500 is a muscle car enthusiast’s poster car, which is exactly where Ford CEO Jim Farley wants it.

That poster car, however, is going to be restricted to a hardtop, as Ford isn’t going to push the S550 platform to accommodate a convertible version. Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, indicated in a chat with Manoli Katakis from Muscle Cars and Trucks that the S550 platform was maxed out.

Lincoln Hill for Shelby

“When we designed the (S550 platform Mustang) we really looked at the high end and projected what we’ve historically been able to do,” said Thai-Tang. “The GT500 I think we projected for. It’s towards the top end of the capabilities of (S550)… one of the things we didn’t do was a convertible variant for that reason. You have to find the bandwidth of the architecture.”

Between the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage and updated platforms for new vehicles, platforms and chips are in the headlines quite a bit lately. Automakers like Toyota are thinking flexible and modular, especially as the EV landscape shifts. The new Tundra, for example, is built on the combination of three platforms (the F0, F1, and F2) to best utilize the best of each one. It remains to be seen what the Ford S650 generation will be able to accommodate; we do know that Farley and the rest of his team at Ford are staying quiet about its next-gen Mustang, for now. 

If you have your heart set on a convertible, you can still get a GT droptop with a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. And you can add Ford Performance supercharger that can boost horsepower over 700. It’s not the same caliber as the GT500, but it's damn close. 

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