When it comes to horsepower, even 700bhp muscle cars are now passe, at least that’s what Shelby American must be thinking. The iconic automaker has turned up the wick with the bonkers new 1,300HP track-only GT500 Code Red, a mean-looking monster with a seriously impressive spec sheet. Unveiled at the Michigan Woodward Dream Cruise, the latest effort reads more like an experiment brought to life than a real vehicle, courtesy of a twin-turbocharged V8 that has been completely redesigned to pump out a staggering 1300 horses. All this horsepower arrives via Shelby’s new twin-turbo setup, which replaces the factory supercharger, along with some interesting suspension, braking, cooling, and styling upgrades.
With 93 octane pump gas, the power output drops to ‘only’ 1,000+ horsepower and 780-foot pounds of torque while E85 Ethanol brings out the full tally of horses. It’s not the first time that such cars have seen the light of the day with previous “EXP” experimental cars being the Green Hornet, the Super Snake, Little Red and the 2008 twin turbo Code Red. The 2008 GT500 Code Red used a 5.4-litre V8 re-engineered by Nelson’s Racing Engines but was never declared viable for production due to the high cost involved.
“CODE RED is designed to be the pinnacle of Shelby Mustangs,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “While we never put it into production during 2008, many were keen to own one. The current generation Shelby GT500 is so robust and spectacular that many of the issues we encountered 14 years ago no longer exist. It’s so perfect for CODE RED transformation that we began quietly building a few for insiders who asked. Though we did not initially intend to offer a formal edition, demand was so strong that we elected to build a very small number of them.”
The new Code Red on the other hand would be built in limited numbers at around 10 per year with 30 being built in total. As mentioned before, the upgrades to make the car sustain this much amount of power has required significant re-engineering with a widebody package including new wheels, tyres, axles, suspension tuning, carbon fibre hood, and lots more. There are bigger brakes as well along with Pirelli P Zero tyres and Nitto NY555R drag racing slicks.
Not being road legal has helped Shelby American uncork the full madness of the GT500 and it is a track-attack monster for demolishing quarter-mile runs in glee. For the privilege of having one, you need to fork over $300,000 including a donor car.