CHICAGO, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. took the top off its 2013 Shelby Mustang GT500 Wednesday showing a convertible for enthusiasts at the Chicago Auto Show.
The 5.8-liter, supercharged V8 kicks out 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque and is stopped by upgraded Brembo brakes. There's a selectable dual-mode suspension system that allows the street racer to switch from sport to normal driving at the push of a button.
At a time when many Americans are more concerned about fuel economy than raw power, the high-performance Mustang is expected to deliver mileage just better than the EPA gas-guzzler range. Top speed is 200 mph -- well above interstate speed limits.
"We want to deliver something for everyone, fuel-efficiency, sports -- something we can offer everyone ... a complete product line," Hua Thai-Tang, Ford's director Advanced Product Creation and Special Vehicle Team, said at the auto show press preview.
The GT500 is expected to be available early this summer, he said, adding that the muscle car -- the fastest production Mustang ever made -- was for the car enthusiast in your social circle. It features cross-drilled block and heads, quad exhaust pipes, updated camshaft profiles, a carbon fiber driveshaft, upgraded clutch, transmission and axle from Ford's Special Vehicle Team.
The grill sports a Cobra badge. Oh, and it also has white racing stripes.
The 2013 GT500 is a far cry from the first Mustang SVT, a 235 horsepower 1993 Cobra introduced at the 1992 show.
Ford's SVT tuners have produced 210,000 vehicles in the division's 20-year history.
That 1993 Mustang generated 285 pound-feet of torque and turned a quarter mile in 14.5 seconds. The Shelby GT500 convertible adds 100 horsepower from the last SVT Mustang with the optional performance package.
Ford showed the coupe version of the Shelby Mustang GT500 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
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