Shelby GT500 Code Red is a track monster with almost 1000kW on command

Published Aug 23, 2022


Enterprise, Nevada - With the GT500 Code Red, Shelby American has turned an experimental vehicle into a limited edition muscle car with insane outputs.

Described by company president Gary Patterson as the pinnacle of Shelby Mustangs, the hand-built Code Red features an even more furious version of the familiar force-fed V8, in addition to suspension, braking and design upgrades. However, only 10 of these monsters will ever be produced and they’re not road legal, unfortunately.

At its heart is an extensively modified 5.2-litre powerhouse. For starters, the supercharger that you usually find in Shelby models has been replaced by an intercooled twin-turbo set-up as well as new fuel and engine management systems. When fed with regular 93 Octane petrol, the Code Red GT500 produces more than 1 000 horsepower (746kW) and 1 070Nm. But fill the tank with E85 ethanol and you have access to a thunderous 969kW and 1 356Nm of torque.

Consider that the ‘regular’ GT500 KR model pushes out a ‘mere’ 670kW!

But this is far more than just a significant engine upgrade, which of course also comes with a reworked gearbox to handle all the extra power. Clients can look forward to a widebody exterior package that comes along with new wheels, tyres, axles and suspension tuning, while the cabin gains unique accents and logos.

Shelby American R&D chief Vince LaViolette concedes that the Code Red is more of a straight-line performer than a road course warrior.

“While not street legal, it's very capable at moderate speeds in most any curve. But when the turbos spool up, the car is best enjoyed moving straight ahead.”

Shelby American CEO Joe Conway explained that the tuning company has been building cutting-edge experimental versions of the GT500 ever since the first version was launched way back in 1967.

“While these testbeds for innovation never became production cars at the time, they helped make our vehicles better. For the first time in our 60-year history, we’re turning an experimental car into a limited-edition vehicle,” Conway said.

“The enormous demand for a CODE RED edition is an opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities, as well as the enormous potential of Ford Motor Company’s marvellous Shelby GT500 as a dedicated straight-line performer.”

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