Shelby American shows off 1300-hp GT500 Code Red

Shelby American

Shelby American used the Woodward Dream Cruise as a backdrop to reveal its most powerful GT500-based model yet, the Shelby GT500 Code Red. What started as an experimental concept vehicle has now come to fruition as an engine, suspension, braking, and aerodynamic package that buyers can add to their 2020–22 Shelby GT500. The comprehensive package includes a hand-built V-8 that ditches the factory supercharger in favor of a twin-turbo system that pushes power from the factory 760 horsepower to more than 1000 hp on 93 octane gasoline and 1300 hp on E85!

The bottom end of the 5.2-liter engine uses Manley pistons and ARP hardware. The supercharger was replaced by a Fathouse Performance intake with air-to-water charge cooler and it’s fed by a pair of Xona 7869S dual ball bearing turbos, Shelby American

The Code Red name comes from an experimental 2008 GT500 that Shelby built with 5.4-liter V-8, which was fed by twin turbos from Nelson Racing Engines. The highly modified car was a bit too rowdy for production at the time, but technology marches on, and now Shelby can offer a car with amazing specs for a few lucky buyers. “CODE RED is designed to be the pinnacle of Shelby Mustangs,” says 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.”

Shelby American

“For the first time in our 60-year history, we’re turning an experimental car into a limited-edition vehicle.,” adds Joe Conway, CEO of Shelby American. “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 marvelous Shelby GT500 as a dedicated straight-line performer.”

Shelby American

Besides the tire-shredding engine, Shelby added a number of aesthetic touches to compliment the performance of the Code Red, like the leather front seat upholstery (the rear seats are deleted). Shelby’s widebody modifications allow the Snake to fit 20×11-inch wheels with 305/30/20 rubber up front and 20×13-inch wheels with 345/30/20 rubber in the rear. Suspension modification includes MagneRide suspension recalibration to make better use of the caster and camber plates, adjustable front and rear springs, and Ford Performance front and rear sway bars. Naturally, the drivetrain is strengthened, with beefier wheel studs and half shafts.

A MoTec ECU provides data-logging as well as anti-lag, launch control, and nine traction control modes, making the Code Red ready for the drag strip. Shelby American

Just 10 Code Reds will be built per model year, and the package costs $209,995 in addition to the base price of the GT500, so they will be among the most exclusive and expensive Shelby American products ever built, as well as the first to feature twin turbochargers. Besides the hefty price tag, other caveats that buyers will have to stomach is that the Shelby-built engine is not emissions legal, making this a track-only car. Naturally, it also voids the original manufacturer’s powertrain warranty, which is to be expected when the rotating assembly is completely replaced and the power level is nearly doubled.

Shelby is currently building customer models at its Las Vegas facility, so if your GT500 needs the ultimate Shelby drag racing upgrade, the clock is ticking.

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