First Look: 2012 Shelby 1000 and 1000 S/C

2012-shelby-1000

If you thought the 2013 Shelby GT500 had too much power, wait until you hear what Shelby American has cooked up for the 50th anniversary of the original Cobra: the 950-horsepower Shelby 1000, and the track-only 1100-horsepower Shelby 1000 S/C.

Carroll Shelby and his team dreamed up the Shelby 1000 as a follow-up to the 800-hp Shelby GT500 Super Snake. Under Shelby’s direct oversight, the engineers got to work on the Shelby 1000, executing a street car that packs an impressive 950 supercharged horsepower from a 5.4-liter V-8.

No, that’s not a typo. The Shelby 1000's engine displaces “only” 5.4 liters, because it's based off the 550-hp and 510 lb-ft of torque 2012 Ford Shelby GT500. The recently unveiled 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 packs 650 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque under the hood from a supercharged 5.8-liter V-8.

So why didn't Shelby use the new 5.8-liter engine as the basis for the Shelby 1000? Our source at Shelby tells us it simply wasn't available when Shelby American began work on the Shelby 1000. Waiting for the 2013 GT500 would have set the project back another year or two, potentially missing the 50th anniversary of the Cobra's 1962 New York show debut.

The Shelby 1000's 950 horsepower (a figure we're told is on the conservative side) isn't achieved by just making more boost. Shelby went to work on the 5.4-liter mill, replacing the camshafts and valve springs, porting the cylinder heads, opening up the exhaust, and balancing the rotating assembly. The company also swapped in a Kenne Bell 3.6-liter supercharger, and improved the cooling system.

The track-only Shelby 1000 S/C takes the 1000's engine modifications a bit further by bolting on a 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger, American Racing headers, and a Borla 3-inch exhaust system, resulting in the insane 1100 horsepower number.

As expected, Shelby didn't just up the power and call it a day. The Shelby 1000 and 1000 S/C both got modifications designed to put all that extra power to good use. Shelby replaced the rear end with a new 9-inch unit, and installed a custom aluminum driveshaft. Shelby also made sure the 1000 could do more than go fast in a straight line -- it wanted to make sure the new high-power Mustang could handle a corner or two, and stop.

Shelby essentially replaced the GT500's entire suspension to create the Shelby 1000. The company installed a custom Eibach adjustable suspension, its own K-members, control arms, and Watts link system. Braking duties are handled by Shelby six-piston brakes up front and four-piston brakes in the rear. Both cars wear three-piece forged aluminum 20 x 9 wheels up front and 20 x 11 wheels out back, with "high performance tires" mounted on the Shelby 1000, and Michelin Super Sports on the Shelby 1000 S/C.

Those looking for a Mustang that looks radically different from your run-of-the-mill GT500 will probably be a bit disappointed in the Shelby 1000's exterior appearance. Shelby said the 1000 was engineered with a "form follows function” philosophy, and is more about flying under the radar than announcing it has arrived. As such, exterior modifications are all relatively minor, but completely functional. The Shelby 1000 gets a new hood with functional heat extractors, a functional front splitter, and functional rear diffuser. The only cosmetic touches the Shelby 1000's exterior gets is the carbon-fiber applique on the splitter, side skirts and diffuser, and the "Shelby 1000" reflective side graphic, placed low just ahead of the rear wheel on either side of the car.

Just like the Shelby 1000's exterior, the interior has been largely left alone. The 1000 gets custom Shelby -branded sport seats and an A-pillar gauge pod, and that’s it. Otherwise the Shelby 1000's interior is straight out of the 2012 Shelby GT500.

Since the Shelby 1000 is built as a 50th anniversary present to Shelby from itself, production will be extremely limited—just 100 units of the 1000s and 1000 S/C will be built. And that’s not 100 of each, that’s 100 total. Each of the 100 Shelby 1000 and 1000 S/C's built will come numbered and documented in the Shelby registry.

With such limited production numbers, the Shelby 1000 will cost you. If you already own a 2012 Ford Shelby GT500 and would like to get it converted to Shelby 1000 spec, it'll set you back $149,995. If you'd like Shelby to supply the GT500, expect to pay at least $200,000, depending on options.

The Shelby 1000 and Shelby 1000 S/C will make their public debut this year at the 2012 New York Auto Show, 50 years after the original Shelby Cobra made its debut in the Big Apple.

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