Currently reading: Detroit motor show 2012: soft-top Shelby GT500
The Ford Shelby GT500 is fitted with a 5.8-litre supercharged V8 that produces a lofty 650bhp

The ultimate soft-top Mustang has been revealed at the Detroit motor show. The Ford Shelby GT500 is mechanically identical to its equally hardcore coupe sibling revealed at the Los Angeles motor show last autumn, with the addition of a folding fabric roof.

That means power comes from a 5.8-litre supercharged V8 engine, which produces a lofty 650bhp and 600lb ft. Ford says every part of the powertrain has been optimised for producing the additional horsepower, including a larger, more efficient supercharger that is a unique design for the Shelby GT500’s engine.

The clutch, transmission and axle have all been upgraded and the Ford Shelby GT500 also gets a new carbonfibre driveshaft, cross-drilled block and heads and updated camshaft profiles. The gearing of the six-speed manual transmission has been revised to manage to torque and power delivery.

Other tweaks include a new downforce-generating front grille, a redesigned splitter that is designed to make the car feel more planted at speeds of 160mph-plus and a new quad exhaust system. The cooling system has been uprated and features a larger, revised cooling fan and more efficient air cooler.

Stopping power comes from six-piston Brembo calipers, revised pads and larger front and rear rotors to reduce brake fade. The Shelby GT500 runs on 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels coupled with Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G tyres.

An optional, track-oriented Performance Package offers Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers and a Torsen limited-slip differential. On top of that, a Track Package is also available for even more extreme performance.

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