The two cars introduced by Shelby American, which takes muscle cars from Ford (NYSE:F) and modifies them for greater power and performance, follow the May 2012 death of the company's founder, acclaimed race car driver Carroll Shelby.
Shelby American executives said that while others in the industry and media questioned whether the Las Vegas-based company could recover from Shelby’s passing, they view their two new cars as robust expressions of the Shelby tradition.
“Not only is Shelby American surviving, Shelby is thriving,” company spokesman Scott Black told a press conference on Tuesday at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. “Shelby has succeeded because they have a formula: make history and then repeat it.”
John Luft, president of Shelby American, said the 2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake and Shelby Focus ST embody that mantra. The Super Snake is a modified Mustang and the Focus is a souped-up Ford Focus.
Luft said the two performance cars “have a significant effect on our present-day product offering. Carroll’s spirit lives in every one of the cars we build,” he said.
Gary Davis, vice president of production for Shelby American, said the 2013 Super Snake came with a stock 662-horsepower engine. The company juiced that power even further, with the finished product at coming in at 850 horsepower. Shelby American noted that the car is street legal and emissions legal.
“This baby rocks,” Davis said.
Shelby American can modify any Mustang-based car from model years 2005 through 2009 into a 2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake.
The new performance car also comes in a wide body edition that gives the Super Snake more traction on the racetrack, Davis said.
A new performance-tuned Shelby Focus ST was unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, which Shelby American executives called a “pocket rocket.”
The car comes with 252 horsepower, and the company may add 200 more horsepower later, Davis said.
The Focus ST features black or silver wheels, a custom interior and a hydrocarbon rear spoiler.
The company said the car’s supercharged 4-liter engine is deceiving.
“You get on the road course … you can certainly embarrass what others consider performance vehicles with our pocket rocket,” Davis said. “That can be embarrassing on the track -- just what we want.”
The Super Snake starts at $28,995 for the stock 662 horsepower version, and the price increases to $39,995 for the 800-horsepower model. Adding the wide body package ups the cost by an additional $14,995.
The base or standard Focus costs $23,000, with an additional $14,995 to get the Shelby Focus modifications. An optional performance tune costs an additional $500.