hp per liter
(from Ford Motor
Company Press Release) MORE MUSTANG POWER: FORD SHELBY GT500KR ‘KING
OF THE ROAD’ RETURNS IN 2008
* Celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the original Shelby Cobra
GT500KR, Ford and Shelby collaborate on a new ‘King of the Road’
Mustang with the 2008 Shelby GT500KR.
* Shelby GT500KR features an estimated 540-hp 5.4-liter supercharged
V-8 with a Ford Racing Power Upgrade Pack, 3.73:1 rear axle ratio,
short-throw shifter, and unique suspension tuning.
* Exterior design draws inspiration from the classic Shelby KR
Mustangs and features unique carbon composite hood, wheels, and
special 40th Anniversary badging and unique striping.
* Shelby GT500KR arrives in spring 2008 in an exclusive run of only
DEARBORN, Mich., March 30 - Ford and Shelby Automobiles are at it
again, this time in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the
1968 Shelby Cobra GT500KR. To be unveiled at the 2007 New York
International Auto Show, the 2008 Shelby GT500KR—the most powerful
Mustang to date—will once again mark Mustang as ‘King of the Road.’
“I’m proud to once again be a part of an historical moment, bringing
back the ‘King of the Road’ Mustang, and collaborating with Ford SVT
and Ford Racing” said Carroll Shelby. “I’m committed to continuously
upping the ante when it comes to performance, and it’s great to be
doing it with Ford.” “The return of the Shelby GT500KR further
establishes Mustang as the true king of the pony car segment,” said
Robert Parker, manager of Ford Car Brand. “With the unveiling of the
new KR we are staying true to the promise we made our loyal Mustang
fans to continue Mustang’s prowess by bringing new, exciting and
more powerful Mustangs to market.”
Forty years ago, at the 1967 New York Auto Show, Ford introduced the
most powerful Shelby Mustang ever. Like every Mustang that bore the
name ‘Shelby,’ the GT500KR carries with it its own unique story.
The 1968 Shelby Cobra GT500KR was a mid-year introduction, based on
the 1968 Shelby GT500. Ford added ‘Cobra’ to the Shelby’s moniker to
help usher in the beginning of a new performance era at the company.
The Cobra name referred to the new 428 Cobra Jet V-8 that was
planted under the KR’s custom fiberglass hood. It was the engine
that would once again vault the Mustang to the head of the pack.
Ford conservatively rated the 428 CJ at 335-horsepower, but in
reality it made more than 400-horsepower and 440 pounds-feet of
torque. The KR model was also equipped with a modified suspension
and was offered both in fastback and convertible models. Ford
dealers sold 1,570 GT500KR models in 1968, 1053 fastbacks and 517
While the name ‘King of the Road’ may have been the perfect fit for
the world’s most powerful Mustang, it also provided Shelby the
chance to steal the thunder from cross-town rival General Motors. As
the legend goes, Shelby learned that GM was planning to introduce a
high-performance model and call it ‘King of the Road.’
Since he had always wanted to use the name, and as one to never miss
an opportunity, Shelby set his organization in gear, registering the
name and designing new badging for the Cobra Jet-powered Mustang,
christening it the GT500KR, and bringing Ford’s ‘King of the Road’
to market before GM ever got a chance to apply the name to their
Just like its 1968 namesake, the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR builds on
the strong foundation of the Shelby GT500. Packing 40 more horses
under its custom-designed carbon composite hood, the GT500KR is the
most powerful production Ford Mustang ever produced.
The modern Shelby Mustang line-up started with the 2007 Shelby GT500
coupe and convertible. With the recent launch of the 2007 Shelby GT,
the 2008 Shelby GT500KR becomes the third production
high-performance Mustang brought to market through the relationship
of Shelby Automobiles and Ford. Ford and Shelby Automobiles also
partnered up with Hertz to produce a special limited run of 500
Shelby GT-H “rent-a-racer” Mustangs available only for rent.
The 2007 Shelby GT500 has been one of the most successful vehicle
programs in the 14-year history of Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT)
and that success has opened the door for more performance
collaborations with Shelby Automobiles and Ford Racing. Working
together, these three performance powerhouses are driving Mustang
momentum on the street and on the racetrack. Dealers cannot keep the
cars on their lots, customers are clamoring for more, and racers are
bringing home championships.
Shelby Mustangs have already achieved some impressive highlights
showcasing an enthusiast demand that is unmatched in the business:
# The first 2007 Shelby GT500 available to the public sold for
$600,000 dollars at the 2006 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
in Scottsdale, AZ benefiting the Carroll Shelby Children’s
# 2007 Shelby GT VIN#1 also went for $600,000 at charity auction,
this time at the 2007 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction (and the
winning bidder also took the opportunity to purchase VIN#2 at MSRP).
# Shelby GT-H coupes auctioned off to Ford dealers after completion
of Hertz rental duty consistently average $50,000, with high auction
bids of $90,000.
The Shelby GT500KR will be produced in an exclusive run of 1000
units and will begin arriving in Ford dealers in the spring of 2008.
Crowning the New “King of the Road”
Doug Gaffka, Ford SVT chief designer, and his team worked closely
with Carroll Shelby and the Shelby team to make certain the new KR
was crafted in the spirit of the original Shelby muscle car.
“This was a great effort between Ford and Shelby Automobiles,” said
Gaffka. “The Shelby team and I were in constant contact melding
Carroll’s classic design cues with some modern concepts and ideas
and finessing them into the design of the new KR.”
Gary Davis, vice president of production and product development for
Shelby Automobiles, played a key role in defining the look of the
custom designed carbon composite hood for the GT500KR. His knowledge
of the original GT500KR helped sculpt a modern interpretation of the
original’s bulging hood scoop, a visual indication of the extra
horsepower packed beneath it. The hood is secured by a pair of
stainless steel, twist-down hood pins. The composite front valance
houses a pair of chrome-trimmed, functional brake ducts to cool the
large 14-inch, vented Brembo front brakes.
Side stripes are true to the original KR right down to the font used
for the ‘GT500KR’ lettering, while the classic LeMans-style striping
that races down the center of the car has been deleted between the
leading forward edge of the hood scoops and the front of the hood,
accenting the scoops and giving the KR its distinctive face. “That
was Shelby’s idea,” said Gaffka. “It’s a special touch that adds
some down-the-road differentiation. There will be no doubt that it’s
a ‘King of the Road’ Mustang that’s filling up your rearview
The show car wears exclusive, Shelby-designed 20-inch, forged,
polished aluminum wheels with special custom center caps, mounted on
Pirelli rubber. Production models will arrive with an 18-inch
version of the design.
Each KR model is identified by special 40th Anniversary KR badges on
the fenders and grille, distinctive body colored mirror caps and
Shelby lettering stretching across the front of the hood and along
the rear portion of the deck lid. A special Shelby VIN tag is
affixed to each vehicle, mounted in the engine compartment.
The all-leather interior features Carroll Shelby signature
embroidered headrests and an official Shelby CSM 40th Anniversary
GT500KR dash plate mounted at the top of the center stack.
The KR’s 5.4-liter V-8 Gets the Royal Treatment
Just like its namesake, the 2008 ‘King of the Road’ packs a
walloping dose of Ford performance power under its massive composite
hood scoops. The Ford SVT-engineered 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 is
treated to a Ford Racing Power Upgrade Pack that boosts horsepower
to an estimated 540 and torque to 510 ft.-lbs., thanks to revised
ignition and throttle calibration and a cold air intake system that
replaces the stock unit.
Calibration modifications include advancing the ignition timing as
well as re-mapping of the electronic throttle settings to provide
quicker throttle response for better off-line and mid-range
acceleration. Increased throttle response will be met with a sharper
roar from the Ford Racing-inspired exhaust system.
Power is delivered to the rear wheels through a Tremec TR6060
six-speed manual transmission and 3.73:1 rear axle ratio, upgraded
from the standard GT500’s 3.31:1. Gear selection is courtesy of an
all-new Ford Racing short-throw shifter making its debut on the KR.
Topped with a white ball, the new shifter is 25 percent shorter than
the unit on the GT500 providing for crisper, sharper shifts.
Ford SVT, Ford Racing and Team Shelby worked together to develop the
KR’s suspension tuning. Based on initial work by Ford Racing and the
team at Shelby, often at Shelby’s own facility on the grounds of Las
Vegas Motor Speedway, Ford SVT chassis engineers will apply fine
tuning techniques to prepare it for the streets.
“The production Shelby GT500 was maximized to deliver the perfect
balance between ride and handling,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief
nameplate engineer, Ford SVT. “In that same ride versus handling
continuum, the KR will lean heavier towards all-out handling while
still making it drivable on the street.”
Chassis engineers worked closely with the engine department in a
holistic approach to the development of the KR, tuning the
suspension to best optimize the engine enhancements.
“We aren’t fixing our attention on one or two attributes, but
working on the vehicle as a whole,” stated Gary Patterson, vice
president of operations for Shelby Automobiles. “The throttle
response, power delivery, exhaust note, and handling should all gel
together to deliver a total driving experience.”
The GT500KR will feature unique spring rates, dampers, stabilizer
bars, and strut tower brace, all designed specifically for the KR,
to deliver the precision handling package.
Mustang Momentum Cannot be Stopped
Unwilling to wait for the impending pony car war to heat up, Ford is
extending Mustang’s leadership position by feeding the enthusiast
demand for more models, features, performance parts, and special
editions. Ford has committed to at least one new Mustang ‘feature’
vehicle per year. For 2007, it is the Shelby GT, and for 2008, there
will be at least two including the Shelby GT500KR and the previously
announced Mustang Bullitt. Ford’s ‘Steed for Every Need’ strategy
currently offers four horsepower options for Mustang, with pricing
from $19,995 for a 240-hp V-6 Mustang coupe to $46,500 for a 500-hp
Shelby GT500 convertible.
Ford has also introduced several special packages on Mustang further
increasing its unique offerings, including the Pony Package and the
California Special. In addition, Ford Racing offers a complete
catalog of performance parts for Mustang fans, from custom wheels
and exhausts to the complete, turn-key Ford Racing Mustang FR500C
As a result, Ford offers Mustang enthusiasts the ability to buy,
modify and drive the steed that perfectly fits their need.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200
markets across six continents. With more than 280,000 employees and
more than 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated
automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln,
Mercury, Volvo, Aston Martin and Mazda. The company provides
financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more
information regarding Ford’s products, please visit
About Shelby Automobiles, Inc.
Founded by legend Carroll Shelby, Shelby Automobiles, Inc.,
manufactures and markets performance vehicles and related products.
The company manufactures authentic continuation Cobras, including
the 427 S/C, 289 FIA and 289 street car component vehicles. In 2007,
the company partnered with Ford Motor Company to launch the new
Shelby GT, which is based on the Mustang. For more information about
Shelby Automobiles and to see the build of a 2008 Ford Shelby
GT500KR, visit www.shelbyautos.com.
2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR – Specifications and Design Highlights
# 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 producing an estimated 540-horsepower
and 510 ft.-lbs. of torque
# Ford Racing Power Upgrade Pack featuring revised calibration and
cold air intake system
# 6-speed manual transmission with 3.73:1 rear axle ratio
# Ford Racing performance exhaust system
# Unique performance suspension tuning: springs, dampers, and
# Shelby-designed ‘GT500KR’ 20-inch wheels (18-inch version for
# Ford Racing short-throw shifter and front strut tower brace
# Unique carbon composite hood featuring classic Shelby ‘KR’ design
# Front brake cooling ducts
# ‘Shelby’ lettering across the front edge of hood and rear decklid
# 40th Anniversary badges on the front quarter panels
# Carroll Shelby signature embroidered headrests and floor mats
# Official Shelby CSM 40th Anniversary GT500KR dash plate