One in six examples is delivered with the $10,000 optional extra.
Most automakers offer customers a wide array of options. This can vary from the sensible to the obscene, as evidenced by Bentley. When it released the Bentayga SUV, it offered a $160,000 dashboard clock as an optional extra. When it comes to performance cars, you'd think buyers would go for optional features which would create an even sportier experience but, as Car and Driver recently found out, that isn't always the case.
The Blue Oval told the publication that Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 customers can't get enough of a certain appearance-enhancing option. At $74,095, the high-performance Mustang doesn't come cheap, but that doesn't stop buyers from forking over an extra $10,000 for hand-painted racing stripes. According to a company spokesperson, approximately one in six examples is ordered with the pricey option.
Interestingly, the hand-painted option is $9,000 more expensive than the vinyl racing stripes, which cost a mere $1,000 extra. While we're not sure whether the hand-painted version is worth that much, clearly GT500 buyers appreciate the attention to detail. On the configurator, buyers can select from three color choices; Kona Blue, Absolute Black, or Oxford White.
Interestingly, if you specify the 2021 model with the $1,750 Handling Package, $3,000 Technology Package, $1,650 Recaro leather/suede seats, and $1,000 carbon fiber instrument panel it still only adds up to $7,400, which is considerably less than the popular (but pricey) stripes. The Ford spokesperson also told the publication that hand-painted aesthetic enhancements even outsold the $10,000 Carbon Fiber Handling package but, this has only been available since the 2021 model year.
The new Mustang and its high-performance derivative are assembled at Ford's plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. But GT500's optioned with the hand-painted stripes have to leave the production line to receive the special touch. This and the fact it's quite an arduous task may explain the price. The stripes are hand-prepared, painted, and then finished with a clear coat.
With a mighty 5.2-liter supercharged V8 living under the bulging hood, the GT500 utilizes all of its astonishing power (760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque) to hit 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed Tremec dual-clutch transmission. With those performance capabilities, maybe customers see no point in spending money on performance-enhancing optional extras, using their leftover wherewithal to focus on enhancing the already menacing looks.