Shelby Mustang Code Red Is 1,300 HP Of Track-Only Absurdity

Muscle Cars / 12 Comments

This is the most expensive way to make your GT500 track-only.

Shelby says that this, the 1,300-horsepower car that could vaguely resemble a $27K base Mustang, was inspired by an experimental build. Back in 2008, customers wanted more power from their Shelby GT500s. So, Shelby ditched the car's supercharger for a pair of turbos and called it the Code Red. Fast forward a few years, and we've got the GT500 Code Red, the sequel, back again as the pinnacle of Shelby Mustangs.

The headlining specs are nothing short of impressive (or incredulous chuckle-inducing). 1,300 hp and 1,000 lb-ft* of torque are pulled kicking and screaming from the Mustang's V8, now twin-turbocharged, just like the Code Red of old. Production is limited to 10 GT500s from each model year since 2020, which comes to 30 total units. And they're not street legal.

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It's a footnote in Shelby's press statement, but it's an important one, reading "Please note: Vehicle is off-road only. Package voids all manufacturer warranties." Regardless, this is a huge first for the tuning company, as this Code Red is the first time an experimental car like the '67 GT500 Super Snake, has been turned into a production model.

The 5.2-liter motor is entirely hand-built, featuring a new fuel system and custom engine management in addition to the two new turbos. However, there's an asterisk to the power figure above, as you may have noticed. You'll need E85 to get the full 1,300 hp out of this monster. If there doesn't happen to be any forbidden corn syrup nearby, you're stuck with a measly 1,000 hp and 780 lb-ft on 93 octane gas.

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Thankfully, the car is about more than the headlining power figures. Shelby says the Code Red features a new widebody package as well. That means new wheels, ries, axles, and suspension tuning to help the Code Red feel that extra bit spicier. There are, of course, other changes as well. Shelby hasn't made note of color options, but we imagine that the lucky 30 customers will be able to choose from more than just black. Throughout the car, there are more special touches to alert anyone who can't hear the exhaust to what you're driving.

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That means badging in the engine bay, on the body, and in the interior. All of those have some variation of Code Red, Shelby, or the brand's snake logo. We're especially big fans of the Carroll Shelby signatures located just behind the rear windows. 2022 cars will also get unique 60th Anniversary badging.

However, all this isn't cheap. The Code Red runs $209,995 not including the cost of the donor car. Shelby will happily return your carbon fiber wheels to you if you opted for them on the GT500, but the brand keeps the rest of the parts after the conversion. Thankfully, a carbon hood is included on each car. But if you need a track-ready Mustang, this is as good as it gets.

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