The 3.6L Kenne Bell twin-screw...
The 3.6L Kenne Bell twin-screw supercharger is the key to streetable 1,000 hp. For the Shelby 1000, the G.T. 500's 5.4L engine is rebuilt with a stout bottom end and ported heads for better flow.
OK, I'll admit it: I was somewhat intimidated when Gary Patterson yanked the car cover off the Shelby 1000 Mustang in preparation for my test drive. Even as Gary explains the car's tame, even docile street manners, I recall my experiences in 750hp G.T. 500 Super Snakes so I know that even that level of power can get you in trouble in a hurry. The Shelby 1000 adds another 250 hp--tacking on more horsepower than an '87 5.0L HO.
The obvious question is: Why does anyone need 1,000 horsepower for a street car?
Patterson, Shelby American's VP of Operations, is quick with a response: "Some people need that just to get to work."
For the past several years, Carroll Shelby has been talking about building a street car with 1,000 horsepower. In a 2008 interview, he told Mustang Monthly, "We're in a horsepower race with the Germans. They ain't going to win it. I've got 1,000 horsepower on the dyno right now and I'll go there if I have to."
With the new Shelby 1000, based on Ford's Shelby G.T. 500, he's not only gone there, he's set a new standard for production-based builds, not only for Mustangs but also for American muscle cars. Reaching the magic 1,000hp number is certainly worth boasting; doing it in a well-mannered street package is the Big News.
Introduced during the New York International Auto Show on April 6-15, the Shelby 1000 joins the Super Snake, G.T. 350, and GTS as a post-title package available from Shelby American's Las Vegas production facility. Saddling up 1,000 hp won't come cheap; pricing for the Shelby 1000 package wasn't established at press time, but we've heard rumors about "keeping it under $150,000."
Shelby American Motorsports'...
Shelby American Motorsports' supervisor Gil Nevarez (left) and his boss, Shelby American VP of Production Gary Davis, took on Carroll Shelby's challenge for a 1,000hp street Shelby and delivered the Shelby 1000. Here, they look over a customer 5.4L that has been fitted with performance and durability upgrades. Unlike earlier models, the engines in current Mustangs come out from underneath the car.
From the rear, the Shelby...
From the rear, the Shelby 1000 is one wicked looking Mustang, although in keeping with the understated theme, there are few modifications, including the black-out rear panel and reflective emblem.
Taking a cue from vintage...
Taking a cue from vintage Mach 1s and Boss 302s, the "Shelby 1000" decals are reflective. The brightness and color changes depending on where you're standing, plus they reflect as white when hit by light at night.
The first Shelby 1000 is Carroll's car. I was invited to drive it, not for testing purposes, I was told, because it was still under development. Regardless, I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to experience 1,000 hp in what Shelby American claims is a totally streetable package.
The road to 1,000 hp wasn't easy. For over three years, Shelby American explored twin turbochargers, going as far as building a concept twin-turbocharged G.T. 500 called Code Red (see "Shelby's Code Red" in the March 2011 issue). "It became very complex," Patterson told us. "By the time the project was finished, the Mustang body style had changed. And with that, the Ford electronics changed again. So the target kept moving."
But it was the technological advancement in large-capacity, twin-screw superchargers from Kenne-Bell and Whipple that convinced them to switch to supercharging. "You can take one of those and run with the Ford factory electronics, so tuning becomes easier," Patterson explains. "And driveability is like a regular car. You put the key in, turn it, and the engine starts, idles at 900 rpm, and doesn't give you any grief sitting in traffic."
The switch from twin-turbocharging to twin-screw supercharging didn't erase the time and effort put into Code Red's research and development. Many of the Shelby 1000's upgrades, from beefier engine internals to the 9-inch rearend, came from lessons learned while developing Code Red's engine and chassis to handle 1,000 hp.
Every Shelby 1000 will start life as a production '12-'13 Shelby G.T. 500. However, unlike other Shelby post-title builds, the engine is removed, then disassembled and rebuilt with upgraded components to prepare the bottom end for the rigors of high-horsepower. "According to Ford, the all-aluminum 5.4L can handle 1,000 hp momentarily but not continuously," says Shelby American Motorsports' Gil Nevarez, who headed up the Shelby 1000 engine development. "With the upgraded components, you can run the engine continuously at that level."
Designed by Shelby American...
Designed by Shelby American Motorsports' Vince LaViolette, the Shelby 1000 hood incorporates a 2-inch bulge to accommodate the tall 3.6L Kenne Bell supercharger. With the factory-type grille, it doesn't look much different than the stock '12 Shelby G.T. 500 hood.
To deflect heat, Nevarez specifies...
To deflect heat, Nevarez specifies ceramic coating for the tops of the Diamond pistons in the Shelby 1000's 5.4L engine.
Put drag radials or slicks...
Put drag radials or slicks on the Shelby 1000 and you'll be glad to know that a Currie 9-inch rear end won't leave you stranded. It's connected to the six-speed transmission via an aluminum driveshaft.