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Filed under: Chicago Auto Show, Convertible, Performance, Ford

Twenty years ago, Ford debuted the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra at the Chicago Auto Show and introduced the world to its high-performance skunkworks department, known as SVT or Special Vehicle Team.

Today, Ford celebrates SVT's platinum anniversary the only way it knows how: with another Mustang variant. And as suspected, it comes in the form of a topless Shelby GT500.

Just as a refresher, at the 1992 show in Chicago the SVT Cobra put out 235 horsepower from its Vanilla Ice-approved 5.0-liter V8. Twenty years later, displacement has grown by less than a liter, but thanks to some 21st century tech and a massive supercharger, the 5.8-liter V8 in the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible makes the same 650 hp (and 600 pound-feet of torque) as its coupe counterpart, laying claim to the most powerful production V8 in the world.

In addition to the carbon fiber driveshaft, upgraded clutch, transmission, camshafts and cross-drilled block and heads, SVT fitted its own specially developed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers, along with six-piston Brembo calipers squeezing massive discs up front.

Like the coupe, the Bilstein setup is part of the Performance Package (why it's not included as standard is beyond us) and Ford will also offer a Track Pack that includes an external oil cooler, differential cooler and transmission cooler to keep temps in check when flogging the drop top around the tarmac.

And before you ask: No, the GT500 coupe's 200 mph top speed doesn't carry over to the Convertible. In a rare moment of sanity, Ford's engineers saw fit to limit the GT500 'vert to 155 mph - like the rest of the roofless Mustangs. Hit the jump for the full details.Continue reading 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible kicks out 650 hp, limits top speed

2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible kicks out 650 hp, limits top speed originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 08 Feb 2012 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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