The muscle car industry is not short of wacky, aggressive model names: there’s the Demon, Hellcat, Super Snake, and now Shelby American has released its latest special edition, the ‘Code Red’ – this is not a drill. The ‘Code Red’ will cost around $210,000 (almost £180,000) but customers will also have to supply their own Shelby GT500, which costs upwards of $100,000 (around £84,000) as the base car.
The Code Red was originally conceived by Shelby American as an experimental build, a one-off creation that ordinarily wouldn’t reach the production phase, but the high-performance vehicle manufacturer has decided to build just 30 examples of the car.
The biggest change over the standard GT500 is that its 750bhp 5.2-litre supercharged V8 engine loses the supercharger and gains a pair of turbochargers. The engine is also fitted with upgraded custom pistons, a new exhaust, competition valves, new oil pumps, and an anti-lag system.
The Code Red’s engine was re-engineered by Nelson’s Racing Engines and fitted with a dual feed fuel system which allows it to run on a mixture of racing fuels. The result is a whopping output of over 1000bhp and 780lb ft of torque on standard 93 octane fuel, or an astonishing 1300bhp and 1000lb ft when using E85 racing fuel.
To cope with the extra power, the Code Red has an upgraded driveshaft, Shelby/Baer brakes and rotors. It also gets tuned suspension, heavy duty Pirelli P Zero tyres at the front and Nitto NY555R drag radials at the back wrapped around new 20-inch wheels.
The Shelby GT500 Code Red also gets a widened bodykit and a carbon fibre bonnet, front splitter, rear diffuser and massive wing for improved aerodynamics. The interior gets a few tweaks too – the rear seats are removed to make way for a harness bar, and the remaining two front seats are retrimmed in red and black leather. ‘Code Red’ badging adorns the interior, door sills, and is also embossed on the leather seats.
Shelby American is quoted as saying that while the Code Red is not street legal, it’s “very capable at moderate speeds in any curve” – that said, shouldn’t any car be able to go round a corner at ‘moderate speed’? If that wasn’t enough to inspire confidence, the manufacturer has added that “when the turbos spool up, the car is best enjoyed moving straight ahead”. In other words – avoid any corners and drive at your own peril.