Despite being nearly 15 years old, the Shelby GR-1 concept still looks fresh enough to be something that’s just been leaked ahead of a debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. That’s probably a good thing, as all these years later, it’s actually going into production.
Only, it won’t actually be built by Ford, Car and Driver reports. Instead, it’ll be built by Superperformance, an Irving, California firm known for building various continuation models including one for the Shelby Daytona Coupe - the car from which the GR-1 takes inspiration.
The new model was announced at the Petersen Museum’s annual Shelby Tribute last weekend. “We could have done a replica, we could have done a kit car, but that was never good enough for us,” CEO Superperformance Lance Stander said, adding “We had to get licensed by the original manufacturer.”
Ford has indeed officially licensed the project, through an agreement that’s effectively been six years in the making. With the help of Shelby American, both a petrol-powered and electric GR-1 will be made.
As for the spec of the cars, that’s still an unknown. The concept was powered by a 6.4-litre V10 pushing out just shy of 600bhp, propelling it to 60mph in 3.9 seconds. Superformance’s version stands to be quite a bit quicker. “We’re shooting for a two-second Shelby,” Stander said.
Production won’t be limited to just a handful of collector’s items, either. There’s already talk of 200 special-edition aluminium GR-1s - with a polished finish just like the original concept - with more examples on top of that built with carbonfibre bodies.
We’ll be waiting at least a couple of years until the car is released, but we suspect it’ll be worth the wait.