Back in 2008, Shelby decided to replace a GT500's supercharger for a pair of turbochargers. Churning in excess of 1,000 horsepower, the Code Red was born — but Ford didn’t sell it, it was too extreme. Well, it’s funny how ideas change in time, because here we are 14 years later, and the Code Red has returned with even more grunt.
The pitch is the same: twin turbos, now producing 1,300 HP and 1,000 lb-ft of torque. At least on E85 ethanol — using 93 octane will limit you to just 1,000 horsepower and 780 lb-ft. Hopefully you can live with that. Shelby will make 30 in total, 10 each for model years 2020, ’21 and ’22. Sans the roughly $80,000 required for the donor GT500, the Code Red will set back those brave enough to attempt to tame it $209,995.
Of course, hitting those targets wasn’t just a matter of bolting a pair of turbines on. Shelby uprated the entire powertrain, as well as the cooling and suspension systems to cope with the output — and help drivers cope, too. In fact, the changes are so numerous, it’s probably best if I just post the full list from Shelby’s digital brochure:
The fine print at the end there is the kind you really shouldn’t ignore. The Code Red is not street legal, and that’s probably for the best.
Changes on the outside mirror those underneath the carbon-fiber hood. Shelby has given the Code Red the full widebody treatment, along with forged wheels and an aggressive rear wing and front splitter. Don’t take any of that to mean Shelby recommends the Code Red as the sharpest tool for corner carving, however. The following quote from R&D chief Vince LaViolette is a passive disclaimer of what you’re getting yourself into:
“All of the massive horsepower and torque we develop with the new CODE RED car required us to focus on optimizing traction. That is why CODE RED is more of a straight-line performer than a road course warrior. While not street legal, it’s very capable at moderate speeds in most any curve. But when the turbos spool up, the car is best enjoyed moving straight ahead.”
Fair enough; you don’t buy a 1,300-horsepower Mustang to go in any direction except straight ahead. Shelby says it’s already began building Code Reds in Las Vegas.