Today, the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible is unveiled to the world's media at the Chicago Auto Show.

It marks as the celebratory vehicle for the 20th anniversary of Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT). They were officially launched at the same show back in 1992 which Ford unveiled the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra and SVT F-150 Lightning.

Moving back to the present day, the new GT500 Convertible is powered by the same unit found in its coupe sibling - a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 engine. It generates 650 hp (485 kW / 659 PS) and 600 lb-ft (813 Nm) of torque enabling the open-top model to lap Sebring International Raceway 3.5 seconds quicker than the previous generation model. However, SVT have taken an unusual step by introducing a speed limiter which gives the convertible a top speed of 155mph (250kph).

"The Shelby GT500 convertible is every bit the performer that the coupe is," said Kerry Baldori, SVT Global Performance Vehicles chief engineer. "All of the significant changes we made in the program were instrumental in delivering a convertible that could really shine on the track but can still be driven on a daily basis."

Like the Coupe, a Performance Package and a Track Package will also be available for the Convertible. The Performance Package includes Bilstein electronically-adjusted dampers while the Track Package features an external engine-oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler to prevent over-heating on the track.

Production of the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 will begin at the AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.


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