Shelby America introduced its first production EV, the Shelby Mustang Mach-E GT, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of founder Carrol Shelby’s birth. However, the electric Shelby Mustang will only be available in Europe, and there will be extremely limited availability.
The history behind the Shelby Mustang
Founded in 1962 by former race car driver Carrol Shelby, Shelby America is best known for manufacturing and marketing performance vehicles and related parts.
After driving Ferrari and Maserati sports racing cars for several years, Shelby was invited to join Aston Martin, where he hit the peak of his career, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959. However, a heart condition forced him to retire from racing a year later.
Although Shelby was impressed with the speed of the Ferrari, Maserati, and Jaguars, he was not amused with constantly repairing and maintaining them.
This led him to the idea of building a sports car and selling it for half the price of his competitors, coming up with the name “Cobra.”
Shelby contacted Chevrolet to source engines for the vehicle, but they turned him down as they didn’t want another Corvette competitor. So, he proposed the idea to Ford, and the company was intrigued by the thought of offering a sports car to compete with Chevy’s Corvette.
The Cobra dominated the Corvette in North America, winning from the east coast to the west coast. And in 1965, the Shelby Cobra beat Ferrari to win the World’s Manufacturers GT Championship, marking the only time an American vehicle manufacturer won the championship.
And as they say, the rest is history. Shelby is making another historic moment in its rich performance history by introducing its first performance electric car, a moment its founder long looked forward to.
Meet the electric Shelby Mustang Mach-E GT
Shelby editions of the Mustang have been around nearly as long as the legendary muscle car itself. The new performance EV will be based on the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, with the Shelby package modifying the electric AWD vehicle to enhance handling and style.
The Shelby team has also reduced its weight, made the ride smoother, and tailored its style to improve performance. The company’s VP of operations, Vince LaViolette, explains:
This is our first foray into a production electric vehicle, so we spent a great deal of time testing EV’s on the track to understand their unique handling dynamics. Based on that experience, we lowered the SUV over an inch, cut weight off the top of it, reduced rotating mass to enhance stability and enhanced the aerodynamics.
After introducing a concept based on the electric Ford Mustang Mach-E in 2021, Gary Patterson of Shelby American said “The reaction was very positive,” leading the automaker to develop its first production version.
Although specifics on performance were not given, Shelby did provide several features you can expect to see included in the Shelby Mustang Mach-E GT, such as:
- Carbon fiber hood
- Carbon fiber grille
- Carbon fiber front splitter
- Carbon fiber mirror caps
- Carbon fiber lower for trim
- Over-the-top vinyl stripping
- “Shelby” side running vinyl stripping
- Custom Shelby floor mats
- “Shelby” rear deck badging
- Performance lowering springs
- Shelby forged aluminum wheels
- BORLA Active Performance Sound System
However, Shelby’s electric Mustang will only be available in Europe, with 100 packages being offered. They will be available to retrofit any privately-owned 2021-2023 model year Mustang Mach-E GT or can be added to a new vehicle by a Shelby American dealer.
Shelby American says the price for the electric performance Mustang will start at €24,900 (roughly $27,500), with production beginning in July. Ford Mach-E GT owners can contact Shelby Europe for more info.
As for why its Shelby Mustang Mach-E is only being offered in Europe, Aaron Shelby, board member of Carrol Shelby International and grandson to the company’s founder, responded:
We elected to initially offer the Shelby Mustang Mach-E GT only in Europe because sales of EV’s are growing much more rapidly there than in the USA.
He also noted the number of public charging stations has increased by 431% from 2016 to 2021, saying, “It just makes good business sense for Shelby American.”
Perhaps, with the number of EV chargers expected to rise rapidly across North America over the next several years due to the $7.5 billion in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Shelby may bring the electric performance Mach-E to the US.
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