Shelby American recently announced that for their 60th anniversary next year, the Ford Shelby GT500KR Mustang will return. The 2020-2022 model year Shelby GT500s from Shelby American worldwide will have a limited run of only 60 “King of the Road” post-title packages with 900+ horsepower. The announcement was made in the Segerstorm Shelby Event Center in Irvine, California by Shelby and Ford representatives as part of the milestone kick-off celebrations.
Shelby American CEO Joe Conway stated, “Sixty years ago, Shelby American and Ford Motor Company collaborated on their first car, the Shelby Cobra. That relationship resulted in racing championships, victories over Ferrari at Le Mans and amazing Shelby cars based on the Ford Mustang.
Today, we offer a line of Ford-based Shelby trucks and cars and have begun exploring electric vehicles. Every 2022 model year vehicle we build will wear a 60th anniversary badge to symbolize our heritage and bright future, beginning with the Shelby GT500KR.”
The Shelby GT500KR: An Iconic Distinction
This will be the third time that Ford will give a version of the Shelby GT500 the “King of the Road” moniker. It was in 1968 when they gave it to the Shelby GT500KR for the first time. It was powered by the new 428 Cobra Jet V-8 with 335 horsepower. It was given a modified suspension, custom fiberglass hood, redesigned front and rear end, and Cougar taillights.
Shelby also gave it a functional roll bar and wood-trimmed steering wheel. In 1968, it was offered in both fastback and convertible, and Ford dealers were able to sell 1, 570 GT500KR models: 1053 in fastbacks, and 517 convertibles.
Ford and Shelby announced the Ford Shelby GT500KR again in 2008. It was equipped with the supercharged V-8 that can produce 540 horsepower which is 40 horsepower more than the standard GT500. It was also equipped with a short-throw shifter, 3.73:1 rear axle, as well as unique wheels, tires, and suspension settings.
To distinguish the KR from the rest, it was also given a special composite hood with push button hood pins and distinct stripes and badges. For that year, a total of 1,000 cars were produced. The demand was so great, however, that Ford and Shelby decided to build an additional 712 cars for the proceeding year.
Shelby American president Gary Patterson shared, “Shelby American vice president Vince LaViolette and I were deeply involved with the Ford Performance team for the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR program, and I also own a 1968 model. We’re committed to ensuring the third-generation model is worthy of the iconic ‘King of the Road’ crown.
Our program team includes experts at Ford Performance and key suppliers, as well as specialists like Shelby GT500 factory development driver Billy Johnson. We announced the program launch today and we’ll show the car to the public at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in January. From its initial design to final performance specs, the Shelby GT500KR will live up to the name.”
New Shelby GT500KR Features & Upgrades
Based on the 2020-2022 Ford Shelby GT500, the new KR will have an additional 140+ horsepower, dry carbon fiber hood, new tires, wheels, suspension tuning, badges, interior, and a lot more. There will only be 180 total units that will be released in the United States, 60 units for every model year, and 45 units available overseas.
Shelby American Vice President of Operations and Chief of R&D Vince LaViolette shared, “The current Shelby GT500 already has amazing capabilities. We’re taking it to an entirely new level for the extreme driver. We integrated a new supercharger and coolers, then tuned the 5.2-liter V8 to churn out 900 plus horsepower on pump gas.
The KR has more aggressive adjustable springs, Ford Performance sway bars and a new aggressive suspension tune. The exhaust was reworked to be even bolder and we sliced 30 pounds off with an ultra-light dry carbon fiber hood that delivers even more cooling. An optional wide body version is even available.”
Every purchase of the KR will also include a Team Shelby membership, where the owner will be part of a worldwide club that Carroll Shelby established in 2008. The membership will be added in the official Shelby Registry.
On January 29, the first production car will be auctioned at No Reserve b Barrett-Jackson Auction Company in Scottsdale. The Carroll Shelby Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) are the beneficiaries of the sale. The car will be available in any standard Ford color on the Shelby GT500. Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, Carolyn and Craig Jackson, were also part of the announcement.
“My grandfather, Carroll Shelby was often called the ‘King of the Road’ for pushing the performance envelope both on and off the track. He was proud of his company’s relationship with Ford Motor Company and was passionate about supporting philanthropic causes. We’re pleased that the first 2022 Ford Shelby GT500KR will be sold by our friends at Barrett-Jackson for JDRF and the Carroll Shelby Foundation.
Together, we’ve raised millions of dollars for charity through the years by giving collectors the rare opportunity to own a very unique and valuable vehicle,” Carroll Shelby International Board Member and co-President of the Carroll Shelby Foundation Aaron Shelby shared.
Production of the Shelby GT500KR production will start in Las Vegas in the first quarter. Starting February 1, 2022, 2020 and 2021 Shelby GT500 owners can contact Shelby American about transforming their car into a KR. 2022 model year orders can request for their cars to be transformed into a KR and it will also have anniversary badges.
“This is just the start of our milestone celebration. In addition to updates to our current lineup, we plan to announce three more significant vehicle programs. The incredible Shelby GT500KR is just the beginning of an amazing year,” Patterson added.
2021 Shelby GT500KR Specifications
Package MSRP: $54,995 | For any titled 2020 -2022 Shelby GT500, FOB Las Vegas, Nevada
Starting from MSRP: $127,895 | Pricing based on 2022 Shelby GT500 ($72,900 MSRP)
Shelby by Whipple black finish supercharger system
o 900+ horsepower* 3.8L supercharger
o High volume supercharger intercooler
o High volume supercharger heat exchanger
o Open cold air intake system
Heavy-duty performance half-shafts
Shelby ride–height adjustable front and rear springs
Shelby by Borla cat-back exhaust system
Ford Performance front and rear sway bars
MagneRide® suspension recalibration
Caster camber plates
Shelby one-piece 6061-T6 forged aluminum wheels (20×11 front and 20×11.5 rear)
Performance spec tires
Extended and hardened wheel studs
• Exterior and Interior
Shelby carbon fiber hood
o Prepreg dry carbon fiber with functional evacuation air vents and special rain trays
o Shelby hood strut system
o “SHELBY” hood lock housing
Carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser
Carbon fiber Gurney flap (non-CFTP)
Billet engine caps
Shelby rocker stripes and badges
Leather seat recovers
CSM numbered engine and dash plate
• Shelby Wide Body
• Polished supercharger
• Painted stripes
• Rear seat delete with harness bar
• Le Mans style over the top stripes
Vehicle is post-title-sales only. Pricing, options and availability subject to change without notice. FOB Las Vegas. Vehicle transportation is responsibility of the customer. Minimum 91 octane required in supercharged vehicles. HP ratings are climate adjusted based on use of 93-octane fuel. Fuel standards and octane rating may differ internationally. Power features void manufactures power train warranty. Only 2022 MY vehicles receive 60th anniversary badging. International customers should check for import restrictions). Only 2022 MY vehicles receive 60th anniversary badging. Shelby retains all take-off parts (CFTP wheels returned to customer at customer’s expense). SHELBY®, SHELBY GT®, GT500®, GT500KR®, SUPER SNAKE® and SHELBY AMERICAN™ are registered trademarks and/or the tradedress of Carroll Shelby and Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc. (Shelby).