Shelby American Goes CODE RED With 1,300 Horsepower Twin-Turbo GT500

Shelby American is known for crafting powerful rides that span the spectrum from vintage to modern. At Carlisle Ford Nationals, it unveiled a Daytona Coupe that paid homage to the desires of Carroll Shelby with a SOHC Cammer engine wedged into the front of the car. In modern vehicles, it revived the Shelby GT500 King of the Road name by engaging owners with a 900 horsepower supercharged powerplant. Now, Shelby American has taken the GT500 platform a step further with a 1,300 horsepower version named “CODE RED.”

code red

CODE RED is unlike any of the previous vehicles that were introduced by Shelby American. Instead of being a production based vehicle, it was actually an experimental project gone wild. This launched the car into becoming a Limited Production Edition. How limited you might ask? Well, how does ten CODE REDs per model year for 2020-2022 Shelby GT500s worldwide sound?

For those Shelby American history buffs, you might recognize that this isn’t the first time the CODE RED nomenclature was used on a GT500. In 2008, Shelby American took the 5.4-liter supercharged engine and joined forces with Nelson Racing Engines to create a twin-turbo monster. Meanwhile, the drivetrain, suspension and brakes were attended to with top shelf products from Currie, Baer, Eibach, and more. Unfortunately, this model never made it to production, as cost and extreme nature of the car sequestered its arrival on the scene.

“The unique nature of this new car required us to pour in lessons learned from extreme vehicles like the 2008 CODE RED, Shelby 1000 and 2020 Shelby GT500 Dragon Snake concept,” said Vince LaViolette, Shelby American Vice President of Operations and Chief of R&D. “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.”

Now CODE RED has returned for a second time, this time though a 2020-2022 Shelby GT500 will be utilized for the build.

“CODE RED is designed to be the pinnacle of Shelby Mustangs,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “While we never put it into production during 2008, many were keen to own one. The current generation Shelby GT500 is so robust and spectacular that many of the issues we encountered 14 years ago no longer exist. It’s so perfect for CODE RED transformation that we began quietly building a few for insiders who asked. Though we did not initially intend to offer a formal edition, demand was so strong that we elected to build a very small number of them.”

Shelby American has teamed up with Fathouse Performance to create the ultimate Shelby Mustang this time. Fathouse Performance is well known for creating twin-turbo, high horsepower builds utilizing the Shelby GT350 and GT500 platform. CODE RED follows suit with its factory supercharger being removed in favor of a pair of turbos that feed into the built GT500 engine.

“We worked closely with Shelby American to develop a robust, powerful and reliable package based on our 50 years of combined experience in the high-performance auto industry,” said Ben Stoner, vice president of Fathouse Performance. “The 5.2-liter engine now features all-new high-performance components boosted by an intercooled premium twin turbo system, a new fuel system, engine management system and more. CODE RED boasts 1,000+ horsepower and 780-foot pounds of torque on 93 octane pump gas with up to 1,300 horsepower and 1,000-foot pounds of torque on E85 Ethanol.”

What uniquely shapes the CODE RED engine bay is the lack of showcasing its turbo system. Instead the turbos are mounted indiscreetly and the intercooler is located where the factory supercharger once sat. To the untrained eye, this powerhouse of performance resembles its factory counterpart. A foolish thought as any RPM above 4,000 will unleash an assault of boost that thrusts your body deep into the CODE RED badged seats. The noise of a supercharger whine being replaced with the whooshing sounds of two turbos beginning to spool. As the forced induction and engine combined forces to make the most power, a Motec M150 ECU handles the complete tune.

While performance is one aspect of CODE RED, it is so much more than just a drivetrain enhancement. The exterior receives a full widebody package and the chassis continues through a laundry list of upgrades including new wheels, tires, axles, suspension tuning, interior, badging and more. Outside of products, the package has been thoroughly vetted on track by LaViolette (chief test driver) and Patterson (senior test driver) to refine CODE RED into hypercar status.


“CODE RED drives like a regular car until the tach swings past 4,000 RPM,” said Patterson. “That’s when the Shelby transforms from mild-mannered transportation to extreme muscle car in the blink of an eye. The performance is breathtaking.”

What Shelby American has done is turn the already potent GT500 into what could easily be considered supercar status. If you think you’re brave enough to pilot a 1,300 horsepower GT500 and already own a 2020-2022 GT500, then reach out to Shelby American with a cool $209,995 in hand to convert your titled Shelby GT500 into what dreams are made of. Included in the package deal is a membership in Team Shelby and be documented in the official Shelby Registry. Also included, but not mentioned, is the ability to scare yourself and passenger, as the car makes nearly double the factory power.

Standard Feature


Shelby by FHP Twin Turbo System
• Xona 7869S Dual Ball Bearing Turbos
• Stainless Steel Tial Vband Exhaust Housings
• PTP Titanium Turbo Blankets and Turbo Manifold Blankets
Tial MVS Wastegates
• Custom High Flow Air Filters
• 3” Stainless Active Exhaust and Steel Turbo Downpipes
• Stainless Steel Tubular Turbo Headers with Billet Collectors and Merges
ARP Header Bolt Kit

Engine Upgrade
• Custom Manley Pistons 10.5:1 CR
• Manley I Beam Rods
• ARP Main and Head Studs
• Oil Squirter Block Offs
• PAC Valve Springs
Ferrea Competition Valves
• HD Secondary Timing Chains
Ford Performance Oil Pump Gear and Crank Sprocket
• Billet Anodized Coil Cover Set with Shelby Logo

Intake and Intercooler System:
• Fathouse Performance Intake Manifold/ A2W Intercooler
• Fathouse Performance Billet Throttle Body Adapter and Coupler
• Fathouse Performance Ice Tank with Reservoir
• Coated Aluminum Intercooler Piping
• Tial Blow Off Valve
• Upgraded Heat Exchanger and Custom Turbo Scavenge System
• Fathouse Performance Race Oil Catch Can
• Fathouse Valve Cover Adapter Fittings
• BMRS High Temp Polymer Hose Plumbing

Fuel System
ID 1,300x Injectors
• Billet Fuel Rails
• Return Style Fuel System
• BMRS Line Kit
Fore fittings, Fuel Pressure Reg, and Fuel Filter
• Upgraded fuel pumps

MoTeC M150 Engine Management Package:
• MoTeC M150 ECU
• Plug and Play Mil-Spec Wiring Harness
• Power Adjustment via Factory Drive Mode Controls (650hp-1,300hp)
• Advanced Traction Control (9 Different Levels)
• Boost-by-Gear
• Rolling Anti-Lag
• Flex Fuel 93/E85 System automatically adjusts power based on ethanol content
• Ghost Cam Feature (activated in Drag Mode)
• Advanced Launch Control
• Engine Protection Features
• Level 3 Advanced Data Logging (captures data automatically)


• Shelby Widebody package
• Performance half-shafts
• Ride–height adjustable front and rear springs
• Ford Performance front and rear sway bars
• MagneRide® suspension recalibration
• Caster camber plates
• Shelby one-piece 6061-T6 forged aluminum wheels
• 20×11 front with performance spec 305/30/20 tire
• 20×13 rear with performance spec 345/30/20 rear tire
• Extended and hardened wheel studs

Exterior and Interior

• Shelby carbon fiber hood
• Carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser
• Carbon fiber pedestal wing
• Shelby rocker panels
• Carbon fiber rocker wings
• Billet engine caps
• 60th Anniversary Badging (2022 MY only)
• CODE RED badging
• Leather seat recovers
• Shelby rocker stripes
• CSM numbered engine and dash plate
• Embroidered floor mats
• Door sill plates
• Rear seat delete and harness bar


• Le Mans style over the top stripes
• Painted stripes

Article Sources

More Sources

About the author

James Elkins

Born into a household of motorsport lovers, James learned that wrenching takes priority over broken skin and damaged nerves. Passions include fixing previous owners’ mistakes, writing, and driving.
Read My Articles

Blue Oval Muscle in your inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from FordMuscle, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes