Shelby American Resurrects GT500 With 900HP King Of The Road

Shelby American Resurrects GT500 With 900HP King Of The Road

In celebration of a momentous anniversary next year, Shelby American is revitalizing the storied King of the Road moniker as a 900-horsepower post-title upgrade package for the 2020+ Shelby GT500. 

“Sixty years ago, Shelby American and Ford Motor Company collaborated on their first car, the Shelby Cobra,” said Joe Conway, CEO of Shelby American. “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 current Shelby GT500 already has amazing capabilities. We’re taking it to an entirely new level for the extreme driver. — Shelby American Vice President, Vince LaViolette .

Shelby American

The first production Shelby GT500KR will cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, with no reserve on January 29. The proceeds of the auction benefit the Carroll Shelby Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. (Photo Credit: Shelby American)

While the original Shelby GT500 KR debuted in 1968 with upgrades like a 428 Cobra Jet under the hood, it returned in 2008-2009 for a limited run. This new package marks just the third time that the GT500 carries the King of the Road name.  

“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,” Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American, said. “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.”

Part of the 2020+ Shelby GT500KR’s unique visage is a Shelby one-piece 6061-T6 forged aluminum wheels and a Shelby carbon fiber hood with functional air evacuation vents.

Among the upgrades putting the crown on the latest member of Shelby royalty are a Whipple 3.8-liter supercharger, a Borla exhaust, a recalibrated MagneRide suspension, and more (see below). 

“The current Shelby GT500 already has amazing capabilities,” said Vince LaViolette, Shelby American vice president of operations and chief of R&D. “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.”

2020+ Shelby GT500KR Upgrades


• Shelby by Whipple black finish supercharger system  

•900 horsepower 3.8-liter supercharger

•High-volume supercharger intercooler

•High-volume supercharger heat exchanger

•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-inch front and 20×11.5-inch rear)

Performance tires

•Extended and hardened wheel studs

Exterior & Interior 

•Shelby carbon fiber hood

•Prepreg dry carbon fiber with functional evacuation air vents and special rain trays

• Shelby hood strut system

• 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

• Painted Stripes

• Shelby Carbon Fiber Package (late availability)

• Rear seat delete with harness bar

• Le Mans style over the top stripes 

Beginning on Feb. 1, 2022, owners of 2020-2021 Shelby GT500s can contact Shelby American about converting their cars into KRs with a starting price of $54,995. Those wanting a 2022 model can order a complete GT500KR for $127,895. 

Article Sources

About the author

Steve Turner

Steve Turner brings decades of passion and knowledge in the world of Ford performance, having covered it for over 20 years. From the swan song of the Fox Mustang to the birth of the Coyote, Steve had a front-row seat.
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