Shelby GTS Mustang Goes Hunting for Colts

Introduced on Thursday: 2012 Shelby GTS.

Is it real? Indeed. It was 50 years ago that Carroll Shelby came to the New York auto show for the first time, with the Shelby Cobra 289 in tow. And so a legend was born.

Mr. Shelby wasn’t at the 2011 show, but his company, Shelby American, was very much present, stripping the wraps off the new Shelby-tuned Mustang, the GTS, which is due to ship at the end of the year.

What they said: “The Ford Shelby GT was introduced in 2007 as an agile, reliable and affordable muscle car,” said John Luft, president of Shelby American. “It dominated its SCCA racing class and was a popular canvas for enthusiasts to create their dream Shelby. Our Shelby GTS picks up that mantle and expands upon it.”

What they didn’t say: Shelby is chasing a younger demographic and making their skunkworks package available for customers of the V-6 and V-8 factory Fords. And with the Ford Mustang V-6 priced at about $22,000, that route could appeal for younger drivers who also are looking to dodge exorbitant insurance premiums.

What makes it tick? The GTS includes several upgrades, including a Ford Racing handling pack (struts, stabilizer bars), Borla exhaust system, Shelby/Baer brakes, a unique front fascia, badges and side stripes. Go-fast options not bundled in the GTS configuration include superchargers for both models, larger wheels and two-tone leather.

How much? How soon? The Shelby GTS package is priced at $10,000 for the V-6 and $12,000 for the V-8. Base car, of course, is not included. Shelby American will start taking orders in June, with deliveries toward the end of the year.

How’s it look? At a glance, the GTS projects only slightly more aggression than the factory Ford. It will take a trained eye to spot the Shelby influence.