Once Ford Motors heard about the “Need for Speed” movie adaptation and the significance of the Mustang to the story, they were eager to get involved. The company worked with production to design a special “Need for Speed” Mustang based on the 2013 Shelby GT500. Caroll Shelby, a legendary American racer turned car designer who created the performance-based Mustang for Ford in 1965, had been working on the 50th anniversary edition when he passed away in 2012.
Though it’s said to make 900 hp in “Need for Speed,” this custom is little more than a 420-hp Mustang GT with a six-speed manual. Even so, the rare Mustang (which is likely only one of a few made) certainly looks the part of movie star. Ford designed a custom wide-body kit for the Mustang, and fit it with a custom twin-snorkel hood, a larger lower grille, and bespoke 20-inch Forgiato wheels. Ford also painted the Mustang in a custom silver paint, with Kona Blue racing stripes.
“If you wanted a Mustang you always wanted the Shelby Mustang because it was an amazing car.”
The frame was altered by celebrated Ford designer Melvin Betancourt and built by Techno Sports in Detroit. Some of the alterations made to the “Need for Speed” Mustang include: a wider body, 20-inch alloy wheels (to help facilitate easier stunts for the stunt drivers), a V8 engine topping out at 304 km/h, heavier compression rates on the springs, high-charged Bilstein shocks and thicker sway bars. The interior console was adapted to accommodate an iPad for Tobey to use when communicating with his crew and the futuristic side-view mirrors were turned into cameras.
Eventually, seven different Mustangs were built, each serving specific purposes ranging from beauty shots, stunts and driving shots to a model that could be lifted by and hung from a helicopter. Three of the cars used 5.0-liter 420 hp V8s with a six-speed manual transmission, and two cars were powered by a 662 hp V8. Another car paired the 5.0-liter 420 hp V8 with an automatic transmission and one used the 305 hp V6 with an automatic.
Don’t think that the new V8 is a one-trick pony – rated at a respectable 15 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, it manages to avoid the gas-guzzler tax and is the most efficient engine with over 550 horsepower in America.
Unlike some its competitors, the car isn’t offered with an automatic gearbox. Shifting duties are handled exclusively by a tradition six-speed manual transmission, which features increased torque and rpm capacity thanks to its dual-disc clutch design.
Packing all of that muscle into the Shelby’s updated body results in a top speed of 202 mph. The benchmark zero-to-60 mph sprint takes just 3.5 seconds, while the quarter-mile flies by in 11.8 seconds.
The interior continues to utilize a sporty dual-cowl dashboard design, vintage-inspired gauges and an oversized three-spoke steering wheel. Model-specific touches include Cobra badges, a cue ball shifter and “racing stripe” seat trim. Unfortunately, the GT500 features the same abundance of hard, dark plastics as the rest of the Mustang lineup, which feel out of place given the price tag.
The most basics of models can be bought at $54,000. If you bolt on a glass roof ($2k), a track package ($3k), an electronic interior package ($2.3k), a pair of sport seats ($1.5k) you’ll find yourself slowly approaching the $70,000 round figure. Nowhere near as close as the $2.7m paid in the movie. Well, I suppose it was one of a kind!