Blowing Hot: Raw Power For Shelby | Part Three

Clothing the advanced chassis of Series 2 is an aggressively styled, carbon fibre body (subtly different internally to Series 1) that possesses all the drama of the original Cobra, but in a design penned for today. Air is sucked through the familiar, Cobra-style, oval-mouthed grille, and forced out over the low-slung bonnet to produce downforce and thereby aid stability at speed. Sculptured air vents faired in behind the front wheels serve to relieve air pressure and aid brake cooling in conjunction with circular ducts set in the front air dam. The swoopy body "kicks-up" over the rear wheel arches before ending, in true fastback style, with an abruptly cut-off tail – all in the interests of effective aerodynamics.

The Series 2 will come fully equipped with a hand-crafted leather interior, body- hugging sports seats, power windows, air conditioning and CD player – in fact, everything you would expect in a top-level sports car. In performance terms and layout, the Supercharged Series 2 stacks up favourably against the Ferrari 456, which costs over £170,000 new. By comparison, the Supercharged Series 2 will be priced at around $155,000, representing what Shelby believes is a notably more cost-effective performance package as well as a more thrilling and communicative driving experience. For those for whom ultimate performance isn’t a requirement, the normally aspirated Series 2 will cost around $125,000.

Shelby Series 2 production will be limited to just 500 cars, adding exclusivity and long-term value to the marque. Fifty supercharged versions of Series 1 have already burbled away from Shelby’s Las Vegas Motor Speedway-based premises, emphasising the appeal for an ultimate performing spiritual successor to the Cobra.

The Series 2 is available direct from the factory with a number of options, including racing suspension, custom paintwork, roll bar and interior packages.

Shelby American products are sold all over the world - the latest Supercharged Series 1 being finished for a customer in Monaco.

Published 29 January 2003 MAC

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