With representing the line's volume player, it's of little surprise that the aftermarket is responding in kind and whipping together hop-up parts for the turbocharged four-cylinder pony car. Throwing money at performance mods months or even years after leaving the dealership with your new ride makes sense; buy the Mustang you want or can afford, save up for mods later. But would you drop $23,995 for an extra 25 horsepower?
We certainly appreciate the Mustang EcoBoost–based Shelby GT EcoBoost's additional 25 horsepower (for a new total of 335 ponies), its upgraded suspension and short-shift kit. But the Shelby GT EcoBoost package's price has us scratching our heads, since it is $23,995 on top of the price of an EcoBoost Mustang, for a total minimum cost of $50,195. (There are stripes and other add-ons, like Wilwood brakes, etc, available to send that figure higher.) We'll spare you the list of 335-hp-ish vehicles that can be had for less ( V-6 anyone? Too soon?) and skip right to the $33,200, 435-hp, V-8–powered factory Mustang GT. Or, you know, the $49,995 (Ford licenses the Shelby name for that unrelated model), which has pushing 526 horsepower.
Of the elements included with Shelby American's EcoBoost kit, only four are truly functional; of those four, three bits come straight from the Ford Performance catalog. You know, the catalog available to everyone, not just Shelby. There's the $299 Ford Performance short-shift kit, the $1499 Track Handling package (front and rear shocks, lowering springs, sway bars, toe links), and the Sport cat-back exhaust system, the least-expensive version of which runs $1489. Unmentioned in Shelby's sales brochure for the GT EcoBoost is an apparent engine tune, but an ECU programmer typically runs about $500.
Add it all up, and it's about $3787 worth of parts. So where is the other $20,208 of your money going? Well, there are some carbon-fiber bits (splitter, hood, and side sills), Shelby GT stripes and badges, plaques for the dashboard and engine cover, Shelby floor mats, and 20-inch Weld Racing wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tires. Oh, and, uh, the cost to put all of this on your Mustang. The kicker: Shelby American goes out of its way to declare that after the build, it "retains all take-off parts." Wave goodbye to any possible savings from selling the stock wheels and suspension components.
We suggest that if you want a more powerful Mustang, visit your nearest Ford dealer and ask to test drive a GT. Even better, ask for the GT with the optional Performance package. As for those who already own a Mustang EcoBoost, our instructions are to also visit a Ford dealer—and order those Ford Performance parts. If these suggestions are somehow too confusing, you deserve this Shelby; just don't forget to cross-shop Roush Performance. They'd be happy to take $6959 of your money for a "Stage 1″ Mustang EcoBoost—with zero additional horsepower.