Shelby GT500 Convertible Unveiled: 2012 Chicago Auto Show

Shelby GT500 Convertible Unveiled: 2012 Chicago Auto Show

The cloth dropped from the 2013 Shelby GT500 convertible at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show today, delivering a topless blast of fast that we’ve been eagerly awaiting.

Just like a bottle of Bacardi 151 rum, this car is wickedly strong and gets its job done fast. With that in mind, here’s the lowdown on Ford‘s most potent convertible to date.

“The Shelby GT500 convertible is every bit the performer that the coupe is,” said Kerry Baldori, SVT Global Performance Vehicles chief engineer. “All of the significant changes we made in the program were instrumental in delivering a convertible that could really shine on the track but can still be driven on a daily basis.”

As for year-over-year comparison, Ford says the 2013 model is 3.5 seconds faster around the track than the 2011 or 2012 models.

That said, there isn’t much mechanically different from the coupe, aside from the obvious convertible top, the latest angry muscle car in the 49-year lineage is anything but a disappointment. Expect the same 19-inch alloys in the front and 20’s in the rear, sitting around Brembo brakes.

It delivers on exactly what you want, obnoxious power and ostentatious appeal that’s sure to turn heads anywhere you go. Under the hood, the same 5.8-liter gut-wrencher of a V8 makes 650-horsepower and a neck-snapping 600 lb-ft. of torque.

As per the coupe version of the latest snake-worthy mustang, the same all-new 2013 drivetrain is still in place including cool features like a carbon-fiber drive shaft and an upgraded transmission axle and clutch.

It’s no surprise that the top-of-the line Mustang, meant to keep the Chevrolet Camaro ZR1 on edge, gets some additional weight thanks to Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers available on the performance package and  a newly tuned chassis.

GALLERY: Shelby GT500 Mustang convertible


Watch AutoGuide’s first look video of the Shelby GT500 Convertible below:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.