While the Shelby badge usually brings to mind the hottest, highest-performing factory-built Mustangs, Shelby American also turns out its own variations on Ford’s pony car. Here’s the latest: the 2017 Shelby GTE, a lightly modded Mustang that gains about two dozen horsepower.
The “E” in GTE stands for “enhanced,” and it does indeed receive mild enhancements. In 5.0-liter V-8 guise, it puts out 456 horsepower, 21 more than stock; turbocharged four-cylinder models make 335 horses, a gain of 25.
The power increases come in part from the Ford Performance catalog, with V-8 models getting the factory-approved Power Pack; EcoBoost models, in contrast, get a Shelby-specific engine tune. GTEs also get the Ford Performance Handling Pack and cat-back exhaust as well as Ford Performance 19-inch wheels wrapped in tires of Shelby’s choosing.
Stripes and badges? Hell yeah. GTE-specific hoods, grilles, rocker panels, and rear spoilers distinguish this upgraded model, along with a GT350-spec chin spoiler. Badges on the dashboard, head restraints, door sills, floor mats, engine cover, grille, decklid, and C-pillar all proclaim the car’s Shelby-ness to the world, as do the traditional racing stripes and sill stripes.
Shelby American, which was started by Carroll Shelby, also builds continuation Cobras alongside pumped-up machines like the Super Snake and Shelby-ized Raptor muscle trucks. So think of the GTE as the foundation of your tuning fantasies—cruise through the Shelby American catalog, and you’ll find V-8 supercharger kits promising more than 750 horsepower and all the track-ready drivetrain and chassis upgrades you could ever want.
While the basic Shelby GTE is essentially a Shelby GT-H that you don’t have to rent from Hertz, it has the all-important Shelby badge and a place in the Shelby Registry (alongside Cobras both of original and continuation provenance), and it’s a good platform to start modding to your heart’s content. Pricing has yet to be announced.