What Is The Mustang Shelby GT500KR?Last Updated February 5, 2020
The “KR” in Mustang Shelby GT500KR appropriately stands for “King of the Road.” The original version of this mighty muscle car, which made its first appearance in February 1968, was a product of Ford and Shelby American, the latter being the name of the company owned by legendary high-performance vehicle designer and builder Caroll Shelby.
A variant of the Shelby GT500, the GT500KR was equipped with a robust 428-cubic-inch Cobra Jet V-8 engine that produced an impressive 335 horsepower. The combination of a high-torque engine and relatively affordable price resulted in a large number of Mustang Shelby GT500KR models making appearances at drag strips all across America in 1968 and the succeeding years.
The Triumphant Return of the Shelby GT500KR
Ford paid a fitting tribute to the Shelby GT500KR by releasing a special-edition 40th-anniversary version in 2008. The 21st-century model did its 1960s predecessor justice by featuring a powerful 5.4L supercharged V-8 engine that delivered an impressive 540 horsepower.
Other features included a carbon fiber composite hood with composite hood scoops, finely tuned SVT suspension and specially designed Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires. Special 40th anniversary badging was also incorporated into the design.
Ford produced a total of 1,000 GT500KR models for 2008, followed by 571 in 2009 to match the total 1968 production run of 1,571 units. Complex Rides ranked the 2008 Shelby GT500KR at #17 on its list of “The 100 Best Mustangs of All Time,” stating that, in addition to being fast, “it has a presence that demands respect.”
Image Credit: Car and Driver
The Mustang Shelby GT500KR was equipped with a 428 cu-in Cobra Jet V8 engine that produced 335 horsepower. The GT500KR made its first appearance in February 1968. To celebrate 40 years, Ford released a 2008 version of the GT500KR that featured a 5.4L supercharged V8 producing 540 horsepower.
The Track Pack was an optional package Ford offered Mustang GT buyers starting in the 2010 year. This optional upgrade consisted of features that enhanced performance such as 3.73 axle, front and rear stabilizer bars, and retuned shocks and struts.
Designed specifically for the racetrack, the Mustang SVT Cobra-R was first released in 1993 and is widely regarded as one of the best SVT products of all time. Only 107 SVT Cobra-R's were produced in 1993. The SVT Cobra-R also made another appearance in 2000 with only 250 being produced.
Available on several Mustang between 1983 and 2010 was a five-speed manual transmission known as the T5. The T5 was an effort by Ford to give the Mustang better gas mileage and performance. The T5 was beginning to be phased out in 1995 and was replaced with the TR-3550.