Shelby unveils supercharged 574kW ute monster (and it might come to NZ)
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In these days of ute popularity in little Aotearoa, the time seems right for the big shouty pick-up behemoths of the United States to finally hit our shores.
It's already happening of course. Kiwis can buy the RAM 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, and Jeep Gladiator locally in marvelous right-hand drive. The one that's escaped us so far, perhaps ironically, is the Ford F-150 — the best selling Americana ute of them all.
But that might soon change. Sort of.
Shelby has unveiled its production-version F-150 Super Snake Sport — a monstrous supercharged V8 pick-up capable of bending time and space (while burning enormous amounts of fossilised dinasours along the way). Entry-level models come equipped with a capable 5.0-litre Ford V8 engine making 295kW of power, but you can guarantee that just about every buyer will opt for the more powerful ramped up model.
For an extra US$7300, buyers can get their V8 supercharged — upping the power to 770hp (574kW). It's a crazy amount of power in a vehicle with almost no weight over its rear wheels, and reportedly it sees the Super Snake Sport hit 96km/h (60mph) in just 3.45 seconds.
“The supercharged concept truck was based on an entry-level trim Ford F-150 and had only 755 horsepower,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American.
“Enthusiasts asked for a higher content base truck, more power options and four-wheel drive. That’s why the Shelby F-150 Super Snake Sport will be available either with or without a supercharger, a bit more luxury and with four-wheel drive to maximize traction.
"We also squeezed out more ponies. This will be the fastest truck in its class with more content than anyone else, from the braking system to the suspension, body panels and tune.”
So, where does New Zealand pop into the equation?
Well, it was confirmed in October that a local Shelby arm — called Shelby NZ — would be opening locally, allowing Kiwi buyers to get right-hook Shelby products for the first time. The vehicles in the early announcement included the 800hp Mustang Super snake, as well as various visual and mechanical packages for the Mustang GT. And Shelby is now considering bringing in the F-150 Super Snake Sport, too.
The challenge here will be right-hand drive conversions, and whether each F-150 will get converted before leaving the US or upon its arrival in New Zealand. Regardless, it's an exciting and interesting time for those wanting a powerful pick-up.