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Autocar (UK) review the new Mustang Cobra

The most powerful factory-built Ford Mustang in history will take to the road next year [2006] when this show car - the Shelby Cobra GT500 - becomes a 450 bhp reality.

The covers came off this modern iteration of the archetypal American muscle car at last week's New York Motor Show, and when it goes on sale next year it will become one of the fastest, most fearsome production Ford's ever.

Developed by Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) in collaboration with Carroll Shelby - creator of the legendary Shelby Cobras - every effort has been made to ensure that it is a worthy successor to the 1960s icon.

The Mustang's 300bhp 4.6-litre-V8 has been replaced by the GT's supercharged 5.4-litre, producing over 450bhp and 450lb ft.

A heavy-duty six-speed manual gearbox has also been added, as well as 355mm Brembo cross-drilled front disc brakes, 330mm rear discs and 19-inch wheels.  The bespoke bonnet gets heat ducts, and there are Le Mans-style white body stripes and a unique rear spoiler.

Like the rest of the range, the hottest Mustang is unlikely to be officially imported to the UK, but should be available through third parties or to those willing to import a model themselves.

Matt Saunders, Autocar magazine, 29 March 2005