LAS VEGAS - The GT500 was already a sinister piece of kit in its original form, but now Shelby American is unleashing an even more potent version of its heavily modded Mustang, and it’s called the Dragon Snake.

It’s officially a concept vehicle set to make its debut at the Sema Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday, but the production intent is clear. Shelby American hasn’t released an official power figure as yet, but says its 5.2-litre supercharged V8 produces more than 597kW, up from the ‘standard’ GT500’s 567kW tally. Along with a retune, the Dragon Snake receives a modified supercharger and new high-flow catalytic converters.

In addition, the car gets a modified Shelby suspension system, performance half-shafts and a raft of exterior styling enhancements that include unique wheels, drag racing inspired carbon fibre boot spoiler as well as a carbon fibre bonnet with Shelby ‘hood pins’, and the obligatory go-faster stripes. But perhaps the most exciting news here is that Shelby American is considering a wide body option.

That rear spoiler isn’t just a random addition - this modern creation was inspired by the drag racing car that Shelby offered in the 1960s, which was called (as you guessed) the Dragonsnake.

“The 2020 Shelby GT500 is truly amazing in stock configuration, but we wanted to explore its pure acceleration capabilities,” said Shelby American VP of operations Vince LaViolette. “So we worked closely with Ford Performance and other partners to create the ultimate ‘weapon of track destruction’ in the quarter mile.”

Given how crazy the world is going over bakkies these days, Shelby American also concocted something special for the pick-up fans at Sema this year, with the Super Snake Sport F-150 concept.

Created in response to customer pleas for a scorching fast street truck, the F-150 concept gets a 563kW supercharged V8 as well as lowered suspension, beefy wheels and an upgraded braking system.

IOL Motoring