The new Ford Shelby GT500 convertible makes its debut at the Chicago Auto Show, serving as the celebratory vehicle of the 20th anniversary of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT).

The 2013 Shelby GT500 convertible with the optional Performance Package is faster around a track than the outgoing model. The new convertible shaved nearly 3.5 seconds off its lap time at Sebring International Raceway compared to the 2011 and 2012 models.

Keys to the improved lap times are the power boost from the new 5.8 liter supercharged V8 producing 650 horsepower, as well as the SVT-designed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers available on the Performance Package and the all-new chassis tuning.

A new Brembo brake system is also installed. The new brakes offer enhanced stopping power to help keep their car under control, while new six-piston calipers in front along with larger front and rear rotors further improve braking performance.

Similar to the coupe, the convertible will be offered with a Performance Package that also can be upgraded to a Track Package, complete with an external engine oil cooler, rear differential cooler and transmission cooler for further durability.

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