Stratospheric Power and Stripes: The 2016 Shelby American F-150 at the Houston Auto Show

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Right now, the floor of the NRG Center in Houston is full of more than 700 vehicles that range from performance cars to, of course, pickup trucks, such as the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor. (The 2016 Houston Auto Show is being held in Texas, after all.) In between those two extremes stands the massive 2016 Shelby American F-150.

As the name implies, the legendary performance tuning company starts with a Ford F-150. Specifically, a four-wheel-drive SuperCrew Lariat version with the 5.0-liter V8 and 502A Equipment Group, which includes voice-activated navigation, the Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, LED headlights and taillamps, the Reverse Sensing System, and leather seats that are heated and cooled up front and heated in the back.

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To that package, Shelby adds more than 45 upgrades, such as polycarbonate front and rear bumper caps, a custom functional ram-air hood, more honeycomb than what you’d see at a bee farm in the grille openings, bespoke fender flares, a cargo box lined with a bed rug and topped with a tonneau cover, plenty of interior and exterior badges, rocker panel graphics, and a pair of full-body rally stripes that leave no doubt about which company created this exclusive F-150. The one I saw in the NRG Center was also fitted with the Pro Trailer Backup Assist technology, the 360 Camera setup, SYNC 3, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

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Shelby offers its performance pickup in two states of tune. The naturally aspirated F-150 generates 395 horsepower; in its supercharged form, it cranks out a staggering 700 horsepower, thanks to hardware such as a Shelby blower, a performance intake with a carbon fiber tube, an upgraded billet aluminum throttle body, high-flow injectors, and a Shelby-tuned Borla exhaust with dual black ceramic tips. A Shelby representative stated the 700-horsepower model should be able to tow around 5,000-6,000 pounds.

Like the Raptor, the Shelby F-150 receives a suspension overhaul. Shelby equips its version of the half-ton truck with 2.5-inch internal-bypass FOX shocks whose low- and high-speed compression responses can be adjusted by the turn of a dial. According to the company, “This proprietary system provides the ability to tune your Shelby F-150 from luxury-car-smooth to hard core off-road or track handling.” No matter what the road surface is, it makes contact with BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A K02 rubber wrapped around 18-inch beadlock-style powdercoated wheels.

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Only 500 Shelby F-150s – in Tuxedo Black, Magnetic, Race Red, Oxford White, or Blue Flame – are available through the tuner’s dealer network. Each one is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile warranty. The non-supercharged model retails for $85,995; the supercharged rig has an MSRP of $98,995.

You can see the Shelby F-150, as well as the bestial Blue Oval to which it will likely be compared, in person at the Houston Auto Show until Sunday, January 31.

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HOUSTON AUTO SHOW PHOTOS

CORPORATE PHOTOS

via [Shelby American]

corporate photos [Shelby American]

Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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