As we enter the new year, a whole new global era has arrived in the automotive world. Who would have dreamed a few short years ago that we would be celebrating a performance compact car from Shelby American. But at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Shelby unveiled a new “Pocket Rocket” in the form of a high-performance Shelby Ford Focus ST. The new Eco-Boost powered 252 horsepower Shelby Focus ST is the latest creation from the high-performance division that brought us the 2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake.
The new Shelby Focus ST is a sign of things to come from all high-performance automakers. Gary Patterson who is the vice president and leads the sales and customer service operations at Shelby American told us late last year the, “2013 will be a big year for Shelby as we unveil projects in Detroit and in New York- so get ready! He goes on to quote Carroll from last year.”
Performance vehicles with smaller turbocharged engines
That quote from Carroll Shelby says, “I think you're going to see the industry going completely to small engines with turbochargers. That's the only way you can get the mileage that the government is going to be demanding.” What we will be seeing more of in the future, is performance vehicles with smaller turbocharged engines that will meet the new emissions and fuel mileage standards. The new Shelby Focus ST that was unveiled this week is the first Shelby vehicle to have a smaller EcoBoost engine. Shelby says the new Focus ST will deliver performance yet still get up to 40 mpg.
This will be a tough sell to those seasoned performance enthusiasts who are used to an 800 horsepower Super Snake. Yet Gary Patterson says the new Focus ST is a viable Shelby performance car. He says, “Carroll Shelby ignored critics who said the turbo four Omni couldn’t be an affordable performance car in the 1980s. He proved them wrong with an impressive, lightweight four cylinder performer. Ford Motor Company’s new Focus ST is the perfect platform for the rebirth of the front wheel drive turbo four cylinder Shelby. It is a car that Carroll wanted to build before his passing and is a worthy successor to his ‘Pocket-Rocket’ GLH.”
The new Shelby Focus ST gets performance upgrades
The new Shelby Focus ST gets performance upgrades in the suspension, brakes, exhaust, wheels and tires. The compact car will definitely be a fun ride for a small car, but nothing like the Shelby vehicles of the past with their neck-snapping power and torque. The new Focus ST will be limited to just 500 cars per year and Shelby is hoping it will be a hit with a new breed of Shelby owners. They will try to attract first time Shelby owners, but don’t look for the seasoned collector to be snatching these compact performance cars up.
The car is designed for younger buyers who want a performance compact that still gets decent fuel mileage. If that’s the goal of Shelby, then it will be a successful car. In the announcement, Shelby American said, “that the Focus ST will rewrite the rules for American performance.” It looks like the new global era has arrived and it will have a huge impact on the high-performance cars coming out of Shelby American.
An expensive "entry-level" compact performance car
The 2013 Shelby Focus ST post-title package begins at $14,995 not including the Ford Focus ST and will be limited to 500 per model year. That makes the new compact performance car rather expensive. Shelby American is now accepting orders for the limited edition cars. Interested buyers can contact Shelby American at 702-942-7325 or visit www.shelbyamerican.com. We'll see how buyers respond to the new global performance era.