Following Chevrolet’s announcement of the ZL-1 Camaro at the Chicago Auto Show, information is surfacing about Ford’s planned rebuttal for the 2013 model year. Car & Driver are quoting “well-informed sources” on the topic.

Could the future hold a 20th Anniversary SVT Cobra?

Top on the list is a bored out 5.8-liter (351 cui) V8 engine with the updated Eaton TVS supercharger, which was also tagged for the ZL-1. The combination is expected to push output into the 600 hp range. The current blown 5.4-liter engine in today’s Shelby GT500 delivers 550 hp. Daniel Pund, at the magazine, says he figures the increased power should push the GT500 into 11-second E.T.’s and a 190 mph top speed, if not electronically limited.

While we are talking about a car that is still at least a year away, the expectation that this will be a Shelby GT500 upgrade isn’t necessarily solid. According to reports, Shelby’s current contract with Ford comes up for renewal at the end of the 2012 model year. While nobody is suggesting that Ford would let that one go, there may be  some room for negotiation.

Consider that 2013 is the 20th Anniversary of the first SVT Mustang and some intriguing possibilities come into focus – all of which must be giving the current Administration in D.C. fits of dyspepsia. Ford Racing has shown that slapping a blower onto the the current 5.0-liter engine is good for up to 624 hp, so while the product planners at Ford may have been caught napping by the ZL-1, there is no shortage of slam-dunk future possibilities.

Its all great fun to speculate on what components might go where and what nameplate will be assigned to which combination, but each year that passes also takes us closer to the hard-coded Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards that have been mandated by Congress. If one or more Detroit-built 600+ hp cars start showing up in a year or two from now, one would be best advised to grab one early. They may not last long, but they will a lot of fun.

Oh, wait… then there’s the 6.2-liter engine. Let the horsepower games continue…