Last week, Mustang fans woke up the rumors that the 2017 Shelby GT500 could be making a reveal as soon as next month at the North American International Auto Show. Though rumors of a revived GT500 have persisted since the launch of the sixth-generation Mustang, Google search results that directed back to Ford’s homepage threw the rumor mill into overdrive.
The offending site data was quickly removed, but now a second link, this time highlighting the “amazing” 2017 GT500 Convertible, was brought to light by Motor Authority. Is this confirmation of a new GT500, an inexperienced webmaster making the same mistake in a week’s time, or is Ford just straight up trolling its fans?
Clicking through the search result brought users to a landing page that included “shelbygt500convertible” in the URL, though Ford has again been quick to scrub the metadata from the Internet. We had initially dismissed the first accidental link as simply a marketing mistake, or perhaps a leftover placeholder from the previous GT500, which ended production in 2014. Ford already offers a Shelby-branded Mustang, the GT350, at the same price point as the previous GT500. It is set to continue through the 2018 model year.
Assuming the new GT500 offers a forced-induction V8 like the previous model, it’d have to be priced well above the GT350 to avoid cannibalizing sales, despite the vehicles being built for different purposes. Another possibility is that Ford will retire the GT350 after 2018, with the GT500 stepping in to take its place. Prototypes have been spotted prowling the testing grounds around Ford’s Dearborn headquarters, with rumors suggesting horsepower numbers that could rival, or even eclipse, its 707-horsepower Dodge Hellcat rivals.
Of course the idea of the GT350 continuing and the GT500 suddenly popping up as 2017 seems pretty unlikely. Maybe someone at Ford is having fun watching the Mustang blogosphere get all worked up over a Google search result. What do you think?