Two numbers stand out when you look into the 2015 Shelby Super Snake. The first is 750. That’s the maximum horsepower Shelby will pack into the vehicle, which is a modified 2015 Ford Mustang GT500. With that kind of brawn, you’ll find yourself at the end of a quarter mile a mere 10.1 seconds after stepping on the gas.

The other number? 300. That’s how many Super Snakes will be built this year. Talk about an exclusive club.

Grip and Grin

And hot it is. Shelby starts with the Mustang’s 5.0L V8 liter, V8, and Ford 627+HP performance supercharger with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. They then develop a number of concept cars and test them on Nevada’s Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch to refine design and performance.

This year, according to Gary Patterson, Vice President, international and strategic sales, Shelby engineers quickly determined that all that power needed larger half shafts in the rear, which features independent suspension for the first time. When combined with the 2015 Mustang’s upgraded chassis, the car’s handling and power delivery makes a quantum leap compared to past models.

Picture of Gary Patterson, Vice President, international and strategic sales at Shelby American

Gary Patterson, Vice President, international and strategic sales at Shelby American

“Last year’s car would grip the track well,” says Patterson. “But after two days of driving the road course, you could see visible wear on tires, especially on the outside edges where they handle the road on the turns. This year, the wear is much more even across the entire tread, and you can feel it grip. It really plants the tires.”

An optional pair of Michelin Sport Tires, mounted, incidentally, on Weld Racing staggered 20” wheels, doesn’t hurt either says Patterson.

“It’s a premium tire, but they’re worth the additional performance,” he says.

The Super Snake burns rubber on a track in Las Vegas

The Super Snake burns rubber on a track in Las Vegas

Wow Factor

The Super Snake could sell itself on speed alone. But braking is also a selling point, says Patterson. With the optional Wilwood 6-piston kit mounted all around, potential customers get a whole lot of wow when they step down on the pedal and bring all that power to a halt with authority. “They’re just blown away,” he continues.

Patterson adds that the dime-stopping consistency of the braking system is easy to take for granted as well. Whether it’s covered two laps or 30, he says, the car stops in the same distance each time.

Other goodies that customers may not even be aware of, but add to performance include a top-flight cooling system—an essential with any super-charged engine. Shelby features a larger intercooler and bigger radiator, which help minimize potential overheating. Test runs, especially in the Vegas desert, helped drive that point home.

Collage of Details on the 2015 Ford Mustang GT Shelby Super Snake

Collage of Details on the 2015 Ford Mustang GT Shelby Super Snake

Options and Styling

The standard Super Snake comes with style and badging that swivel heads. The front grille and quarter panel feature the Cobra snake emblems, a hat tip to the car’s Shelby heritage. Functional styling elements include a front splitter, rear spoiler, and a Super Snake hood—all carbon fiber components designed to reduce weight and new this year. Shelby options include a hood extension, valve covers, and racing seats among many other delights.

With around 300 2015 Super Snakes slated for production and a starting price of $49,995 (US)—not including the cost of the base Ford Mustang itself— the Snake club can feel more exclusive than a George Clooney wedding.

You can join that club with a call or visit to Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, where Canada’s first full-service Shelby shop opened just last year. The experts at Shelby Canada West will be happy to build your dream car. Or, if you’re in the Lower 48, you can drop in on Vegas, where Patterson says Shelby will take you to Spring Mountain for the annual test drive event.

“Specialty car enthusiasts would love to drive a 750 horsepower car,” he says.

But even if you can’t make it to Las Vegas or Alberta for a spin, you can fantasize about ownership with a visit to the Shelby website, where its “Build One” feature lets you trick out the paint scheme, body type and styling. If you get really into it, you might start checking off some of the 22 items on the included options list and watch the bottom line on the sticker price climb.

No worries—there’s no one-click checkout.