Launched at the 2016 New York motor show today, the new 2016 Ford Shelby GT-H rental racer looks set to earn the same ‘rock star’ status of its 50-year-old predecessor.
The GT-H features a number of Ford Performance and Shelby enhancements over the regular Mustang GT, including a cat-back exhaust and, of course, the black and gold-striped colour scheme that nods to the 1966 Shelby GT350-H and the more recent 2006 Shelby GT-H.
Powered by the same 306kW/530Nm 5.0-litre V8 from the regular Mustang GT, the GT-H will be available with both six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
The 2016 GT-H commemorates the 50th anniversary of the original Shelby GT350-H, a modified Mustang that Hertz made available through its ‘Rent-A-Racer’ program.
The 1966 Shelby GT350-H was a collaboration between Carroll Shelby and Hertz, allowing customers to get in the driver’s seat of a high-performance, special-edition Shelby Mustang.
The Rent-A-Racer program combined V8 Mustangs, with Shelby performance and styling, while Hertz gave the public access to a unique driving experience.
Hertz’s new rental racer wears the classic Shelby and Hertz livery of black body paint with gold racing stripes, which is a hallmark of Hertz vehicles dating back to the 1920s.
Shelby’s traditional ‘Le Mans’ dual race stripes stretch from the nose to the rump of the Shelby GT-H, with special ‘Shelby GT-H’ stamped rocker stripes stretching along the skirts of the side doors.
The Shelby GT-H is also fitted with a unique Shelby-designed bonnet, carbon-fibre front splitter and rear spoiler, sitting on a set of special matte-black 19-inch alloys.
Joe Conway, Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American, said that the new Shelby GT-H is “the most exciting Mustang ever to wear the iconic Hertz black and gold livery”.
In addition to the 1966 and 2006 Rent-A-Racer specials, in 2013 Hertz also collaborated with Penske Racing to create the Hertz Penske Mustang GT, which followed a similar formula to the GT350-H and GT-H specials.
Unfortunately for us Aussies, it’s not likely that any GT-Hs will be made in right-hand-drive and make it to local Hertz branches.