SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - JULY 2017

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 81 of 102

Highly Venomous Shelby American Turns An Ordinary Ford F-150 Into A High-Horsepower Machine’ Nobody knows how to build Ford performance vehicles like Shelby American, as proven by its latest creation the 2017 Shelby F-150. This truck packs a lot of performance, but don’t try and compare it piece by piece to the current Ford Raptor. While the idea of the 2017 Shelby Ford F-150 wasn’t to necessarily compete against the Raptor, Shelby engineers wanted instead to build a truck that could perform extremely well in off-road terrain, but can also drive smoothly on a long road trip or haul a load of landscaping gear from the home improvement store. They decided to take a road most familiar to them by combining high-horsepower with a great suspension system, and successfully adapt that to an existing vehicle platform to create something unique. Luxurious Interior Every Shelby F-150 build begins with a factory Ford F-150 Lariat edition chassis and interior. This being a luxury package, includes interior features such as 10-way power adjustable leather seating, dual climate controls, ambient lighting, high-end stereo and navigation system, and a variety of additional luxury-level options the vehicle owner can choose from. Shelby adds a serial number dash plaque and the Shelby Snake Badged center console lid. The Snake also makes its way onto the headrests and floor mats, and all of the windows are tinted dark. A Traditional Snake Pattern Exterior The similarities with the factory Ford Lariat package, ends with the interior, as the vehicle’s exterior is completely disassembled and re-branded as a 2017 Shelby. According to Shelby American, this begins with making sure people who see the truck, immediately recognize it. This is accomplished with the addition of branded rocker panel graphics on the side and the traditional double stripes along the full length of the body. Black powder coated step bars and the addition of color-matching fender flares and vents are also part of the package. A custom front bumper with integrated driving lights gives the Shelby F-150 a clean and sporty front end, while the rear of the truck also sports a custom rear bumper that is color matched to the body. If the vehicle is ordered with a tonneau cover, it too comes color matched and includes a BedRug bed liner to keep your cargo and bed from damage, and features the Shelby logo in the center. Adding More Poison If you manage to catch up to the vehicle when it’s finally stationary, you’ll see more of the Shelby details on its exterior. The honeycomb racing-style grille with the Shelby Snake is the one distinguishing mark indicating this is the real deal, and that there’s more to the truck than its cool looking stripes. If that’s not enough, then the Super Snake hood with its functional hood scoop gives knowledgeable “truck guys” a good clue as to what lies underneath. In this case, it’s a 750 horsepower, Whipple supercharged 5.0L V8. The engine is fed with a high-performance air intake system with carbon fiber intake tube. It’s hard not to notice the performance of this engine as both the supercharger and intake manifold are powder coated Ford racing blue to stand out dramatically in the engine bay. The system also includes an aluminum heat exchanger to keep the intake charge cooler and provide a more efficient boost, while a larger billet throttle body and high-performance fuel injectors provide adequate air and fuel. Turn the ignition on to the vehicle, and the engine roars to life through a Shelby-tuned Borla exhaust system and black ceramic coated dual exhaust tips. It must be noted that the Shelby F-150 is also available with the vehicle’s standard 5.0L 395 horsepower engine, but we fail to see why anyone would want that option? A Suspension To Handle Anything One of the unique features of the Shelby F-150 is its suspension system. The truck was designed to perform well in high-speed and low-speed off-road situations, but it’s also designed to ride smoothly on the highway and features adjustable dual speed controls from a proprietary system. This allows the driver to adjust the suspension from having a smooth, comfortable ride, to extreme off-road capability or even handle high-speed road conditions. This system is exclusive to Shelby and incorporates Fox internal bypass shocks that have been tuned with Shelby’s input. The front and rear shocks are 2.5-inch diameter external reservoir designs that are adapted to work with a BDS suspension system to handle the rigors of off-road abuse, and provides additional traction to a set of 18-inch diameter, BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires measuring, 35x12.5R/18, and are mounted to a set of Shelby aluminum 18-inch alloy wheels. To help improve traction from the 750 horsepower engine, Shelby also designed a set of rear traction bars to prevent wheel hop. The Shelby F-150 is definitely not a truck for everyone, as there are plans to build 500 of these beasts. While it is a good looking, powerful truck, it serves the need for enthusiasts who want to round out their stable of pony cars to include a truck that gets a lot of attention, even in an off-road setting. While hardcore off-road enthusiasts may not like that the Shelby F-150 isn’t outfitted with a long-travel suspension, a wider track width, and fender flares, the truth is it won’t be easy to catch up with this Snake once they lay on the throttle. SJ

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SCORE Journal - SCORE Journal Issue - JULY 2017