Ford first teamed with Hertz back in 1966 to inject some V8 power into rental lots with the Rent-a-Racer Ford Shelby GT350-H. The relationship continued with the Shelby GT-H launched at the New York Auto Show in 2006. Now, to celebrate 50 years since the first Hertz Mustang, Ford has launched the third instalment in the series, the limited edition Shelby GT-H.
The new Hertz Mustang will be instantly recognizable to anyone who's familiar with the original GT-350H, with the new car's exterior featuring gold stripes running along the roof in a direct throwback to the unique paint job the original car featured. But despite some cosmetic familiarity, there's no mistaking the new car for the old.
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Up front, Ford has fitted a carbon fiber front splitter, a vented polycarbonate hood and unique grilles to feed more air to the car's 5.0-liter V8, while the rocker panels are fitted with carbon accent plates. Just in case the lairy paint job and extra venting up front don't give away the fact this isn't a normal Mustang, there's also big Shelby lettering across the bootlid, unique badging on the grille and C-pillar and a chunky fake gas-tank cap.
Inside, Hertz Mustangs are set apart from regular customer cars with their dash plaques, side sills and badging on the floor mats and headrests.
Moving away from the styling tinsel reveals there's not a huge difference between the GT-H and the Mustang V8 we drove earlier in the year. Ford's handling engineers have fitted the car with a handling pack made up of specially tuned dampers, lowered springs, sway bars and a staggered wheel kit for a slightly sportier drive. The whole package sits on 19-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in sticky 255/40 front and 275/40 rear Michelin Pilot Sport rubber.
Meanwhile, Ford has worked to give renters a more memorable aural experience with the addition of a cat-back exhaust system. We felt the V8 could use a bit more noise after our drive, so the change is a welcome one.
Just 140 GT-H Mustangs will be built, and all will do service in the rental fleet for Hertz. The car launches at the New York Auto Show, where Gizmag will be on the ground covering all the action.
Shelby outlines the history of the GT-H in the video below.