There are legends in the motoring world, and then there's the Mustang. Since the original launched back in 1964, few cars have captured the public imagination like the Ford muscle car. It also captured the imagination of tuners like Carroll Shelby, who took just three years to turn the first-generation Mustang into the Super Snake. Now, 50 years later, Shelby America is paying tribute to that car with the launch of the 2017 Shelby Super Snake.

Based on the current Mustang GT, the Super Snake is designed to crank up the power and drama without a sky-high sticker price. Working alongside Ford Performance, Shelby has tweaked the car from the ground up, starting with a revised suspension setup made up of new dampers, sway bars, springs and bushings. Combined with lighter forged alloy wheels, they should make for a more planted Mustang – no bad thing, given the slightly floaty ride in the regular car.

Of course, this wouldn't be a special edition Shelby if there wasn't plenty of power under the hood. The standard GT isn't exactly light on grunt, but a supercharger kit puts a huge 670 hp (500 kW) under the driver's right foot, compared to the stock 435 hp (324 kW). If that isn't enough, a range of supercharger options opens the door for more than 750 hp (559 kW).

With the full 750 hp package fitted, Ford says the Super Snake will sprint to 60 mph (98 km/h) in 3.5 seconds, before smashing through the quarter mile in just 10.9 seconds. It should also pull 1.2G on a skidpan, which is impressive given its size.

To make sure everyone knows you're not driving a garden-variety Mustang, the Snake has been treated to a makeover, with a new hood, grille, front bumper, rear diffuser and rear spoiler. There are also new head and tail lights, along with unique badging and stripes. It isn't subtle, but that isn't really the point here. It's a similar story inside, with fresh trim on the seats, floor and dashboard setting it apart from the regular car.

"We compared the groundbreaking 1967 and 2007 model Super Snakes to other cars of their era when setting the performance parameters for our anniversary model," says Gary Patterson, Shelby American President. "The new Super Snake matches those cars' competitive advantages."

All up, the Super Snake package will set you back US$36,795 on top of the base GT, making a complete car worth at least $69,995. Sure, that isn't cheap for a muscle car, but all your modifications are backed by a three-year factory warranty, and just 500 examples will be built.

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