The Reason Ford Won't Build A Mustang GT500 Convertible

The original Shelby GT500 rolled off the production floor in 1967. Buyers could get this beast equipped with a 355 hp, 428 cubic-inch Police Interceptor engine (referred to as the Cobra Le Mans engine) with two 600-CFM Holley carburetors. It was considered to be the more passenger-car friendly engine.

Or, for $1,000 more, you could upgrade and get the 427 CID V8 that came out of the GT40 Mk II. According to Motor Trend, there are no official horsepower or torque numbers, but tire testing done at Goodyear logged it going 170 mph, with an average speed of 142 mph over 500 miles. Brand new, the '67 GT500 had a base MSRP of $4,195. If the model looks familiar, that's because it was the "Eleanor" Mustang seen in the 2000 remake of "Gone in Sixty Seconds" with Nicholas Cage.

Fifty-five years — six generations — later, the Shelby GT500 is still going strong. The 2022 version is the most expensive Mustang ever made and the most powerful. According to the Ford website, the '22 model starts at $79,420, which does not include any taxes or fees. It does come with a behemoth supercharged 5.2-liter V8 with a 760 horsepower engine called the "Predator." Expect to pay the hefty "gas guzzler" tax on this thing because it only gets a minuscule EPA-estimated 12 mpg in the city and 18 on the highway.

But being the most powerful comes with a price beyond just a monetary one.

The most powerful Mustang comes with a price

Ford won't be making a convertible Mustang GT500 because... it's too powerful.

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's chief product platform, and operations officer confirmed the S550 platform on which the Mustang was built had reached "the top end of the capabilities" (via Muscle Cars & Trucks).

Dave Pericack, former Director Enterprise Product Line Management — Ford Icons, backs up those comments even more bluntly. "The real reason" Ford isn't making a convertible model is because, by removing the roof, the car would lose all its structure and stiffness in the chassis and body. The power of the GT500 is simply too much for a convertible car to handle.

The only way it could make a convertible model would be to "spend a lot of money in exotic material" to compensate for the loss of the roof and the structural integrity it provides (via Ford Authority). Ford is not prepared to do that, considering the S550 platform is nearing the end of its road. The S650 platform — the seventh generation of Ford Mustangs — is on its way and will, in all likelihood, be the last Mustang with an internal combustion engine.

Fear not Ford faithful. The Blue Oval is already looking to the future and has already built a 900hp electric Mustang to show the world that an EV can also be a muscle car.