You probably know the feeling. You arrive in the US about to kick off your drive vacation and rather than the vaguely sporty hire car you originally booked, the desk agent informs you that they’re booked out and you’ve been ‘upgraded’ to a front-drive Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid that smells of desperation, sun-wrecked thermoplastics and top notes of Taco Bell 99c menu. Well, help is at hand, courtesy of Shelby and Sixt.
Meanwhile: Ford Ranger goes sub-five seconds to 100km/h
While Shelby has a historic association with Hertz, with the classic ’66 Shelby GT350H rent-a-racer, this time the crew from North Las Vegas has jumped into bed with Sixt, the German-based hire car outfit that will now offer discerning renters 447kW worth of supercharged 5.0-litre V8 awesomeness in the form of the Mustang Shelby GT-S.
Yep, that’s right, you can walk into one of the selected hire locations in the US, plonk your licence on the desk and drive off in something with more power than Mount Pinatubo. I may have made that last bit up, because I’m not wholly certain of what figure a volcano makes at the crank. But 447kW? Damn.
That figure drives via the crisp 10-speed auto, and is garnished with some agreeable extras like Brembo stoppers, a cat-back exhaust, and a revised suspension set-up which plunders the Ford Performance catalogue for uprated anti-roll bars and springs.
It’ll be fairly hard to keep your potency on the down-low as you cruise past the local constabulary, though. The cars are all finished in an orange and black livery that apparently draws inspiration from the Sixt corporate colours. The ventilated bonnet, side skirts, stripes, 20-inch alloys, rear spoiler and Sixt Supercharged badging are also a little conspicuous. Still, it ought to give even the doziest cars ’n’ coffee spectators ample warning.
But you’ll need to be pretty quick on the draw. Just 20 cars are set to be released into the Sixt network, and they’ll be available from this (northern hemisphere) summer at a handful of rental outlets in Southern California, Southern Florida and Las Vegas. Fancy the Pacific Coast Highway with 447kW under your right boot? You know what to do.