Do we think a 900-plus-horsepower Shelby Mustang rental is a good idea? Nope. Do we want one on our next vacation? Absolutely!
The coolest rental car partnership in the world is back. Shelby American and Hertz are once again building a special run of Shelby Mustang cars. The 2022 GT500-H cars are even more outrageous than ever.
These 900-plus-horsepower Mustangs will be available for almost anyone with a credit card and a driver’s license to rent in select tourist hotspots. Hertz will also offer Shelby cars with more rational power levels in a handful of other prominent destinations to help spread the go-fast love.
Rent-A-Racer Story Started in 1966
Hertz and Shelby American got together for the first time in 1966. Shelby built around 1,000 GT350-H cars for Hertz Rent-A-Car. Called the Rent-A-Racer program, lucky (and daring) renters took the vehicles to drag strips and road courses on the weekend. Stories of engines “borrowed” to be put in a racer for the weekend or outright stolen to go in a lesser V8 Mustang will never disappear, and the cars are now worth a fortune.
Shelby and Hertz built more cars in 2006, 2007, and 2016, but none of them was as extreme as the original. And they can’t hold a candle to this new car.
900 Wheel Horsepower
The 2022 Shelby Mustang GT500-H cars will get a massive 3.8L Whipple supercharger bolted onto the 5.2L V8 from the standard GT500. It’s replacing the already sizeable 2.65L Roots-type supercharger on the non-Hertz car.
The big blower, finished in gold, is fed by a new open cold-air intake. A high-volume intercooler keeps intake temperatures in check, and the supercharger has a heat exchanger to cool everything under the hood.
The result: 900-plus rear-wheel horsepower, Shelby American says. The “boring” stock GT500 makes 760 horsepower, measured at the crankshaft. The usual estimate for power lost in the transmission and differential is 15%. Apply that math, and the Shelby Mustang GT500-H makes about 1,050 horsepower at the crank. Damn!
Shelby Badges, Wheels, and More
The cars will wear 20-inch wheels front and rear with performance tires, and they get beefier axle half-shafts to handle the power. The vehicles will get Shelby hood locks and a carbon fiber hood as well.
Hertz-logoed brake calipers, Le Mans stripes on the hood, leather seats, and badges (maybe Shelby’s most crucial product) will finish the look.
So, how much to rent the most extreme car you’ll ever see among a sea of base model Ford Escapes and Nissan Altimas? According to Shelby, the average rental price will be $399 per day. A figure that strikes us as a heck of a bargain. That’s less than $0.44 per horsepower.
You will have to head to Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, or Tampa if you want to rent one. Shelby American will build 25 Mustang GT500-H cars in total: 19 in black and gold and six in Oxford White.
More Accessible Cars Offered in the Program
Shelby and Hertz will have a more reasonable option if you’re not sure about ungodly amounts of power in an airport rental. Shelby will build Mustang GT-H cars with the Ford Mustang GT’s standard 5.0L V8. But Shelby will slap on a Borla exhaust to make sure they sound unique.
Those cars will have around 450 horsepower, and there will be coupes and convertibles. Shelby will give the vehicle new wheels and a new hood. There will also be new seat covers, floor mats, and small details and plaques. Plus, stripes running over the car.
The Shelby Mustang GT-H cars will be available in Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Tampa. All should be in the rental fleet for the summer, and you can keep an eye out on a Hertz site for the Shelby cars.
Hertz and Shelby say this will be a 3-year partnership; we say it’s the polar opposite of the Hertz partnership with Tesla. We’re expecting more Shelby cars for model years 2023 and 2024. How much power will they have? We don’t know. We can almost guarantee they will come in black with gold stripes, however.