Shelby American is taking the Ford Focus ST and specializing 500 of them for 2013. These “pocket rockets,” as Mr. Shelby himself liked to call them, won’t receive any engine modifications—yet—but they will look and sound considerably meaner than the stock iterations.

A Borla exhaust is added to give the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four a bit of growl. Where that mill resides is a bit of eye candy in its own right, thanks to an engine-dress-up kit that has the look of carbon fiber, but is called Hydrocarbon. Not the organic compound, that’s hydrocarbon, but a process in which carbon-fiber-looking graphics essentially are shrink-wrapped around stock components. It doesn’t save any weight, of course—in fact, it does the opposite—but it saves cost compared to using real carbon fiber. Three months down the road, Shelby plans to introduce a package that will up horsepower by 30 to 50 ponies. In addition to the look-light parts, Shelby has added a Ford Racing suspension package, brake upgrades at all four corners, and a short-throw shifter.

Three appearance packages are available for the Shelby ST, including the classic racing stripes, a competition-look complete with race numbers, or what’s called the Checkered Flag Splash. The grille inserts and the rear spoiler also have been given the faux-carbon-fiber look, but the hood’s heat extractors are functional. The performance brand also has a carbon-fiber hood in the works.

The ST’s original interior is left largely alone, save for the seats. The standard seat coverings have been removed and reupholstered with exterior-color-matching leather and Shelby stitching in the headrests. The only addition to the dash is the numbered plaque to inform passengers precisely which of the Shelby STs they’re riding shotgun in.

The process of attaining a Shelby-fied ST starts at the local Ford dealer. After plunking down the requisite $24,495, your brand-new Focus ST will be shipped to Shelby American HQ in Las Vegas, where a check for $14,995 will cover the rest of the Carroll treatment. Included in that nearly 15 grand is an optional tour of the Shelby museum if you so choose to pick up your new Focus in Vegas, or it can be shipped back to your local dealer.

2013 Shelby Focus ST Photo Gallery

2013 Detroit Auto Show

By John Lamm

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