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Shelby American has announced its intention to tune a Ford. Considering Shelby’s long history of tuning Fords, this shouldn’t be especially seismic news.

But when it’s a 700bhp+ version of a monster truck, you had better pay attention. Internet, meet the Shelby Baja 700.

It’s not based on the brand new Raptor, but on the last generation SVT Raptor. The 6.2-litre V8 gets a 2.9-litre Whipple supercharger, as well as larger throttle bodies and injectors, a more ‘robust’ heat exchanger, and a new Borla exhaust system. That pushes power from the standard car’s 411bhp to well over 700.

We’re told there’s a full, competition-spec off-road suspension system fitted, as well as BFGoodrich K02 all-terrain tyres, plastered over 18-inch custom alloy wheels. There are graphics, and if you so wish, the option of replacing the front and rear bumpers with Rogue Racing versions.

Just 50 will be made, with prices start at $45,000. That doesn’t, however, include the base Raptor. “We believe that we’ve built a truck with ultimate performance and off-road capabilities,” explains Vince LaViolette, Shelby’s senior designer and test driver.

Shelby’s VP of operations, Akos Feher, goes further. “Fifty lucky owners will have the baddest, best-handling and best-looking Shelby truck we offer. It’s a truck that can thrive under the most extreme conditions.”

Now who wants to see a battle royale between this and Hennessey’s VelociRaptor?

Exclusive video: Stig vs the Hennessey VelociRaptor

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