DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. is unveiling the latest limited-edition souped-up Mustang born of the automaker's renewed partnership with racing legend Carroll Shelby.
Ford, which has been struggling to sell conventional cars and trucks, could benefit from the luster of the 2007 Ford Shelby GT rubbing off on the rest of its lineup.
Yesterday, the automaker also disclosed a new flagship sedan for Lincoln, its luxury brand.
The Lincoln MKS will be based on a concept vehicle shown at the North American International Auto Show in January and will go on sale in 2008. The concept featured 20-inch wheels -- the largest ever on a Lincoln sedan -- along with a panoramic glass roof and heated and cooled seats.
Ford unveiled the Shelby GT to dealers in Las Vegas last week and will show it to the public Sunday in an online documentary at www.fordboldmoves.com.
Fewer than 10,000 of the 4.6-liter, 325-horsepower coupes will be built. They will go on sale beginning in January.
The Shelby GT is the third modern Shelby Mustang produced by Ford in collaboration with the former race-car driver turned designer, who first refashioned Mustangs in the 1960s.
The partnership has also produced the more powerful Shelby GT500 and the Shelby GT-H, which is available only for rent from Hertz Corp.
The Shelby GT is equipped for both street and track use.
``It's got the heart and soul of the Mustang GT pumped up with a great noise, strong motor, and nimble chassis," Shelby said in a statement. ``It's one of those rare cars that's really easy to drive really fast."
The cars will begin as standard Mustang GTs from Ford's Flat Rock, Mich., assembly plant. They are then shipped to the Shelby Automobiles facility in Las Vegas for modification.
While the Shelby GT won't have a big direct impact on Ford's sales, which last month came in behind those of Toyota Motor Corp. in the United States for the first time, the car might help boost the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker's prestige.
Such ``niche-mobiles" are great for generating positive attention, along with traffic to websites and dealerships, said Michael Bernacchi, a marketing professor at the University of Detroit, at Mercy.
``They allow a sis-boom-bah that regular rollouts of day-to-day vehicles might not give you."