Car Rental Hits Top Gear with Ford Mustang Incentive


Sixt hookup with Shelby makes limited edition Ford Mustangs available

With the car rental market getting cluttered by ride-sharing entries, here’s one company ready to push pedal to the medal to literally distance itself from the pack.

The firm, Sixt, might not have the brand recognition enjoyed by larger competitors like Enterprise, Hertz and Avis. But the car rental might get a larger profile thanks to a deal with Shelby American, a custom builder specializing in creating and modifying continuation models of vehicles made by popular automakers.  

In this case, Shelby has worked out an arrangement for Sixt to add a limited edition of 2019 Ford Shelby GT-S Mustangs to the company fleet. The deal calls for Shelby to build 21 Mustangs, with 20 to be rented out by Sixt and the remaining unit to be owned by Sebastian Birkel, the car rental company’s CEO.

To say that the Mustangs will be modified is an understatement, as Shelby promises lots of power and performance under the hood. Customers can expect a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 capable of generating more than 600 horsepower, some 140 horses more than the conventional version. It will also feature a 10-speed automatic transmission, an upgraded suspension system and front brakes by Brembo, which has had its wares featured on racing cars on both the Formula 1 and Le Mans circuits. The crowning touch will be wheels and tires custom made by Shelby.

The exterior will also bear a classic racing them with a choice of black with orange stripes or vice versa, with the car’s interior also featuring the same colour schemes. While daily rates haven’t been made public, chances are that the figure won’t be higher than $200, pending changing market conditions.

Still, Sixt is banking on the addition of the modified Mustangs to boost the company’s portfolio. The German-owned company is the fourth-largest car rental company in the U.S.

“I truly hope that the customers will be as excited as we are of that newest addition,” said Birkel, “and we also hope that it’s going to add the necessary adrenaline to what we need in order to fire up our portfolio.”

They’ll need that adrenaline to boost enough sales to cover maintenance, if Shelby’s history with car rentals is any indication. Previously, Shelby partnered with Hertz during the 1960s to help launch the Rent-A-Racer program by supplying a thousand MustangGT350-H models. While both companies reaped huge revenues from the venture, Hertz eventually discontinued the program after renters were so aggressive with the cars, mounting repair expenses made the venture far too expensive to continue.

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