Ford has debuted its new Mustang GT muscle car with the help of hip-hop superstar Nelly at the Detroit Auto Show.

The 2011 Mustang GT, on display for the first time at the North American International Auto Show, will feature on the cover of the Grammy Award-winning artist's new album, due for release this spring.

Nelly's car has been customized by automotives publication Dub Magazine to feature a custom gloss black paint job with flat black racing stripes, custom 22- and 24-inch wheels, tinted tail lights, "angel eyes" headlights and a Borla exhaust. In addition, the interior has been fitted with a suede and leather design and a custom JL Audio system that includes two 12-inch subwoofers, amps and speakers. Details of the 2011 Mustang GT were released by Ford in December, with the promise that the new model offers more power but better fuel economy from the 5.0-liter V8 engine.

"I don't care where you grew up, everyone knows the Mustang. At some point, you've had a conversation about a Mustang - and it was probably one about you wanting to get behind the wheel of one," says Nelly. "This vehicle being a part of my album artwork is just a reflection of the direction and feel that the album has."

The Mustang is one of the most iconic cars in the US, with a long entertainment pedigree - Wilson Pickett's 1966 hit "Mustang Sally" was voted as one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004. Ford believes the car has also appeared in over 500 films. Perhaps most famously, a 1973 model starred in the 1974 action movie Gone in 60 Seconds. In 2000, the film was remade using a 1967 Shelby Mustang, starring Nicolas Cage. More recently, Will Smith sped around the deserted streets of New York in a 2007 Shelby Mustang in sci-fi thriller I Am Legend.

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