Prosecutors say the Pakistani-born US citizen has not shown any remorse for his actions.
Explosives packed into the vehicle on 1 May failed to detonate and Shahzad was arrested two days later.
A street vendor in Times Square - which was packed with visitors - alerted police after seeing smoke coming from the Nissan Pathfinder vehicle.
However, a videotaped FBI reconstruction of an identical bomb showed it producing a fireball that ripped the vehicle in two, destroyed others around it, and sent debris hundreds of feet in all directions.
Correspondents say the film has become a key piece of evidence against Shahzad.
"While it is impossible to calculate precisely the impact of Shahzad's bomb had it detonated, the controlled detonation... demonstrated that those effects would have been devastating to the surrounding area," prosecutors wrote.
The prosecution also alleges that Shahzad had planned to detonate a second bomb two weeks later.
At his court appearance in June, Shahzad said he wanted "to plead guilty and 100 times more".
He said he wanted the US to know that if it did not leave Iraq and Afghanistan, "we will be attacking US".
"One has to understand where I'm coming from. I consider myself... a Muslim soldier," he said.
Shahzad was arrested as he tried to take a flight to Dubai from New York's John F Kennedy airport.
Under interrogation, the financial analyst said he had gone to Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region in December 2009 for bomb training with militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban, his indictment read.
He is also said to have received about $5,000 in cash from a co-conspirator in Pakistan, who he understood worked for the Taliban.