The wait is finally over for us petrol heads! The legend has returned and it’s better than ever. Ford has just unveiled its most powerful Mustang ever that is also its most powerful production car. It’s called the Shelby GT500.
In case you’re not familiar with the Mustang lineup. It starts with a base-model Mustang with an option to either get a 3.7-litre V6 or a turbocharged 2.3-litre 4-cylinder. Step up and you get a Mustang GT which comes with a proper 5.0-litre V8. Next, comes the Shelby GT350 and the GT350R. Both come with a 5.2-litre flat-plane V8 that redlines at 8200rpm and sounds glorious.
The GT500 is supposed to be the fastest, most powerful and the most insane Mustang in the whole lineup. Which is probably why it comes at the very top. The previous generation GT500 that came out in 2013, made 662bhp from its supercharged 5.8-litre V8. This was more than the GT350’s 526bhp that came out 2 years later in 2015.
The New GT500 was unveiled on 14th January at the Detroit Auto Show during Ford’s press conference. Ford had been teasing us about the GT500 for a while now on their social media and people have been guessing the specs for their latest muscle car. However, now we have some figures.
The 2020 Ford Shelby GT500 will be powered by a supercharged 5.2-litre cross-plane V8 pushing out “over 700bhp”. The exact horsepower and torque figures aren’t known yet, however, even from this estimate, we know that the GT500 will be Ford’s most powerful production car. Even more powerful than the Ford GT supercar that made 647bhp from its twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6.
The engine in the GT500 shares the same aluminium block with the GT350 and is paired with a 7-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission. To the dismay of many purists, there will be no other transmission option which means no more manual. This decision was probably made because Ford wanted the GT500 to be performance-oriented and controlling over 700bhp with a manual can be tough.
The only performance figures released by Ford are the 0-60mph and the 1/4mile times which are around 3.5 seconds and under 11 seconds respectively. These seem okay for a high horsepower rear-wheel-drive car but isn’t any better from the competition.
The GT500’s main rivals are Chevrolet’s Camaro ZL1 and Dodge’s Challenger Hellcat. The Camaro manages a 3.5 second 0-60 and 11.4 seconds in the 1/4mile via its 650bhp supercharged 6.2-litre V8. The Challenger manages a 3.4 second 0-60 and 11.1 seconds in the 1/4mile via a 797bhp supercharged 6.2-litre V8. The GT500 will probably be in the middle horsepower wise, however, if the 1/4mile time is accurate, the GT500 will be quicker than both on the drag strip.
The incredible 1/4mile time may be due to its DCT transmission which has the quickest shifts among the 10-speed and 8-speed automatics used by Chevy and Dodge respectively. This goes to show the benefits of DCT transmissions and why Ford chose them for the GT500.
The design of the GT500 has been controversial as some people aren’t a fan of the larger front grille. Personally, I think it looks aggressive, fitting for the most powerful Mustang. With the track package, you also get a more aggressive front and rear splitters in addition to a carbon-fibre GT4 rear wing and 20’’ exposed carbon-fibre wheels which makes the car even more menacing.
Further information including the release date, pricing and some more performance and power figures is expected to come out in Fall 2019. Till then, we’ll just have to wait.