The Ford Shelby GT500 is the most powerful street-legal Mustang ever — here's a closer look (F)


Mustang Shelby GT500

  • The 760-horsepower Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang is the most powerful street machine the car maker has ever built.
  • Its powertrain is derived from both the Le Mans-winning Ford GT supercar and Ford’s GT4 racers.
  • In a first, the GT500 will have a dual-clutch, seven-speed transmission when it goes on sale next year. The 0-60 time should be around three seconds.
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The flashy Ford GT supercar has 650 horsepower. But that’s nothing compared with the new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and its staggering 760 ponies. The attendant 625 pound-feet of torque comes from a supercharged V8 engine.

That motor makes just 526 horsepower in the current Shelby GT350 and 350R. We’ve been waiting for the GT500 ever since it was teased at the Detroit Auto Show a few years ago and officially unveiled earlier this, but without a specific power rating.

But the Mustang Shelby GT500 is the most powerful car Ford has produced in in 116-year history, and it now joins the mega-horsepower party. (Ford hasn’t yet revealed pricing.)

Ford is pitching the car as a supercar challenger. And why not? On paper, it’s more of a beast than some Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches.

Let’s take a close look:

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The Shelby GT500 will join the Ford Performance lineup, which already included the Shelby GT350 and GT350R, as well as the Ford GT supercar. Colors “include Rapid Red, Twister Orange, and Iconic Silver,” Ford said. Stripes are extra.

The Shelby GT500 is low and mean.

Six heat exchangers for the supercharged V8 hide behind that Cobra badge. And the functional louvered hood vent increases aerodynamic downforce.

The rear of the Shelby GT500 can be dominated by a massive carbon-fiber spoiler, derived from the GT4 racing series, if you opt for that package when the ‘Stang goes on sale in 2020.

The wing is designed to increase downforce, keeping the rear tires glued to the track. It’s part of two handling packages Ford plans to offer for the GT500.

The 760 ponies are supplied by a 5.2-liter, hand-built, aluminum-alloy, supercharged V8 engine. According to Ford, the motor has “high-flow aluminum cylinder heads, larger forged connecting rods, improved lubrication and cooling passages” — and even a specially designed oil pan.

Ford says the GT500 is capable of “mid-three-second 0-60 mph” runs and “sub-11-second quarter-mile scores.” Yes, that’s supercar fast. And the GT500 has a “line lock” features that allows you to heat up the tires before speed runs.

There’s a rotary shift knob, but …

… Of far greater interest is the dual-clutch transmission, based on the gearbox in the Ford GT. The 7-speed unit “can shift smoothly in less than 100 milliseconds – markedly faster than any manual,” Ford claimed.

Classic Mustang gauges are framed in carbon fiber.

The interior isn’t a wild departure from the current Mustang lineup. Recaro racing seats with holes from harness straps will be available. The infotainment touchscreen is a modest eight-inches, running Ford’s SYNC 3 system.

This beast is ready to take on all comers. “The new Shelby GT500 will surprise supercar owners with its Ford Performance racing tech, supercharged engine and visceral swagger,” Jim Farley, Ford’s global president, said.