The Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Hellcat better watch their backs. Ford and Shelby are done playing catch up and have unleashed the most powerful, street-legal Mustang-based muscle car to date.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500.
Engineered to dominate the track, the drag strip, as well as the open road, it’s the pinnacle of Mustang performance and is set to arrive in US dealerships near the end of 2019.
From the outside, it looks as if the GT500 is merely a GT350 wearing a power suit. Upon closer inspection however, and one will immediately notice the GT500’s more daring design. Taking inspiration from modern jet fighters, the new Shelby is wider and packs more aerodynamic kit for improved airflow and downforce.
It has a double front grill design that allows more 50% more air to cool the engine. There are even six heat exchangers inside that help keep the engine bay at optimal temperatures. There are the wider front fenders, a big rear spoiler, and additional lightweight composite materials that aid in reducing overall weight and drag at the same time.
At the heart of the all-new Mustang Shelby GT500 is a hand-built, all-aluminum 5.2-liter V8. Like the 'lesser' GT350, the GT500 benefits from a flat-plane crankshaft, along with a new supercharger that was cleverly inverted in order to make the intake for the intercooler have a lower center of gravity. Other key upgrades made to the engine include: high-flow aluminum cylinder heads, larger forged connecting rods, and improved lubrication.
The result is an engine that cranks out over 700 PS, and a claimed 0 - 97 km/h sprint of about three seconds. However, unlike the previous GT500 which only came with a six-speed manual gearbox, the new GT500 gets a faster shifting seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) from Tremec. The new DCT also comes with selectable drive modes (normal, weather, sport, drag, and track), along with the infamous line-lock and launch control available through Track Apps.
Besides giving the GT500 more power, Ford and Shelby were also busy making improvements with the chassis and handling. The GT500 now comes with the next-gen MagneRide active suspension, lighter coil springs, a new electronic power steering, and custom-spec Michelin Pilot Sport 4S and Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. There’s even the option of having the GT500 roll on lightweight, 20-inch carbon fiber wheels which sheds a few extra kg.
Not forgetting about the GT500’s interior amenities, Shelby installed exposed carbon fiber trim pieces all around, as well as new door panel inserts finished in suede with accent stitching. Wide bolster Recaro racing seats also come as standard equipment, although there is the option of having power-adjustable seats with suede inserts. Other new additions in the Shelby GT500 include a 12-inch digital instrument panel and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Carroll Shelby may have already passed on from this world, but his legacy of making powerful Mustangs even more powerful lives on in the 2020 Shelby GT500.