The all-new 2020 Shelby GT500 is possibly the most extreme version of the Mustang ever built by Ford to date with over 700 PS under the hood and an aggressively designed body. Recently, Ford revealed development photos which show how the GT500 was designed to look and how it was to cut through the air.

For starters, the automaker took advantage of the latest technology available in order to properly develop the GT500. Virtual testing, through the use of supercomputers and 3D printing, has allowed Ford to try out hundreds of designs, even before building a complete prototype vehicle.

Check out the airflow of the 2020 Shelby GT500 image

“We created and studied designs among the engineering teams and proved out different strategies long before we built our first prototype cars. Not only did this improve the effectiveness of the designs, it dramatically reduced the time it took to develop the GT500 – and the costs associated with that,” said Matt Titus, Ford Performance vehicle engineer.

Aside from giving Ford a preview of the car in a virtual setting, designers and engineers could also tweak the GT500's styling more precisely. This precision ensures that the Shelby GT500 will have better aerodynamics, optimum downforce, and maximum airflow. The Ford Performance technical center, Advanced Manufacturing Center and Ford's wind tunnels then helped validate the designs.

Through the use of supercomputers and 3D printing technology, development time on the GT500 was highly sped up. According to Ford, the most promising designs were printed in just a matter of days, compared to previous works which took months. This allowed the team to continuously churn out designs and do even more refinements within a shorter time span.

Vitrual design, 3D printing secrets to Shelby GT500

Given that a car behaves differently in a simulation than in real life, real-world testing was still needed to confirm the designs worked. The GT500 team ran extended high-speed tests on numerous race tracks across the United States to test aerodynamics and cooling in order to deliver faster track times. 

The result of all that digital tinkering is the Shelby GT500 we see today. The 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 is set to go on sale later this year.