After quite a long wait, Ford Philippines has finally announced that the high-performance version of the Mustang is now available in the market.
What we're talking about is the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the top-of-the-line variant of the Mustang range. This isn't just an aggressive aero body kit and badge; the GT500 is the most extreme version of the Mustang you can get from a showroom and features many performance upgrades to be worthy of the Shelby badge.
“The new Mustang Shelby GT500 is among Ford’s flagship performance vehicles with a proven race heritage,” said Michael Breen, Ford Philippines managing director. “The new variant exudes unmistakable Mustang Shelby qualities and characteristics in an enhanced modern iteration as seen by its updated design, performance enhancements, and innovative features, giving Mustang enthusiasts something to get excited about.”
First, the look: while it is a performance car, the GT500 has been a style icon for the Mustang line since it appeared in 1967. This new one is a proud successor to that heritage but levels it up with modern race-tuned aero and aesthetic parts. The front end has been restyled with that unique aero bumper (with an aluminum bumper beam behind), larger grille, and front splitter. The fenders are wider are more muscular; the same goes for the hood with racing stripes and hood pins. This model also gets a rear diffuser, a rear spoiler, and much larger and wider 20” x 11.0” wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.
The interior has also been upgraded with reclining Recaro seats wrapped in suede and leather, an Alcantara-wrapped D-cut (flat bottom) steering wheel, a rotary gear shift dial, and magnesium paddle shifters. There is also liberal use of aluminum throughout the cabin from the instrument panel trim to the scuff plates from Ford Performance.
At the heart of the GT500 is the 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine instead of the 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 in the Mustang GT. With 760 horsepower and 847 Newton meters, Ford saw fit to call the engine the “Predator”. They matched the high-performance engine with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox from Tremec, and it is rear-wheel drive with a limited-slip differential.
For handling, the GT500 has been retuned at the chassis level with upgrades to increase stiffness and rigidity, along with magnesium shock tower braces. The front track is wider and the ride height is lower for enhanced handling. The suspension has also been reworked and features Magneride technology that can be set to improve the ride or improve the cornering performance. For enhanced braking, the GT500 is fitted with Brembo brake calipers and SHW rotors.
As usual, the GT500 has plenty of safety and connectivity features, but some of the more unique features are really about enhancing how well the car excites the driver. For instance, this gets a different drive selector system that has settings for Normal, Sport+, Track, Drag, and Wet. There's also a line-lock mode (locks front brakes/tires for burnouts) but do so at your own risk on the track.
There are 11 colors available from Ford: Antimatter Blue, Carbonized Gray, Grabber Yellow, Oxford White, Shadow Black, Velocity Blue, Race Red, Twister Orange, Iconic Silver, Rapid Red, and Performance Blue.
Since this is a special performance unit, we don't expect too many to be available at Ford dealers. And as for the pricing, the Mustang Shelby GT500 retails for PHP 7,760,000. If you want it in Twister Orange (no, not the juice) then there's an extra PHP 15,000 for that option.