Almost every generation of the iconic Ford Mustang muscle car gets a factory-tuned Shelby Performance version for those who want a thoroughbred experience on the open road. The first Ford Shelby GT500 was introduced in 1967 and had the same heart as the 1966 Le Mans winning Ford GT40 – the 7.0-litre V8. Decades on, the Cobra badge still has a home on the Mustang. Now, the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 is the most powerful, street-legal car Ford has ever made.
The world got its first look at the new GT500 back in January 2019 when it was lowered from the ceiling at the Detroit Motor Show. However, its final details and specifications were only revealed in the past few days and that’s why you’re only reading about it on The Auto Loons now.
Under the vented hood of the new Mustang Shelby GT500 lies a supercharged 5.2-litre V8 that is tuned to produce 760hp and 847Nm. Ford promises a 0-96kph will take less than 4 seconds and a sub-11 second quarter-mile time. All the power is sent to the rear wheels using a race-tuned 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The powerplant has that much power thanks to a 2.65-litre Eaton roots-type supercharger with an air-to-liquid intercooler. It’s actually inverted to keep the air intake cooler and the centre of gravity lower.
For track use, Ford also offers two handling packages for the GT500. The one to go for is the Carbon Fibre Track Package which adds 20-inch exposed carbon wheels that are even wider at the rear(11.5-inch), special Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, an adjustable exposed carbon fibre GT4 rear wing and splitter wickers up front with an integrated dive plane. It also deletes the ‘rear seats’ to save weight. The new GT500 gets the largest brakes fitted to a sports coupe in America – 16.5-inch two-piece rotors with Brembo’ six-piston callipers.
There are numerous changes and modifications to the standard Mustang to make it a sturdy and consistent performance machine. Ford has utilised its latest-gen active chassis technology with MagneRide suspension to help the GT500 deliver its performance around a track and greater driver control. All the race-trim and vents on it are not just for show. Whether it is for more cooling airflow, better aerodynamics, more downforce or dissipation of heat, it is there to make the GT500 a better car. There’s even a rain-catching tray under the large bonnet vents and if you’re driving in warmer/dryer conditions, you can ditch the tray altogether. As a whole, the 2020 Shelby GT500 looks fantastically aggressive with the wider body, massive front vents, rear diffuser and GT4 rear wing. It is definitely a poster car for Ford alongside the GT.
The cabin isn’t bad either with race-inspired materials like exposed carbon fibre across the dashboard. The comfy seats with Miko suede inserts can be switched out for Recaro racing seats that offer firm side bolstering and safety harnesses. It’s modern too with a 12-inch LCD digital instrument cluster, 8-inch SYNC3 touchscreen infotainment system and an optional 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. But if you’re on a track or faced with an open stretch of road, the GT500 powertrain is the only soundtrack you need. You can have a listen in this video below as the 760bhp Mustang did a run up the Goodwood hill climb earlier in the year:
It’s available in a variety of bright colours such as Grabber Lime, Rapid Red, Twister Orange and Velocity Blue. For the first time, Ford is offering the opportunity to have the iconic Shelby ‘go faster’ stripes painted on instead of decals for a little extra cash.
The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 offers 760bhp as stock(with rear seats) for a base price under $74,000 and it can go up to $106,000 with the carbon package and a few more optional extras. That’s a hell of a bargain for a front-engined, high-performance GT considering that something like the Bentley Continental GT W12 with 100hp less, costs twice as much without options and the Ferrari 812 Superfast with an extra 40-50hp cost at least three times as more without options.
What do you think of the 2020 Ford GT500? Feel free toggle at it from all angles in the extensive gallery below. Share your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.