For the past couple of years, Ford’s cross-town rivals have been enjoying the absence of a big-horsepower supercharged Mustang. All this will change soon, because Ford and its performance division have brought out a much-improved version of the pony car. After a year full of spy photos, teasers, and leaked images, the wait is finally over.
The new 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 screams performance—there’s nothing subtle about it. The styling is tantamount to the GT350R turned up to eleven. Its more aggressive face features a large hexagonal opening that contains the upper mesh grille with the Cobra badge, the blacked-out bumper bar, and the lower mesh intake. At the bottom is a prominent front splitter. The hood features ball-joint hood pins and a large, centrally located louvered heat extractor.
Moving on to the sides, the body gets widened muscular front fenders and side skirts. At the back, there’s an available adjustable rear wing, a unique rear diffuser, and a quad-tip active exhaust system. Standard 20-inch gloss-black alloy wheels complete the look. New paint colors include Twister Orange, Red Hot, and Iconic Silver.
Inside, the GT500 features a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and an eight-inch SYNC 3 touchscreen. A 12-speaker Bang &Olufsen premium audio system comes as standard.
Under the long louvered hood is a new, hand-built 5.2-liter supercharged V8 that’s expected to produce over 700hp. This beast of an engine is mated to a new Tremec seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that can shift in less than 100 milliseconds. Expect a mid-3sec 0-60mph acceleration and a quarter-mile time of less than 11sec.
The GT500’s sport-tuned suspension features a MagneRide Damping System, a high trail knuckle for improved steering response, and a magnesium strut tower brace. Stopping duties are taken care of by two-piece ventilated disc brakes. Up front, it gets 420mm rotors and six-piston Brembo calipers. At the rear, it has 370mm rotors and four-piston calipers. High-performance Michelin Sport 4S tires come as standard.
Optional on the new GT500 are vinyl or painted racing stripes, vinyl side stripes, and a carbon-fiber instrument panel. There are two available packages: a Handling Package, which includes adjustable strut top mounts, and a spoiler with a Gurney flap; and the carbon-fiber Track Pack, which includes carbon wheels, stickier Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, an adjustable exposed carbon-fiber GT4 track wing, and rear-seat delete.
The GT500 will hit US showrooms in the last quarter of 2019. While the 662hp 2013 Shelby GT500 was the last model to get Carroll Shelby’s stamp of approval, we think he’d love this latest iteration.
Are you impressed with the new Mustang Shelby GT500? Do you think it has what it takes to beat the Camaro ZL1 and Challenger Hellcat? Leave a comment and let us know.