The timeless Motown muscle car war is hotter than ever.
Nearly a year to the day, Ford teased the world with an announcement that an all-new Mustang Shelby GT500 was coming with at least 700 horsepower. That day is now here, though unfortunately we still don’t have a terrific amount of information on this new muscular Mustang. It certainly looks like a hard-hitting Shelby superstar, and with all kinds of aero tweaks compared to the GT350, the new GT500 is designed to go fast at both the drag strip and the road course.
The million-dollar question everyone is asking right now is whether the GT500 has the goods to challenge its crosstown rivals in the never-ending battle of domestic muscle car supremacy. Naturally, we’re speaking about the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat – two vehicles for which Ford has had no rival since the GT500 disappeared with the demise of the Mustang's fifth-generation platform in 2014.
There’s still much to learn about this latest Shelby, but there’s enough information now to offer a basic comparison of the three war horses. We’ll certainly update this feature as more GT500 information – like exactly how much horsepower it makes – becomes available. For now, here’s what you need to know about Detroit’s three toughest street fighters.
As you can see, all three cars are actually pretty close in most areas, though we don't have pricing for the new Shelby yet. The ZL1 trails in horsepower, but until Ford gives us a concrete figure we still don't know by how much. We're actually somewhat baffled as to why the automaker hasn't yet committed to a specific number, since we were literally told "over 700" a year ago. Is Ford looking for a few more ponies to one-up the Challenger after Dodge gave the Hellcat a 10-hp boost for 2019? More importantly, will having a few more hp ultimately matter when it comes to performance? Let's examine the second set of stats to find out.
*Figures for 2019 not available, stats represent previous-year 707-hp Hellcat.
We still have some definitive figures to get from Ford for this section, but the company is making some bold claims. 0-60 times are neck-and-neck with the competition, but "sub-11-second" really means the new Shelby GT500 is a 10-second car. Granted, track and weather conditions play a big role in that, but if the pomp and circumstance prove legit, the Shelby would actually be more competitive with the 797-hp Challenger Redeye. As for top speed, the previous GT500 eclipsed the 200-mph mark. With this one boasting all kinds of aero components, it's hard to say if the extra power will overcome the added drag.
We are certainly very interested to see just how capable the new monster Mustang is, both at the drag strip and on a road course. Stay tuned for a first-drive feature coming later this year.