The Ford Shelby GT500 is back and it’s more powerful than ever. Like its rivals, it’s packing a supercharged V8, but compared to the 6.2-liter engines in the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the Shelby has a comparatively tiny 5.2-liter V8. It doesn’t matter, though, because Ford is still promising “over 700 horsepower,” which would best both its rivals. This is the most powerful Mustang ever.
It’s also one of the angriest and most aggressive. Supporting that first point, we have video of the car revving right as we were preparing to film. And the second point? Well, just look at it. The GT500 wears a menacing body with hugely flared wheel arches hiding 20-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2. The rear wing is huge, and the gaping front fascia hides six heat extractors above and behind a knife-like front splitter – the tug of war between aerodynamics and cooling is constant in the GT500.
And that’s because this car is trying to fulfill a number of roles. It has huge brake rotors – 16.5-inch discs in front – to bring it down to speed quickly, as you might need at a drag strip. Those same stoppers are designed to resist fade without the expense of carbon-ceramic rotors. The transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch unit from Tremec, and while we might miss the bolt-action nature of the last GT500’s manual gearbox, Ford says this one can change gears in just 100 milliseconds, which is perfect for both the drag strip and a road course. And the magnetic dampers allow the GT500’s suspension to go from firm, to firmer, to firmest almost instantly.
Gallery: 2020 Ford Shelby GT500
These abilities should grant the GT500 what Ford claims is an sub-11-second quarter-mile time, along with a sprint to 60 that takes around three seconds. Sounds like quite a lot of fun. It’ll be more fun once Ford tells us exactly how many horsepowers and torques the GT500 makes. But for that, we’ll need to wait until this fall. Until then, check out the 2020 Ford Shelby GT500 from the floor of the 2019 North American International Auto Show.