looks like: the meanest 2015 mustang you've ever seen
drivetrain: supercharged 5.2-liter v-8 producing "more than 700 horsepower"; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
hits dealerships: fall
are you ready for the most powerful production car ford has ever made? a mustang that can stomp the competition in both a straight line and in the corners? well ready or not, here it is: the 2020 ford mustang shelby gt500 has arrived, unveiled today at the 2019 north american international auto show in detroit.
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its presence in dealerships this fall will mark the first time in almost 50 years that both the mustang shelby gt350 and the much more powerful shelby gt500 will have both graced showroom floors widespread at the same time. so what makes upgrading from the gt350 to the gt500 worth it?
the look is a melding of old and new — yes, those are the headlights from the 2015 mustang, because just like the latest gt350, ford has opted not to give its uber-mustangs the updated headlights and fenders of the freshened 2018 model. that's where the old look ends, however.
a massive double grille now gapes out front, swallowing as much cooling air as it can gather. in fact, the cooling system now sucks so much air in through the front end that a new hood vent had to be fitted in order to act as a pressure release valve for the used engine compartment. there's 50 percent more cooling airflow versus the shelby gt350, according to ford, and the most downforce ever offered on a mustang thanks to the front end and fender design. wider fenders are fitted up front to house the 20-by-11.5-inch wheels.
there's a new standard spoiler out back with a composite rear diffuser for better heat dissipation. three new colors are available for the shelby gt500: red hot, twister orange and iconic silver, and you can get painted stripes, as well — not stickers.
under the hood
powering the gt500 is a supercharged version of the 5.2-liter v-8 found in the gt350, cranking out "more than 700 horsepower," according to ford, which isn't yet ready to give us the actual production horsepower number. ford used engine ering management told assembled journalists at a sneak preview of the new car that they're still trying to eke out every last pony from the massive used engine , but they assured us that it would be the most powerful production car the company has ever created — besting even the mid- used engine , twin-turbocharged ford gt supercar.
here's the surprise: the motor is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. nope, you can't have a manual. managing all that power and putting it to the rear wheels via a new carbon-fiber driveshaft required a super-robust unit, and ford is confident that the tremec seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is the way to go. take solace in the fact that the dual-clutch automatic can shift way, way faster than you can — less than 100 milliseconds between gears — if you're that upset over the lack of a row-your-own trans.
of course, there will be several drive modes to choose from, including normal, weather, sport, drag and track. it will also have a line-lock and launch-control function, meaning the new gt500 is meant to be at home on both the drag strip and the road course.
ford gives the initial performance estimates as zero-to-60 mph in the mid-3-second range, with a quarter-mile time of less than 11 seconds — or just about even with the 797-hp, supercharged dodge challenger srt hellcat redeye. stopping this beast will be the largest front brakes ever fitted to a domestic sports coupe, according to the company: huge 420-millimeter two-piece rotors up front, with bigger brembo six-piston calipers. they provide 20 percent more swept area than the already-massive brakes on the gt350.
the wheels are shod with michelin pilot sport 4s tires, unless you specify the optional handling pack, in which case you get pilot sport cup 2 track-ready meats along with adjustable strut top mounts and a spoiler with gurney flaps. there's also a more hardcore carbon fiber track package that swaps the metal wheels for unique 20-inch carbon-fiber ones that are a half-inch wider in the rear, an adjustable carbon-fiber gt4 track wing, "splitter wickers" up front with integrated dive planes and a deleted rear seat.
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the shelby gt500's insides get some love, too, with available exposed carbon-fiber dash appliques, as well as new door-panel inserts in faux suede with contrast accent stitching. recaro racing seats with integrated pass-throughs to accommodate a safety harness are optional, or you can opt for more comfortable power-adjustable seats with faux suede inserts. the shelby gt500 receives the latest mustang's optional 12-inch fully digital, customizable gauge cluster display, and a 12-speaker b&o play premium audio system is also an option. the center console has a standard 8-inch touchscreen running ford's sync 3 multimedia system, with standard satellite radio and fordpass connect wi-fi hot spot functionality.
the new ford mustang shelby gt500 will be arriving in dealerships in the fall, but ordering is sure to open before then, so if you're looking to pick one up, it might be a good idea to talk to your favorite ford dealer right now.
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