Update - 05.08.2019
Ford has claimed that the Shelby Mustang GT500 uses “the most power and torque-dense supercharged V8 in the world”, despite the fact its peak output is 37hp short of the Red Eye Dodge Challenger’s. The GT500’s 5.2-litre V8 has just-confirmed 760hp and 625lb ft maximum outputs, but it’s the consistency of grunt offered across the rev range that has Ford throwing punches at its muscle car rival. And since this is a GT500, power’s only half the story; a freshly-recorded 0-100-0mph time of 10.6 seconds emphasises that this Mustang has its sights set on all-round class honours.
Naturally, the engine under the bonnet of Shelby’s monster is the most potent to go into a roadgoing Ford. It comes mated to a Tremec seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that can shift up in just 80 milliseconds (hence the lack of manual option so far), with bigger friction plates, more efficient uses of transmission fluid and bespoke mapping to ensure the ‘charged V8’s punch can be exploited to a consistently higher degree, more often. This responsiveness ought to be heightened by the GT500 ‘Stang’s use of a carbon drive shaft and limited-slip differential as standard.
Of equal importance to the Shelby’s supercar-aping 0-100-0 time will be its use of enormous brakes. The front discs are of 419mm diameters, making them the biggest fitted to an American coupe yet, with six-piston Brembo calipers doing the grabbing. They’re held behind a set of carbon fibre wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, giving the GT500 an exotic make up that vastly contrasts the normal car’s back-to-basics setup. Of course, it’s exactly what Shelby needed to do to give Ford an answer to Dodge’s ultra-extreme Challenger line-up. Anyway, who doesn’t love a good old fashioned muscle car head-to-head?
There’s no more technical info to add to our earlier report (find lots more in the older story below), but the confirmation of power suggests we’ve not long to wait before prices and production numbers will be announced. All we can do now is cross absolutely everything in hope that Ford decides to provide us Brits with a right-hand drive version.
Original story - 14.01.2019
For more than 50 years now, 'GT500' has denoted the baddest of the badass Mustangs. In the late 1960s it meant a Ford pony car with a 428 cubic-inch V8; in more recent years it meant a Mustang with as much power as a Ferrari Enzo; and now GT500 means, in Ford's own words, "the most advanced performance Mustang to date."
Naturally, it packs a mighty powertrain. The 5.2-litre V8 found in the GT350 is now supercharged with a 2.65-litre roots-type 'charger, promising more than 700hp - don't forget a Corvette ZR1 is at 755hp - and a quarter-mile time of less than 11 seconds. Helping the GT500 achieve that is the first dual-clutch gearbox seen in a Mustang (or indeed the muscle car segment), a seven-speed Tremec unit which absorbs the lessons learnt from the Ford GT and can deliver shifts in less than 100 milliseconds. Which is probably about the same time it'll take to get a campaign going for the manual option.
Its gigantic output will be transferred to the tarmac via a carbon driveshaft and bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres (stickier Cup 2s will also be available). Given the wheels will be anything up to 11.5-inches wide you can imagine how large the supporting tyres are going to be.
Indeed the GT500 seems only to boast enormous numbers. The front brake discs are 420mm in diameter (or 20 per cent larger than a GT350's), with six-piston Brembo calipers. That outrageous bonnet vent, required to get air out, is 31 inches by 28 (787mm by 711), and the rain tray can be removed for better air extraction and downforce on dry days. Six heat exchangers are also in there to increase cooling pack air flow by 50 per cent.
Tweaks from GT350 to GT500 include next gen MagneRide dampers, new suspension geometry, revised electric power steering and lighter springs. All told Ford is promising "the highest-ever lateral acceleration from a Mustang for greater track performance and driver control." No doubt the more aggressive aero will contribute to that track performance, too, though no specific claims have yet been made about what the spoiler, skirts and splitter dream team are contributing.
For those buyers underwhelmed by a regular GT500 - easy to imagine, right? - Ford will offer two handling packages with this new flagship. The first is called the, er, Handling Package, and features adjustable strut top mounts and a spoiler with Gurney flap. Building on that for the truly committed is a Carbon Fibre Track Package with carbon wheels (wider at the rear than standard, at 11.5-inch), the Cup 2s, a rear wing from the GT4 race car, the rear seats binned and whatever "splitter wickers" are. But they come with an integrated dive plane. Don't be surprised to see the majority of GT500s optioned with the CFTP, especially given these press shots all seem to feature a car so optioned. And look absolutely awesome.
The interior will be familiar to regular Mustang owners, albeit with some GT500 embellishments also on offer: exposed carbon trim and Recaro seats are on the options list. The drive modes as seen in other Mustangs - normal, weather, sport, drag and track - are standard, along with the line lock and launch control Track Apps.
That's it for now, Ford having not yet confirmed a launch date, price or even final power output for the 2020 Mustang GT500. Suffice it to say many (on both sides of the pond) will be extremely excited though, given the promise shown throughout the life of the sixth-generation model. Only now with more than 700 horsepower. God bless America!