2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a 700+ hp assassin
Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann says that the engine plant for Shelby models is the only one of his factories where the employees received fan letters from owners
If those guys and gals' handiwork inspires that kind of devotion based on building the 526 horsepower V8 for the GT350, I've gotta assume that they're in line for some really **** care packages when this 700 plus horsepower Shelby GT500 hits dealers.
That's right, this is the most powerful production Mustang ever to hit the street.
And while I don't have all the headline numbers for this 2020 GT500 yet I can tell you that it's shaping up to be very impressive And very different than the 500's that came before it.
I first drove a GT500 way back in 2006.
And that car was a beast.
Big power, heavy clutch, a brute-force knuckle-dragger.
Especially by today's standards.
With 500 horsepower at the crank, that car went straight in a hurry.
But it was a nose-heavy pig when it came to corners.
With the GT500 generation since then, the car's handling has improved but this new 2020 is shaping up to be a different beast altogether, for it says this Shelby craves hammering on big road courses and not just the quarter mile.
Visually there's alot of changes to process, the new engine requires 50% more airflow, so you've got a much bigger opening up front, which is balanced out by these water fenders.
There's a new hood made of sheet bolt compound, complete with hood pins and the biggest vent ever fitted to a production Ford.
There's aero-fences along the sides, and a new rear fascia that terminates in five inch exhaust tips.
This particular car is equip with a hard-core optional carbon fiber track pack which includes 20 inch carbon fiber wheels wearing Micheline Cup Two Semi Slicks
Along with a bigger rear wing, front dive planes, and rear seat delete.
It looks serious.
Apparently it's possible to get more rear down force out of this setup than the ford gt supercar.
And that whole things looks like one big wing.
So about that engine.
The new pride of Romeo, Michigan is the 5.2L out of the GT350 but not if you know it.
The flat plane crank is gone, and there's a honking 2.65 eton supercharger nestled right down in the V, running a 12 PSI.
That much boost forced engineers to go back to the drawing board, the result includes additional crosstrailing for better cooling, new longer headbolts to keep the whole thing from grenading under the pressure, Plus different head gaskets, valves, seals, seats, and springs.
The cooling system has been overhauled too.
Like many other Mustang's, the new 500 features magnetic ride control, and the brakes are massive with 16.5 inch front discs, that ford says are the largest of any domestic production coupe.
The Brembos run six piston fixed calipers up front, and four piston units out back Interestingly no carbon ceramics.
The GT 500 is biggest philosophical change, it comes the new seven speed dual clutch.
That's right, you can't get a manual.
With 100 millisecond shift time, the new box was always going to be quicker on the street, strip, or road course.
The only question is if it will be as involving.
Ford says to expect 0 to 60 in the mid-3's and the quarter mile in under 11 seconds.
All in, this new GT500 is apparently a chunk quicker around tracks than they already very impressive GT350R.
And it's said to be more refined and friendly as well.
Now that, that would be a real character change for a GT500.
Not a whole lot has been done to the anterior.
There's available Recaro's and unique magnesium shifters, but overall it's pretty buttoned up.
There is one big change however.
The traditional gear shift lever has been replaced with a rotary dial, and I'm not sure I'm convinced.
If I can't have this, then I at least want this.
Ford, if you're gonna make me do this.
I want it to feel substantial and mechanical.
Cold to the touch.
Like the crank wheel on a bank vault or maybe a decent faucet.
This feels a little plasticky, dainty and like it came out of a Fusion, because it did.
The hand brake is also gone.
So if you've got ten block fantasies, you're gonna need to stick with a GT350.
Overall, the 2020 Shelby GT 500 looks like an absolute monster.
I can't wait to see the numbers trickle in including the price as we get closer to this car's on sale date later this fall.