Most people will never, ever need anything more than a basic Ford Mustang GT. The latest version is an absolute monster, with a screaming 460-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 engine, independent rear suspension, a well-crafted interior, top-notch technology and performance chops at both drag strips and road courses that have made it much more of a well-rounded sports car than a straight-line muscle car. The Mustang Shelby GT350 upped that ante with a bigger, more powerful engine, bigger brakes, more aggressive suspension tuning, and unique aero equipment.
Now, the big dog has arrived at the 2019 Detroit auto show: the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, which adds a supercharger to the mix that brings “more than 700 hp” to the party.
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Ford hasn’t said what the GT500 will crank out just yet, as the company told reporters they’re still figuring that out themselves, trying to eke out every last pony before they tell the world. What it won’t have, however, is a manual transmission.
I predict Mustang enthusiasts will be sore about two areas. First, the looks: Yes, those are the headlights from the 2015 Ford Mustang. The GT350 and GT500 aren’t getting the droopy-eyed headlight refresh that the Mustang got for 2018 — and I, for one, ain’t mad about it. The ’15 headlights are much more aggressive-looking, with an angular sharklike appearance that just works with the GT500’s much more angular, gaping maw.
And what a maw it is, a grille that looks as if it could suck in all the air in the room and leave you gasping. At the car’s introduction, seeing the GT500’s cooling system without all the bodywork is a little awe-inspiring — this thing has half a dozen radiators, cooling everything from oil to engine coolant to supercharger air. It’s no wonder they had to open up the hood to let the air out that the GT500 is sucking in — it wouldn’t have anywhere to go if they hadn’t.