Ever since the latest generation of the Ford Mustang made its debut, we’ve been waiting for the ultimate Mustang to come out — and it looks like it’s finally here. This is the new 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, the first GT500 Ford has made since 2014. Between them, Ford has offered a GT350 version — but there’s a big difference between the GT500 and the GT350, and it starts under the hood.
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The GT350 has a 5.2-liter V-8, as well, but the GT500 takes it to another level, adding a 2.65-liter Roots-type supercharger, which sits in the valley between the V-8’s two cylinder banks. Mated to this engine is what Ford says is the fastest-shifting transmission it’s ever had in a Mustang — a dual-clutch seven-speed automatic. That’s different from the 10-speed automatic available in most Mustangs, but it should make the GT500 even quicker.
You’ll notice that we haven’t mentioned final horsepower, torque figures or even acceleration numbers for the GT500; that’s because Ford is still fine-tuning the powertrain. It seems likely that Ford is trying to wring as much horsepower as it can from the supercharged V-8 so it stacks up well on paper against the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (650 hp), Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (717 hp) and even the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye (797 hp). Final acceleration numbers won’t be known until then, but Ford did say the GT500 should have a zero-to-60-mph time in the mid-3-second range, and that’s plenty fast.
It wouldn’t be a GT500 without some outrageous styling, and this car has it in spades. It has a different front than the GT350 and retains the 2015 Mustang headlights rather than the refreshed version’s headlights, but the key difference is the lower valance: It’s much more open to allow for greater airflow to feed the six different radiators used to keep everything cool. The hood also has louvers to allow hot air to flow out of the engine compartment.
The model in this video has the optional Carbon Fiber Track Package, which comes with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and carbon-fiber wheels among other enhancements. These are more hardcore, track-duty tires and wheels that might not provide the best ride on the street. In back, the tires are even wider, and there’s a large carbon-fiber rear spoiler.
Ford expects that the GT500 will be the most powerful street-legal Mustang it’s ever made, which has us excited to get behind the wheel closer to the GT500’s on-sale date in the fall of 2019.
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