What a time to be alive! Who’d have thought just a couple of decades ago that this deep into the 21st century, we’d be having a horsepower war among the American muscle-car makers? But we are indeed witnessing just that, and here’s the latest shot, ringing out from Dearborn, Mich.: The new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will make 760 hp and 625 pounds-feet of torque.
Despite not having as many horseys as the current power champion Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye with its 797 hp, Ford says that the GT500 will do the sprint from zero-to-100-to-zero mph in just 10.6 seconds. That’s supercar territory, the realm of vehicles with a different horse on the hood — an Italian one.
Ford’s proud of the new supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 that’s nestled under the upcoming GT500’s hood. It’s a heavily modified version of the naturally aspirated flat-plane crankshaft 5.2-liter V-8 found in the not-as-powerful-but-still-bonkers Mustang Shelby GT350. Like that car’s engine, the GT500 motor is made by hand, start to finish, by two technicians at Ford’s Romeo, Mich., engine plant who have affixed their signatures to a plaque on the motor itself.
There are some differences from the GT350 engine, however. These include longer head bolts, computer numerical control ported heads, four active head gasket layers, upgraded valve seats, higher-tension valve springs, forged pistons and more. The supercharger itself has a displacement of 2,560 cubic centimeters, and cooling is a priority in the 5.2-liter engine, as well: There’s 50 percent more airflow space in the front fascia to allow a lot more air to reach the six heat exchangers behind all the plastic grillwork.
Unlike the GT350, the only transmission you can get on the GT500 is a new seven-speed Tremec dual-clutch automatic. It, too, has been heavily modified for serious duty in this powerful Mustang. The oil pan has active baffles to make sure oil still is kept around the pickup tube, even under high-G track conditions, for example.
The electronically controlled unit can bang off shifts in just 80 milliseconds, depending on which of the five different drive modes you’ve selected. If you select something like Drag Mode, it will actually slow the shifts down in order to improve torque transfer. And if you choose Track Mode, it will use onboard sensors to know if you’re in a corner or on a straightaway, and adjust shifting appropriately.
The new 2020 Shelby GT500 is set to go on sale in the fall.
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