2020 Mustang Shelby GT500

Return of the King – 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500

It’s been a long time coming, but the legendary GT500 is finally making a comeback – in quite a big way too. The Mustang has gone through a lot of changes since we last saw a GT500 in 2014 and Ford has fully exploited every ounce of performance afforded to them by the groundbreaking S550 platform. It’s the most advanced and most powerful Mustang to date. In fact, it’s the most powerful street legal Ford ever. Let’s dive in.

The source of that record-breaking power is a familiar 5.2-liter aluminum alloy engine built by hand that’s most likely based on the GT350’s Voodoo motor. The extra kick comes from a 2.65-liter roots-type supercharger with its air-to-liquid intercooler tucked inside the V8 engine’s valley for a lower center of gravity. The aluminum alloy block features weight-saving wire-arc cylinder liners and high-flow aluminum cylinder heads, plus larger forged connecting rods, improved lubrication, and cooling passages.

When it’s all said and done, “more than” 700 horsepower is available. They’ve been telling us that for a while now but we’re not any closer to the more accurate numbers. It arrives this fall so they have plenty of time to figure that out themselves.

2020 Mustang Shelby GT500

As for the rest of the running gear, the transmission given the daunting task of sending that all to the ground is a new Tremec seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. No manual option is expected, but who knows, maybe they’ll surprise us. This DCT provides quick and smooth gear changes in under 100 milliseconds and is calibrated with lessons learned from the Ford GT’s transmission. It has a variety of selectable driving modes, line lock, and launch control. A carbon fiber driveshaft is included as well.

This potent combo is capable of “mid-three-second 0-60 mph and sub-11-second quarter-mile scores”. But unlike GT500s of the past, this one is meant to do more than just straight line sprints.

The GT500 takes advantage of revised suspension geometry, a new electronic power steering unit, lighter coil springs at each corner, the latest active MagneRide suspension, and specially calibrated driving modes. Additionally, custom Ford Performance-spec Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires and optional Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are available for relentless grip. Stopping power is provided by massive 16-5-inch two-piece rotors – the largest of any domestic sports coupe – plus larger Brembo six-piston calipers.

2020 Mustang Shelby GT500

Taking its track capabilities even further are two available handling packages. The first includes adjustable strut top mounts and a spoiler with Gurney flap. For those who actually plan to take theirs to a road course, an available Carbon Fiber Track Package features exposed 20-inch carbon fiber wheels with 0.5-inch-wider rear wheels (11.5-inch), custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, adjustable exposed carbon fiber GT4 track wing, splitter wickers with integrated dive plane, and a rear seat delete for good measure.

The payoff is the highest-ever lateral acceleration from a Mustang.

Styling wise, everything that’s been added is there for the purpose of thermal management and downforce and was designed in a rolling wind tunnel at Ford’s motorsports technical center in North Carolina. Front fascia openings are more than doubled versus the Shelby GT350, while six heat exchangers are stuffed in to increase cooling pack airflow by more than 50 percent. A massive 31×28-inch louvered hood vent features a removable aluminum rain tray for better air extraction and increased downforce at the track.

It’s been a long time coming, but this comeback is one that doesn’t disappoint. Ford has taken the GT500 to a new extreme and has turned it into way more than just a straight line bandit. We truly live in exciting times.

2020 Mustang Shelby GT5002020 Mustang Shelby GT5002020 Mustang Shelby GT500 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500

[Source: Ford]

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15 responses to “Return of the King – 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500”

  1. neight428 Avatar

    I’ll just give it a Wow. Hellcat/Demon, ZL1, Z06, GT350/500….interesting times indeed.

  2. Zentropy Avatar

    That looks badassed, but I think I’d prefer that grille bar be painted body color.

  3. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    The line that starts on the lower front fascia then runs up over the fender and on back through the shoulder and rear fenders is excellent.

    1. Zentropy Avatar

      I agree– that’s the first thing that caught my eye as well. It makes the car look like it was chiseled from a single piece of metal. I love this thing, assuming I can order it with a wing delete and get the dealership to paint the grille before I take delivery.

    2. tonyola Avatar

      That little blip of a crease on the fuel door and rear fender is a pretty neat detail. It shows that Ford took some care with this.

      1. JayP Avatar

        Ahem… 2010 Taurus…

  4. outback_ute Avatar

    More Mustang moments coming to the exit of a car show near you?

  5. Zentropy Avatar

    That looks badassed, but I think I’d prefer that grille bar be painted body color.

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      Agreed. That’s not a look I’ve ever been a fan of.

  6. Zentropy Avatar

    I just re-read the article now that I’m not so stunned by the photos, and noticed that there’s no option for a manual. That’s a deal-breaker for me (not that I could afford this car anyway).
    I completely concede that the Tremec DCT is, from a pure performance perspective, the “go-fast option”. I’m sure it harnesses the engine power so that the rear tires can most efficiently apply it to the road. But for me, a true manual adds another layer of driving experience that is well worth the price of being slower.
    I can only hope that the next (manual-option) GT350 inherits this same bodywork.

    1. neight428 Avatar

      Alternatively, I wonder if the DCT might trickle down into the base GT and four cylinder cars.

      1. Zentropy Avatar

        My wife’s new car has a DCT, and I can say without reservation that as an automatic, it’s fantastic. If DCTs were to trickle down and replace all conventional automatics (and CVTs, please!), then I’d be pleased. I just don’t like seeing DCTs displacing true manuals.

      2. JayP Avatar

        The 10 speed is pretty damn good and cheap. Unless the DCT cost is reduced, it may just be an option on the GT350.

  7. JayP Avatar

    It’ll be interesting to see how these play on the track in the next 2-3 years once the newness wears off.
    GT500s have been short lived at the track. The engine outmatches the chassis by far.
    If the S550 can handle, it may make more than 4 track events in it’s life.