The new Mustang Shelby GT500 is the most powerful street-legal Ford to date

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is running more horses than the GT supercar.

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Ford promised that the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 would be its strongest car ever, and it wasn’t joking.

The new Shelby GT500 is equipped with a 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 that Ford claims is going to have over 700 hp, beating even the latest Ford GT supercar, and run quarter mile in less than 11 seconds. (For contrast, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 does that in 10.6 seconds.) Shifts are borrowed from the Ford GT, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Contoured seats cradle occupants as they rocket through the quarter mile in less than 11 seconds.
Contoured seats cradle occupants as they rocket through the quarter mile in less than 11 seconds. Photo: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Mustang design manager Melvin Betancourt and his team have been working with engineers to accommodate the vast amounts of air that the GT500 needs to suck in and manage the extreme heat that it will put out. A massive grille opening dominates the front end of the car, which is nearly double the size of the one used on the present GT350.

The louver hood is the largest Ford ever produced with its huge power bulge, and each of the quad exhaust tubes measures up to five inches. An optional carbon fiber efficiency package with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires provides a large back wing and 20-inch wheels. “That spoiler gave me heartburn,” admits Betancourt, “but we have discovered a way to make it work.

The optional carbon-fiber performance package adds a rear wing.
The optional carbon-fiber performance package adds a rear wing. Photo: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

The GT500 will be available in eleven exterior colors when it comes in dealerships this fall — including the new Twister Orange — and will be available with racing colors, true to the legacy of the car.

Pricing for the GT500 was not announced, but when it comes on sale this fall it will fit into the Mustang range above the $60,000 GT350.

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