New Shelby GT500 Is The Fastest Street-Legal Ford Ever Built
Let’s get straight to business: the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, due this fall, will pack more than 700bhp and be capable of a mid-three-second 0-60mph time and a sub-11-second quarter-mile. Shelby say that makes it the fastest street-legal Ford in history. The straight line speed is down to its supercharged 5.2-liter V8 and [cough] a dual-clutch transmission but it’s reckoned to be quick on the track too, thanks to Ford Performance race-tuned active chassis drive modes and the largest brakes–16.5in (420mm) and six-pot calipers–of any American sports coupe. And who thought we’d be talking about a Mustang having “aero-led design to increase downforce and thermal management”.
What would Carroll Shelby think though? “Carroll was always working on the next faster Shelby, I think he would love this Mustang more than any other,” answers Jim Farley, Ford president, global markets. “A takedown artist, the new Shelby GT500 will surprise supercar owners with its Ford Performance racing tech, supercharged engine and visceral swagger.” The core of the Shelby GT500 is the hand-built supercharged 5.2-liter aluminum alloy engine; unusually, to keep the intake air cooler and deliver a lower center of gravity, it uses an inverted 2.65-liter roots-type supercharger with air-to-liquid intercooler tucked neatly in the V8 engine valley.
To handle the power, the GT500 uses a Tremec seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, capable of shifts in under 100 milliseconds. So it’s a lot faster than any manual gearbox, even if you might prefer a stick shift. It incorporates several drive modes, including normal, weather, sport, drag and track, and activates line-lock and launch control through selectable Track Apps. It drives the rear wheels via a carbon fiber driveshaft.
There are two extra handling packages, the first with adjustable strut top mounts and a spoiler with Gurney flap. Or, for the hardcore, you could choose 20in carbon fiber wheels that are 0.5in wider at the rear wheels, custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, adjustable exposed carbon fiber GT4 track wing and splitter wickers with integrated dive plane. In that mode, the rear seat is deleted to reduce weight. While we’re talking seats, inside the Shelby GT500 there’s the option of exposed carbon fiber instrument panel appliqué and new door panel inserts in suede with accent stitching, along with Recaro racing seats with side bolstering and slots for safety harnesses. There’s an all-new 12-inch full-color LCD instrument cluster and a high-performance custom-tuned 12-speaker B&O audio system too, though wouldn’t you just want to listen to the blown V8?
Images courtesy of Ford