The upcoming 2019 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 has been spotted in the wild with a roll cage in the cockpit.
Now, what would a prototype car need with a roll cage, we wonder? Could it be that Ford is going to be testing their latest and greatest Mustang somewhere it’ll go fast? Like, say, a race track? Or perhaps a drag strip?
Actually, we already know where it is: Virginia International Raceway. Ford typically tests there vehicles in Virginia, and besides that, there’s a “VIR” sticker on the window.
So not a great mystery then. And neither is what is likely powering this new pony car. Rumors abound that the 5.2-L V8 from the GT and GT350 will return with an even larger supercharger, pushing the power of this mighty steed to well over 700 horses.
That’s not quite Demon-levels of insanity, but it’s getting there. And Ford hopes to bank on their name and superior engineering to carry them over Fiat Chrysler’s drag strip monster car.
The GT500 is also expected to have better handling thanks to additional refinements to Ford’s Magneride Suspension, along with new carbon fiber brakes and even carbon fiber wheels.
Ford’s highly successful 10-speed automatic seems like the obvious choice to pair with their most powerful Mustang, but there are rumors that there might be a 7-speed dual-clutch option too. Either way, the GT500's transmission will be bulletproof.
These latest spy photos from Autoblog show what will likely be the GT500 version of the car. We’ve seen a few teaser renderings from Ford that show the Mustang GT500R and a massive rear wing. This car has a teeny carbon fiber lip spoiler, which although stylish, can’t be all that effective for generating downforce.
Due to the presence of a roll cage, this test mule was likely taken out to give Ford engineers some real-world readings on how the new GT500 performs. It’s expected to see the GT500 at the Detroit Auto Show early next year, so Ford has a few months left to get things right. And judging by the slowly dwindling camouflage, they’re getting awfully close.