An unexpected partnership, more than 700 horsepower, and the most powerful, street-legal Mustang to ever roll off a production line – these are just a few of the things that could be in store for us when Ford pulls the sheets off the long-awaited pony car that will put the Camaro ZL1 and Dodge Demon to shame. If we’re being honest, the Shelby GT500 will probably put every performance car that came before it look like little more than matchbox a car. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that, if all the leaks and rumors thus far prove to be true, Ford is about the rewrite the book of performance and officially raise the bar to heights never seen before.
That’s what Ford Performance and Shelby are all about, right? Pushing cars beyond the threshold of acceptable reality? Perhaps; but that doesn’t put us any closer to knowing what kind of madness Ford has managed to cook up with the new Shelby GT500. Can this steroidal Mustang with an attitude surpass the Ford GT in terms of performance, handling, and even power output? Can it force every other automaker to rethink their entire performance strategy? It’s a strong possibility, and things could get even crazier. After all, Ford has been working non-stop, and it’s time that we prepare for the blue oval to teach us a thing or two about unadulterated and purely outrageous performance. As such, I present to you everything we know about the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.
13 It Will Have 700+ Horsepower
The last-gen Shelby GT500 that was produced for 2013 and 2014 held the record for the most powerful production V-8 with 662 horsepower on tap. The Dodge Hellcats eventually beat it out, but it did hold the title for a short period of time. But, that was then, and Ford has to take its record back. At the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the 700-horsepower figure was thrown around a lot, and it was finally confirmed by Ford that it would deliver 700+ horsepower. That’s huge.
No other information was given at the time, but there is evidence to support that it won’t be the same engine that powers the new Shelby GT350.
In the end, it should deliver more than 707 horsepower, as it has to take on the Hellcat, but it could deliver even more now that Dodge has the HRT Hellcat Redeye with 797 horsepower on tap. That’s a big number to beat. Can Ford pull it off with the new GT500?
12 A Dual-Clutch Transmission is On the Table
What Ford would offer in terms of transmission offerings has been one of the biggest questions surrounding the mythical beast that is the new GT500. Purists say that it must have three pedals and six gears while others say that it needs a dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Back in May, Mustang6G Forums put out a video of the new GT500 in prototype camo, and it sure did sound like it had a fast-shifting dual clutch transmission.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that a DCT is a certainty, but it surely stands as a strong hint toward one being offered, at the very least, as an option. What’s more important, however, is that it was reported that the DCT found in that prototype is familiar. Familiar as in Porsche’s PDK system. It could be a tuned-out version of the 10R0 from the Mustang GT, but in the video, it sounds a little too fast for that. Did Ford partner with Porsche for this DCT or did it borrow a few special traits? Ford may have done neither, but it’s certainly something to think about.
11 A Manual Transmission Could be Offered Too
For those of you who lost your mind reading that the new Shelby GT500 was spotted with a dual-clutch transmission, don’t go protesting just yet. Just a month before that prototype was caught on camera, Autoguide received a batch of spy shots that showed off the interior of the new GT500. Of course, it was heavily covered but sitting in the middle of the center console was a standard shifter with a six-speed shift pattern.
With that in mind, there’s a very good chance that a manual transmission will at least be offered if not included as standard equipment.
I know this is good news, but you should remember that because of the quick-shifting nature of DCT transmission, a GT500 with one will be slightly quicker. It will be quicker to 60 mph, 100 mph, and across the quarter-mile track as well. That’s just a little something to keep in mind if you’re not sold onboard with the whole DCT movement quite yet.
10 Ford Is Benchmarking it Against the Porsche 911 GT3
About a year ago in July of 2017, a Mustang prototype was caught running around Dearborn, Michigan with a Porsche 911 GT3 on its tail. Obviously, Ford was benchmarking the prototype against one of the greatest sports cars in the world, but it was a bit confusing as a lot of outlets, with Motor 1 and Ford Authority writing it off as a GT350. A deeper look, however, provides clues that the prototype was a GT500. You can tell because of the wider fenders and the big bulge in the hood, the latter of which is a requirement for that massive supercharger that will help Ford push the GT500’s output beyond that of the Dodge Hellcat and Chevy Camaro ZL1. More importantly, however, we now know where Ford’s head is at for the GT500 – it will be an all-around type of performance car. It will obviously be good in a straight line, but if it’s being benchmarked against the 911 GT3 and Camaro ZL1, it’s clearly tuned to handle some potent corners too.
9 It Could Run 9-Second Quarter Miles
When the Dodge Demon broke cover, it had one major flaw – it could run a quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds, but Dodge refused to offer it with a roll-cage, even as an option. That means that the most potent, drag-focused Dodge Challenger ever offered wasn’t allowed to participate in NHRA-sanctioned events because anything that runs under 10 seconds must have a full roll cage for safety reasons. Why is this relevant?
Well, last year, Autoguide dropped images of a GT500 prototype with a roll cage or at least some kind of roll bar behind the driver.
This doesn’t only hint that the possibility of Ford pushing the new GT500 as a true drag car, but it could hint that it can run 9s down the quarter mile or, at the very least, decimate some of the world’s finest and most difficult tracks. Why else would you need a roll cage, right?
8 It Will Feature Lots of Carbon Fiber
The first official image of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 came courtesy of a cover shot for none other than Motortrend. That image was a top-down shot that revealed very little, but it did give us a few hints as to what we can expect. The GT500 clearly has a carbon wing. That wing is offset by carbon fiber mirrors on the sides and those big carbon fiber hood vents as well. Ford’s teaser video from January of 2018 gave us a slightly deeper look, and it became clear that the GT500 would feature a carbon splitter, carbon diffuser, and what appears to be carbon headlight frames as well. To help cut back on weight, Ford could include more carbon fiber body parts, and there will most likely be a decent helping of carbon fiber trim on the inside as well.
7 Top Speed Could be as high as 214 mph
Santa gave us a nice Christmas present last year when someone left GT500 repair information all over Ford’s service portal – the place Ford mechanics go for service procedures, wiring diagrams, and the like.
Among all of the things that The Truth About Cars found inside the service portal sat a speedometer verification procedure that listed a minimum top speed of 200 mph. To be clear, this is a commanded range of 100 percent.
However, the indication range for 100 percent is 194 to 214 mph, indicating a top speed of somewhere between 200 and 214 mph maks. The last-gen GT500 could supposedly hit 200 mph without the speed limiter in place, so if the new model can hit the 214 mark, that will be amazing. It also puts the GT500 so close to supercar territory that it’s not even funny anymore.
6 Will offer “Track” and “Drive Strip” Driving Modes
If you need confirmation that the new Shelby GT500 was looking to lay shame to the Dodge Demon and the new Challenger Hellcat Redeye, then look no further. In the same leak from TTAC that hinted toward a potential top speed of 214 mph, there was also some interesting information regarding drive modes. The Shelby GT500 will drop two drive modes in favor of two others. Out are the snow\wet mode and track mode to make room for “weather,” “launch control,” and “Drag Strip.” That’s right; the GT500 will have a drag-specific driving mode as well as launch control.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the GT500 won’t be able to call a traditional track home – it was benchmarked against the Porsche 911 GT3, after all – but it will home on the drag strip, the one place where you’re allowed to cut loose and push it to the extreme. Pair in the spy shots with that roll cage in the rear, and it’s looking more and more like the GT500 might be able to run 9-second quarter miles. There’s no need for that roll cage otherwise and why would you take a new GT500 to the drag strip if it’ll get beat on by the first Demon that comes its way?
5 Powered by a Supercharged, Cross-Plane Crank V-8
There were rumors flying around that a 5.2-liter V-8 would be the heart of the new GT500, then a picture of exactly that, with a focus on the Cobra-branded supercharger, surfaced on the internet and we knew Ford wasn’t playing around this time.
Not long after that, Mustang6g dropped a bombshell of an image that not only showed the real engine but included confirmation that it was, indeed, a cross-plane V-8 that’s paired with an Eaton 2.65-liter supercharger.
That supercharger, by the way, is said to run at 12 psi. The same leak also came with word that the Tremec TY-9007 dual-clutch transmission will be the cog switcher of choice. Of course, we know it has been spotted with a manual gear shifter as well, so it could be offered with the option of either transmission.
4 Will Have Massive Ceramic Brembo Brakes
The tidbit of information that you’re about to read here comes courtesy of dwalker from Mustang6g’s forum. He posted a close-up shot of a pair of huge Brembo brakes that are, apparently, installed on the front end of the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. The brakes are said to be carbon ceramic in nature and will most likely be the largest brakes to ever come on a production Ford Mustang. In the leaked image, they even dwarfed the photographer's hand and looks considerably larger than the brakes found on the new GT350 that’s already terrorizing dragstrips.
On that note, going with such a large brake setup just goes to show that Ford is delivering something that’s downright fast and a lot of stopping power will be needed. Is this going to be the most track-capable Ford to date? Probably, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out for sure.
3 Will have a Bespoke Interior
Like any limited-production vehicle, the Shelby GT500 will have its own unique cabin. Now, don’t get it twisted – the GT500 will still be recognizable as the mustang it is on the inside, but there will be a handful of things other Mustangs, including the Shelby GT350, just don’t get. Look out for a steering wheel that’s similar to that of the GT350 (it may even be the same wheel,) to go with a handful of GT500, Shelby, and Cobra badges sewn throughout the cabin. The interior could be precut for that optional roll cage that we’ve discussed, and it could be set up for quick installation of five-point racing harnesses.
The latter possibilities are just that as it may be taking things to far, but this is set to be the craziest GT500 yet, so nothing is outside the realm of possibilities here.
On the electronics front, the instrument cluster should be home to bespoke gauges not found on other Mustangs, and the infotainment display will get a custom software with a model-specific welcome screen, custom performance pages, and a few other options that we don’t know about yet. The thing here is that things could go a couple of different ways as the GT350 has traditionally been the more track-focused of the two, but with the new GT500 delivering so much power, benchmarking against the 911, and being tested with a roll cage, we could be in store for some all-new form of Cobra-flavored craziness.
2 Limited Production Means Dealer Markup Will be Crazy
Car dealerships, even those that are a part of an automaker’s dealer network, are getting away with highway robbery these days. This robbery comes in the form of dealer markup or, as they like to call it, “market adjustment.” It’s a figure that dealers can add to the MSRP or sticker price to make an extra profit without any real justification outside of supply and demand. It’s not necessarily an unfair game, but do you remember what happened with the Dodge Demon and Honda Civic Type R? Well, a report from Jalopnik reminds us of dealers adding some $75,000 onto the price of the $100,000 Dodge Demon when it was new, while Carbuzz reported a that the Civic Type R saw markups that ranged from $10,000 to $25,000 and sometimes more – just because.
And, let’s not even get started on the eBay seller that wanted $550,000 for his undelivered Dodge Demon. Hopefully, Ford dealerships won’t be so sketchy – we can all hope – but if you’re going to throw your name on the list, expect to pay more than what Ford really wants for it. Either way, history has shown the Shelby models to be highly collectible, so any price may be a justifiable investment.
1 Ford Could be Collaborating with Porsche
Before I go any further, let me just point out that this little tidbit is pure speculation and borders on the realm of crazy. With that said, word has it that one of the GT500 prototypes that got caught testing had a very familiar sound to it.
The person responsible for the picture said that it sounded like the car was equipped with a dual-clutch transmission and that it sounded “a lot like” the Porsche PDK unit.
That leaves us to wonder if Ford didn’t collaborate with Porsche, at least in the design of the DCT. It’s pretty unlikely that this is the case, but stranger things have happened, and if Ford is offering a DCT in the DT500, it needs to be of the highest quality.