2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 overview: King of the hill

The brand new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a unique animal than its predecessor. Should you would’ve requested me to take the final model to a street course, I would have been leery. That automobile was made for straight-line prime pace runs above all. However quick ahead to as we speak and it is a completely different story. The brand new GT500 continues to be a drag-strip stunner, however provides a serving to of apex-hunting prowess to its bag of efficiency tips.


  • Muscular supercharged energy
  • Shocking dealing with stability
  • Imply appears to be like and sounds

Do not Like

  • Dear Carbon Fiber Monitor Bundle
  • Transmission occasional hunts for gears
  • Flimsy plastic paddle shifters

Supercharged brute

The massive a part of what makes the GT500 a GT500 is its hulking 5.2-liter supercharged V8. With the assistance of an Eaton supercharger pushing 12 psi into the cylinders, the hand-built engine churns out a hearty 760 horsepower and 623 pound-feet of torque. Channeling energy to the rear wheels is a Tremec-sourced seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Collectively the drivetrain pairing will get the coupe to 60 mph in 3.Three seconds and permits it to cowl the quarter mile in 10.7 seconds, on to an electronically restricted prime pace of 180 mph.

To assist the Shelby obtain these spectacular straight-line outcomes, the GT500 has an built-in line-lock perform for pro-level burnouts (or for warming the rear tires), a reconfigurable launch management and a DCT that shifts gears in simply 80 milliseconds. I do know, there’s a big contingent of guide gearbox purists on the market cringing at the truth that a stick is not obtainable, however there is not any denying the benefit a well-tuned DCT brings to the desk — fast shifts means faster acceleration.

The DCT pays dividends on street programs, too. Across the 2.2-mile, 11-turn GingerMan Raceway in western Michigan, the Shelby’s gearbox is a quick-shifting marvel, letting me as an alternative focus on inserting the automobile the place it must be. The paddle shifters aren’t Ferrari-responsive to instructions, however the Shelby is darn good, to the purpose the place I do not actually miss having a standard guide transmission.

The GT500 rockets out of corners with authority, with energy obtainable at each level within the rev-range — although the engine is especially muscular between 5,500 and seven,500 rpm. The noise that comes out of the energetic exhaust system is phenomenal, as well. Getting a great run out of Flip 10B onto GingerMan’s longest straightaway means surpassing 140 mph is not an issue earlier than digging into the brakes. Within the curiosity of self-preservation, I hit 136 mph earlier than lifting, giving myself beneficiant room to make it safely across the 90-degree proper hander at Flip 11 onto the entrance straight.

New dealing with tips

It is price noting that my Shelby take a look at automobile is optimally set as much as torch a street course. It is geared up with the non-obligatory $18,500 Carbon Fiber Monitor Bundle that ups aerodynamics with entrance splitter wickers and a GT4 rear wing. This GT500 additionally wears 20-inch carbon fiber wheels wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and the adjustable strut prime mounts have a Ford Efficiency-suggested observe alignment. The opposite huge factor to say is that this automobile is outfitted with a rear hoop, which ups structural rigidity.

Carbon fiber wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and splitter wickers include the GT500’s non-obligatory Carbon Fiber Monitor Bundle.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

With that out of the way in which, this 4,081-pound GT500 has me questioning logic on the finish of every of my 15-minute observe periods. From the leap, the Shelby eagerly obeys the whole lot I ask, with the Brembos confidently slowing in brake zones, handing over instantly when cranking the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and hunkering down with a lot of grip via sharp corners with managed physique roll. Off the racing line a bit? No downside — the GT500 has sufficient front-end grip to make mid-corner corrections to get again on the correct trajectory. Apart from the brake pedal getting a contact longer on the finish of runs, the hefty Mustang hardly suffers any efficiency falloff lap after lap, which is doubly spectacular on a scorching and humid 88-degree day.

The Shelby’s steering is weighty and communicative, the Michelins carry out magnificently over lengthy runs and the soundness management does its work nearly invisibly behind the scenes. The GT500 transfers weight side-to-side with aplomb, it is snug at high-speeds and composed underneath braking. It is troublesome to seek out many dynamic faults with this automobile on observe — which makes me surprise simply how a lot better it may very well be if Ford engineers put a bigger give attention to lowering weight.

On observe, the Recaro’s further facet bolstering are available actual useful.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Tame on road

As hardcore as this Shelby appears to be like and performs on a observe, it has a softer facet suited to common road driving. Name up the automobile’s Regular setting and you may soften the adaptive dampers, lighten steering and quiet the exhaust. This makes freeway cruises snug sufficient, the cabin staying semi-quiet and the Recaro seats delivering assist in all the fitting areas. The dampers supply sufficient give, smoothing out most impacts, however should you come throughout rutted roads the meaty tires will trigger the GT500 to tramline.

The drivetrain returns an EPA-estimated 12 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 18 mpg on the freeway, which match the figures I noticed. Sadly, these numbers are low sufficient for the GT500 to be slapped with a $2,600 gasoline guzzler tax.

The GT500 packs loads of street presence with an aggressive, hunkered stance due to the big entrance air intakes, vented hood, carbon wheels and massive wing. As with all Mustangs, cabin construct high quality is on par with opponents like Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, which means it is good, however not nice. My Shelby tester does have a bit further fashion with carbon fiber sprint trim that I want prolonged to the middle console. As is, there is a huge piece of plastic topping the console that does not look dangerous however would undoubtedly look a lot cooler in carbon and extra substantial paddle shifters as an alternative of the flimsy plastic ones are on my want checklist, too.

Ford’s tried-and-true Sync Three system handles infotainment capabilities within the hottest Shelby Mustang.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Infotainment tech falls to Ford’s acquainted Sync 3 system with an 8-inch touchscreen controlling a 9-speaker sound system, satellite tv for pc radio, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These searching for some extra goodies can spring for an non-obligatory Expertise Bundle for a 12-speaker B&O audio setup, navigation and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. In addition to BSM, different energetic security programs aren’t provided on the most well liked Shelby.

How I would spec it

Constructing my perfect Shelby GT500 is straightforward. Make mine Ford Efficiency Blue and I’d solely verify one possibility field: the very costly $18,500 Carbon Fiber Monitor Bundle. For me, although, this one is price it — I would do as many observe days as I might. That brings the value tag of my completely spec’d automobile to $92,595, which is barely cheaper than my $93,385 take a look at automobile.

Make my GT500 a Carbon Fiber Monitor Bundle automobile, please.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Undisputed Mustang king

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 begins at $74,095, together with $1,195 for vacation spot and the aforementioned gasoline guzzler tax. That is fairly a bit greater than Chevrolet’s personal fire-breathing supercharged Camaro ZL1, which begins at $65,695 with vacation spot and guzzler taxes. Three-pedal purists can get a six-speed guide within the Chevy, too, however it’s outgunned by the Ford, the Chevy solely producing 650 hp.

Given the selection between the 2, I would give the nod to the Shelby. It is an emotional automobile that is straightforward to like. It is received aggressive appears to be like, a riveting soundtrack, all of the punch you may ever want and it might probably now bust and transfer round a racetrack with the very best of them. It is a full Mustang bundle that does not need to make any apologies.

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