2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 - A Super Snake Without a Stick

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
2020 ford mustang shelby gt500 a super snake without a stick

The crowd may weep, but the Ford fanboys will still rejoice. The 2020 Ford Mustang GT500 is here. It’s loud, it’s powerful, it looks cool, and it has no clutch pedal.

That’s right. The more than 700 horsepower expected from the 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 will funnel through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission from Tremec. Drivers will take back manual control via paddles.

That doesn’t mean a manual won’t be available later. Not to mention, there’s a lot more to this super-snake story.

That horsepower number above makes it clear that Ford has Hellcats in its sight, along with the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Key performance components include a cross-plane crankshaft, forged connecting rods, 16.5-inch Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers, a carbon-fiber driveshaft, MagneRide suspension dampers, high-performance Michelin tires that Ford says were specifically designed for this ‘Stang, and available Pilot Sport 4S tires. The supercharger is a Roots-type unit. The car rides on 20-inch wheels.

Buyers also get line-lock, launch control, and track apps.

The front end is definitely more assertive than what’s seen on the lower-trim ‘Stangs. Other aero bits include a new front air damn, an adjustable carbon-fiber splitter, a functional slatted hood vent, larger air openings, a different grille, and a front splitter.

If that’s not enough, buyers can tick a box to receive a package containing carbon-fiber wheels, exposed carbon fiber on the rear wing and dash, Recaro leather seats with suede, and rear-seat delete. A high-capacity oil pan and an adjustable exhaust are also part of the Shelby mystique, along with hood pins.

Available drive modes include drag and track, along with weather. Ford also says the chassis is race-tuned, which is not surprising, as this isn’t just intended as a drag-strip missile. It longs to be a true track star.

Ford claims a 0-60 time of mid-three seconds, a quarter-mile run in under 11 seconds, and gear shifts in under 100 milliseconds.

Everyday amenities include a rear-view camera, Sync, in-car wi-fi, and a 12-inch digital instrument cluster.

As TTAC’s resident Mustang fanboy, my initial “hot take” is that the car looks bad-ass up close, but it’s weird to not see a manual-transmission shifter. I get the reasoning — no human can shift as fast at the DCT, and it may be tough to find a manual that can handle the torque this engine is likely to generate. Still, it’s jarring to see a Mustang like this with an automatic-trans shifter that looks yanked from an Explorer.

More importantly, Dodge and Chevrolet will be forced to take notice. Prepare for an onslaught of buff-book comparos. No matter which car wins, the Shelby appears ready for battle.

[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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2 of 39 comments
  • Boxerman Boxerman on Jan 15, 2019

    The Gt 500 is what it is. I would like to see some of the tech applied to the Gt350R, Namely some lighter weight and the bent crank.No eps would be great too. Can w eget a sub 3200lbs GT350R with the smooth great sounding burbly bent crank and hydraulic steering to go with its stick? Thats a car that will be revered like the gen 1 nsx.

  • Jdmcomp Jdmcomp on Jan 21, 2019

    Now that this is out of the way, if only FORD would make a real grand touring Mustang, one which handles very well but doesn't rattle the fillings in your teeth and is comfortable for the long haul drives. I am an old car guy, and these are no longer tolerable, which is why I have a Jag, a Merc and a Caddy in the drive. Comfort with excellent handling does not work with rock hard springs and shocks. Quite in side, I like the radio.

  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.
  • William I'm a big fan of 70s Lincolns. I really liked the 1980s Mark Vl. I thought it was very classy, and I never thought of it as a restyled Town Car. I did own a 1990 LSC, it was black over black leather interior. I loved the LSC as soon as they were introduced. I loved the sound of the duel exhaust, I thought it fit the car perfectly. I never had any problems with it. The 5.0 is a great engine, and never had any issues with the air suspension system. It had the the analog dash and I made good use of the message center. I highly recommend this Mark. The black paint and interior fit the car and me perfectly.