The Blue Oval brand has taken the wraps off the new Mustang Shelby GT500, which it bills as the “most powerful street-legal Ford ever”. Revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the new model slots in above the Shelby GT350.
While Ford has yet to reveal full performance figures, it does say the GT500 will produce “a projected 700-plus horsepower”. That translates to in excess of 522 kW, far more than the 482 kW produced by the Ford GT’s V6. And in the video below, it adds the new model is capable of a "mid-three-second" zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) sprint and a "sub-11-second" quartermile time.
Ford Performance says it started with a supercharged 5,2-litre V8 engine built by hand. To keep the intake air cooler and deliver a lower centre of gravity, the team dropped in a 2,65-litre roots-type supercharger with air-to-liquid intercooler.
The alloy block features wire-arc cylinder liners and high-flow aluminium cylinder heads, plus larger forged connecting rods, improved lubrication and cooling passages. Beneath that, Ford says a structural oil pan adds strength, reduces vibration and features a patented “active baffle system” to keep oil in the right places.
The Shelby GT500 employs a Tremec seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to deliver its considerable oomph to a carbon-fibre driveshaft. The new model boasts revised suspension geometry, a new electronic power steering unit and lighter coil springs all round. Hefty 420 mm two-piece brake discs have been added alongside Brembo six-piston callipers.
Interestingly, Ford offers a “handling package” that includes adjustable strut top mounts and a spoiler with a Gurney flap. The “carbon-fibre track package”, meanwhile, features 20-inch carbon-fibre wheels (with wider rear items), custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, adjustable carbon-fibre GT4 track wing and splitter wickers with integrated dive plane. In addition, the rear seat is deleted to save weight.
“Carroll was always working on the next faster Shelby, I think he would love this Mustang more than any other,” said Jim Farley, Ford president for global markets. “A takedown artist, the new Shelby GT500 will surprise supercar owners with its Ford Performance racing tech, supercharged engine and visceral swagger.”
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.