Step back to 1967 when one of the first, most significant redesigns of the Ford Mustang took place, back when Carroll Shelby launches the original and revolutionary Shelby GT500. Shelby had taken the concept of a Ford Mustang and transformed it into the aggressive race-ready-looking grand touring muscle car we know today. He was an artist, and arguably a genius, too.
Those badass looks made the GT500 the ultimate Mustang – capable yet civilised enough to be driven daily. Word spread like wildfire about the latest and greatest Shelby car, and soon, ownership was coveted by many. The car gained legendary status and was worshipped by Mustang enthusiasts worldwide, which is all that the daring creator could have wished for.
Today it is over 50 years since the creation of the first GT500 and car manufacturers are still inspired by one of Carroll Shelby’s greatest creations. Let’s take a journey through the life of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.
Fast-forward to 2020 and the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is getting somewhat of a rebirth after a 6-year stint. A lot can happen in 6 years, and the new GT500 offers buyers a breath of fresh air and a lot of muscle to go with it.
Loaded with race-proven Ford Performance technology, enhanced aerodynamics, and huge amounts of power; at the wheel you'd be putting 760 horsepower to the ground. Yep, that's one powerful pony! Rivals such as the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and BMW M4 pale in comparison.
With undeniable speed and style, the GT500 today is one of the most hotly anticipated cars since the turn of the decade and is widely tipped to be a best-seller. Let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer…
The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 harnesses a potent 5.2L Supercharged Cross Plane Crank V8 producing 760 horsepower @ 7,300 rpm. That engine is mated to a quick-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission derived from the Ford GT that helps propel the car forwards from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds. It has the potential to demolish the quarter mile in less than 10.7 seconds at 130+ mph!
Downforce-generating aids such as the front fascia have been revised to increase the drivetrain cooling capacity and deliver 50% more airflow at top speed than the Shelby GT350. Other elements such as the front splitter, side splitters, louvered hood vent and skid plate channel airflow which helps to reduce front-end lift and minimise drag.
Parts of the car such as brake components were 3D-printed so they could be tested and perfected, and supercomputers helped to create key modelling simulations which included the louvered hood vent, front fascia and splitter designs, brake ducting, rear spoiler designs and cooling systems. More than 500 3D cooling and aerodynamic designs were analysed to ensure consistent heat management and power delivery over extended driving sessions.
The GT500 weighs nearly two imperial tons yet is able to handle the performance metrics above safely and efficiently thanks to an elite team of Ford Performance engineers, designers and motorsport collaborators.
There are 11 exterior colours to choose from which include Shadow Black, Twister Orange, Grabber Lime, Oxford White, Velocity Blue, Iconic Silver, Magnetic, Race Red, Rapid Red, Kona Blue, and Ford Performance Blue. Rapid Red and Twister Orange are available at an extra cost.
The new Shelby GT500 offers buyers the chance to option it with the highly desirable Carbon Fibre Track Pack, an option which was first offered to Mustang GT buyers back in 2010. So, what is the Track Pack?
The Track Pack is designed to help the Shelby GT500 deliver up to 550lbs of downforce at 180mph, which will help keep the car glued to the ground at high speeds and deliver more downforce than any street-legal Mustang to date.
An adjustable carbon fibre “GT4 Track Wing” is added to the rear of the car. Outboard splitter wickers with integrated dive planes are placed in vehicle, ready for installation by the owner. Standard front seats are swapped out with Recaro leather seats, and Ford deletes the Shelby GT500’s rear seats altogether, shaving off a significant amount of weight.
On top of that, Ford replaces the base wheels with 20-inch exposed carbon fibre wheels and wraps them in specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
It’s safe to say the Track Pack is going to be front of mind for most buyers when it comes to choosing options for the new GT500. However, it will be somewhat of a lottery getting your hands on one. Actual supply of these cars will be much more limited. With sources saying that total production of the 2020 Shelby GT500 is limited to ~5000 units, there is only going to be a small percentage of that which are optioned with the Track Pack.
The interior of the new GT500 is relatively similar to the GT500 that precedes it, but a few small changes set it apart from the rest of the Mustang gang. Most notably, you’ll see that the gear shifter has been replaced with a gear selector dial. The dial is almost identical to that which you’d find in a Range Rover Vogue, which is a strange feeling. A controversial yet entirely necessary change in order to utilise the new seven-speed Tremec dual-clutch transmission, which can shift gears in a mere 80 milliseconds, according to Ford. We’ll let you make your own mind up as to whether that was a worthwhile trade-off.
Other changes include a carbon fibre instrument panel, black toggle switches near the start-stop button and most importantly, the driver and passenger’s thrones - both the base units and the optional Recaro seats are very comfortable and supportive.
This is truly a world-class car and quite possibly a future classic in the making. It will offer the lucky owners plenty of smiles all round as it is perfectly civilised and can be driven daily, but in equal measure it is a savage beast on the road with track-proven performance.
Clive Sutton Cars will be offering the new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 starting at £120,000. It is available in left-hand-drive only and we have a selection arriving in mid-March. We will be offering this special vehicle with 3 years warranty, 12 months RFL and all UK compliance completed. If you are interested in purchasing a GT500, then please register your interest. Limited slots are available, so please register your interest as soon as possible.
Prices: Starting at £120,000
See what's in stock: https://www.clivesutton.co.uk/vehicles/shelby