2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Review, And Other Things You Need To Know About This Product

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Review
Written by Autofot
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Jim Owens, Ford Mustang marketing manager, said at the unveiling of the newest 2020 Shelby GT500, “This isn’t your grandfather’s GT500.” No, he wasn’t joking.

The original Shelby GT500, which was introduced in 1967, is one of the most prized nameplates from the heyday of American muscle cars. It established a standard for enormous power and enjoyment. The final Shelby GT500 was a 662-horsepower beast with a top speed of 200 mph when it was introduced in 2013. Ford wanted something more this time around than just a quick automobile that could travel straight. It desired a vehicle that was capable of doing everything, including navigating bends and smoothly traveling along the highway. Ford want both strength and intelligence.

The brand-new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is incredibly powerful, with 760 horsepower to be exact, making it the most potent Ford production vehicle ever. However, it also contains technology that helps the driver maintain the bright side up, as well as downforce-generating aerodynamic assistance. Does that manage to control all that power? Can it support the Shelby’s base price of $71,395? And can the fastest Ford model outperform the most popular Dodge Challenger or Chevrolet Camaro? In a frenzy, we race onto the track to find out.

Appearing the role

Although the GT500 has always been the top-tier Ford Mustang, the look of more recent models hasn’t truly reflected that. Since Ford reintroduced the GT500 in 2007, the cars have seen just minor design changes compared to other Mustangs. With the 2020 model, that has changed. The GT500’s aggressive appearance matches its performance and even aids in its acceleration.

When approaching the GT500, the first thing you notice is how open the front end is. According to Ford, the openings are twice as huge as the already loud Shelby GT350 Mustang. This permits more cooling air to enter the engine compartment. That air has a way to exit through a protrusion in the hood, which also increases space for a supercharger. The supercharger, transmission, engine, and six heat exchangers are all kept at a comfortable temperature. The brakes are kept cold by ducts that are located on either side of the grill.
Ford also made an effort to increase aerodynamic downforce, which helped the car turn and stay to the road more quickly. The GT500’s front splitter, sill extensions, back diffuser, and rear spoiler (as well as a belly pan) all function together to provide balanced downforce, despite the fact that they may appear to be a random assortment of Pep Boys parts. Ford claims that even the hood vent contributes to lowering front end lift. A rear spoiler with a Gurney Flap, a performance-enhancing lip on the spoiler’s trailing edge, is an additional feature of the optional Handling Package. A larger rear spoiler modeled after the rear wing of the Mustang GT4 race car is included in the Carbon Fiber Track Package, along with carbon fiber wheels.

Although the interior is basically a regular Mustang, the exterior is tuned up. Even while the GT500 boasts some unique features, such as carbon fiber trim and a rotary shifter borrowed from earlier Ford vehicles, the layout will be recognizable to anyone who has driven a current-generation Mustang. In terms of usability, that’s not a terrible thing, but it does imply that the GT500 isn’t truly a cut above other Mustangs in terms of technology. You have the same digital instrument cluster found on other Mustang models, as well as the same Sync 3 infotainment system (with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) that is used in countless other Ford vehicles. Everything functions flawlessly, although it’s a little disheartening to find the same technology in a car that costs almost twice as much.
At least the inside does the task for which it was intended. Despite having ample side bolstering, both the standard and optional Recaro seats are nonetheless comfortable enough for a lengthy trip. Due to the fact that this is still a Mustang, it has a larger cabin and trunk than other sports cars, as well as back seats that a person might actually be able to fit in (unless you order the Carbon Fiber Track Package, which deletes them to save weight). The Dodge Challenger has more inside room than the Mustang, but due to its enormous size, the Dodge is difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.

The beast’s heart

The engine is what makes a Shelby GT500 unique, and the 2020 model is one of the best ever. Ford added a 2.65-liter Eaton supercharger to the symphonic 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8 from the Shelby GT350 in order to draw in more air. 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque are the results. That exceeds the capacity of any Ford production vehicle, even the GT supercar.

But the ultimate muscle car bragging rights don’t go to Ford. Even while 760 horsepower is a lot, it falls short of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye’s 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque, and the GT500 only outperforms the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in terms of horsepower (the Chevy makes 650 hp and 650 lb-ft).

The transmission of the GT500 is another drawback, at least in the eyes of forum users. While manual transmissions are offered by both Chevy and Dodge, the GT500 can only be had with a Tremec seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Although the lack of a clutch pedal may annoy fans, this transmission is not a slushbox. The dual-clutch system, which is preferred by brands like Ferrari and Porsche, does exactly what it says on the tin: one clutch disengages one gear while the other engages the next. According to Ford, this enables shifts as quickly as 80 milliseconds. That is a lot faster than a human can shift gears.

The choice of a dual-clutch gearbox was justified by Carl Widmann, chief engineer at Ford Performance, who claimed that a manual transmission couldn’t even be engaged in 80 milliseconds. Additionally, the Tremec transmission is more adjustable than other transmission types and can handle the whole 625 lb-ft of torque produced by the V8 at all times, according to Widmann. The data provides the narrative.

The GT500, according to Ford, can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 10.7 seconds. According to Chevy, a Camaro ZL1 can run the quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds and from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. A Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody, according to Dodge, can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 10.8 seconds. Ford claims that the GT500’s highest speed is 180 mph, while the Hellcat’s top speed is 203 mph (Chevy doesn’t provide an estimated top speed for the ZL1).

Ford fitted the GT500 with incredibly enormous brakes to control all of that power. The front brakes have rotors that are approximately the same size as the wheels on a 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang from the factory. According to Ford, the rotors and the accompanying six-piston Brembo calipers would not fit inside of anything smaller than 20-inch wheels.

Dynamism And Poise

Ford has given the GT500 lots of power, but what about their desire to create a Shelby Mustang that is more than just another drag racer? Ford succeeded in doing so and more. Without the additional traction of all-wheel drive to control it, a car with this much power would seem terrifying. Never before had 760 horsepower felt so doable.

Our time with the GT500 began with a trip from Las Vegas to the summit of nearby Mount Charleston on winding roads. We were astounded at how polite the GT500 felt while operating a vehicle equipped with the optional Handling Package and standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. The thundering V8 supplied the necessary soundtrack, but there was no wind noise or a back-breaking ride, which are frequently required for entry into hardcore vehicles like this. MagneRide adjustable suspension on the automobile does an excellent job of balancing handling and ride comfort. The dual-clutch transmission made rapid and smooth shifts. In automatic mode, the transmission will even shift down a few gears as the car slows down before a turn, much like a human driver would if they were manually shifting.
Our appetites whetted, we made our way to the racetrack. The road circuit that Ford reserved at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is narrow and difficult. Instead of a 760-hp Mustang, it looks like a perfect place for a Mazda Miata. Surprisingly, this is the area where the Shelby GT500 excels the most.

Our time on the track was spent in a vehicle in Track mode that had the Carbon Fiber Track Package, which includes the stickier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. By doing this, traction control and stability control are disabled but remain on standby in case they are needed. We were confident enough to lap this beast around the narrow track even with the safety net retracted. The MagneRide suspension gives the GT500 superb body control and precise steering, giving the impression that it is a much smaller vehicle. We also liked that, unlike many other performance cars’ most aggressive driving settings, the steering doesn’t feel too heavy in Track mode. It feels like you’re driving into a tractor beam because of how effectively the brakes cancel out speed. Overall, the stress-free experience made us consider the Nissan GT-R rather than other muscle cars. Like Nissan’s supercar, the GT500 operates with a casual demeanor.

That 760 horsepower is nothing to be afraid of either. Most of the time, the car feels fairly neutral, and even when you do overheat it, the GT500 provides you with plenty of warning. You have plenty of time to make adjustments and prevent losing the rear end because you can immediately feel when you’re approaching the grip’s limits. It won’t just abruptly cross the line and turn on you. In some circumstances, we did observe understeer, but it is much safer than oversteer, which might send you spinning into a barrier.
After testing out some entertaining features on the road course, we moved on to the drag strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The line lock, which was previously present on other Mustang models, is one of those characteristics. This permits effortless burnouts by locking the front brakes while allowing the back wheels to spin freely.

Launch control is a feature of the GT500 and many other performance vehicles. Once everything is set up, all you have to do is slam on the gas while maintaining pressure on the brake pedal. Once you release the brake pedal, you will start moving. But even when launching at comparatively low rpm, we noticed a tiny delay between releasing the brakes and taking off, and we still had wheelspin. Admittedly, that might have been somewhat due to the environment. We completed our runs rather late in the day, after the ground had warmed up and been trampled by numerous other vehicles, making it a little slicker. That, together with the fact that we were in a high-altitude, made it impossible to try to equal Ford’s quarter-mile claim.

The useful information

The 2020 Shelby GT500 has an epic thirst with its predecessor from 1967. On our road trip, we got 8.6 miles per gallon, and after just a few hours of (admittedly aggressive) driving, we received a low fuel warning message (indicating less than 50 miles of range). Although EPA fuel efficiency estimates for the GT500 are not yet available, the standard is quite low. The combined fuel economy of the Chevy Camaro ZL1 and Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is 16 mpg.

Being a driver’s automobile, the Shelby GT500 has few driver assistance features. Blind spot monitoring is only offered as part of the extra Technology Package, and adaptive cruise control is not an option.

Ford provides a powertrain warranty that lasts five years and 60,000 miles, as well as a three-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. For the Camaro and Challenger, respectively, Chevy and Dodge give the same level of coverage. The three American muscle cars also have the reputation for being less reliable than average reliability.

The 2020 Shelby GT500 has not yet received crash-test ratings. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have given positive reviews to other models of the current-generation Mustang.

How DT would set up this vehicle

The optional Technology Package ($3,000), which includes GPS, blind spot monitoring, and a 12-speaker B&O audio system, and the Handling Package ($1,500) are what our ideal Shelby GT500 would have. The latter has front splitter wickers and a Gurney flap that increase downforce. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires on the Carbon Fiber Track Package are not suitable for use on paved surfaces, and the asking price of $18,500 is a bit much. If you want to use a GT500 primarily for racing, this option is only worth the extra cash.


Although the GT500 has great power and race car-like reflexes, its approachability is what really makes it stand out. The Shelby, despite having over 700 horsepower, can still function as a regular car when necessary and provides plenty of pleasure for even inexperienced drivers. Ford still provides the Shelby GT350 Mustang, which comes with a manual transmission and a naturally aspirated engine, if you’re looking for a more authentic driving experience.

Do you need one?

Yes. This Mustang can do anything.

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About the author


Autofot is a website that blogs on the importance of taking good care of our automobiles. Little things that are ignored matter the most, hence we try to educate car owners and other different auto owners on how to go about taking care of their cars with little or no cost.

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