With a history dating back to 1967, it's no wonder this shiny new Shelby Mustang GT500 is the ‘Most advanced Mustang ever’.
The Detroit Motor Show was where Shelby revealed its latest Mustang GT500, and it's a beast. In fact, it’ll be the most powerful street-legal Ford ever produced with a quoted output of more than 700bhp from its hand-built supercharged 5.2 litre V8.
Ford says it'll do 0 to 60mph in around 3.5 seconds and run the quarter-mile in under 11sec, and top-speed expected to exceed 200mph in a bid to rival the 650bhp Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
This brute force is generated from the heavily revised motor which features an aluminium block with high-flow cylinder heads and a 2.65-litre supercharger that's been turned upside down within the V of the engine to help with cooling and to lower its centre of gravity. It's also got a patented active baffle system which, along with a revised oil pan, increases strength and reduces vibration while the oil does what it needs to do.
Technology from Ford’s GT supercar and the Mustang GT4 race car feature too as well as the GT’s Tremec seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that shifts cogs in under 100 milliseconds. This gearbox also introduces features such as line-lock and launch control, as well as adjustments for a variety of conditions determined by the selected driving modes which include Normal, Weather, Sport, Drag and Track.
It's not only the drivetrain that allows Ford to claim that the GT500 will deliver the ‘very best track times’, the aero has been significantly reworked to increase downforce and Ford has also optimising thermal management. Translated, that means the front fascia openings are more than doubled over the lesser Shelby GT350 and there are now six heat exchangers fitted to improve cooling.
To bring the most powerful 'Stang to a standstill requires a sturdy set of brakes, so the car receives a not insignificant set of 420mm diameter discs – the largest fitted to an American sports coupe ever. For perspective, the Ferrari LaFerrari sports discs 20mm smaller... The Shelby receives next-generation active MagneRide suspension while bespoke Michelin tyres turn on all four corners. Working together, this combination delivers improved lateral performance through the twisties.
Ford is offering two packages to suit the owner's requirements. The ‘Handling Package’ includes adjustable strut top mounts and a spoiler with a Gurney flap while custom Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres wrap the wheels. The ‘Carbon Fibre Track Package’ takes aim at the more focussed driver, the rar seats have been removed to reduce weight, 20-inch carbon fibre rims with custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres are fitted, while an adjustable carbon fibre GT4 wing and splitter wickers with integrated dive planes keep the Shelby planted to the tarmac.
The Shelby Mustang GT500 isn't just about performance, hop inside and you'll be pleasantly surprised to find all the creature comforts usually deleted to save weight. There's a 12-inch full-colour LCD instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and, if you tick the right options boxes, you can have a 12-speaker B&O audio system, an exposed carbon fibre instrument panel, ‘Dark Slate Miko suede’ door inserts, and bolstered Recaro racing seats that can accommodate harnesses.
No Shelby Mustang would be complete without painted 'go-faster' stripes as an option to complement a variety of new colours including Red Hot, Twister Orange and Iconic Silver.
There's has been no confirmation yet that the Shelby Mustang GT500 will be delivered outside of U.S. shores and prices are still to be announced but Ford says the car will be available from Q2 of 2019.
Check out the video for more on the launch at the Detroit Motor Show from the guys at Vehicle Virgins.