Ford Performance, once a fierce champion of the manual transmission, might not offer a stick shift at all in the forthcoming 2020 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang, according to automotive journalist and tuner Bozi Tatarevic. Writing for Jalopnik, Tatarevic says that according to a source familiar with the Shelby GT500’s internal spec sheets, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is the only unit listed, with no reference anywhere to a three-pedal option.
As of a few years ago, Ford Performance led the charge when it came to saving the manuals, selling the Ford Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Focus RS, and Shelby GT350/GT350R exclusively with stick-shift transmissions. Those Fiesta and Focus models are all now dying or defunct, as the Blue Oval’s performance division readies a barrage of sporty crossover utility vehicles to take their place – including the 2019 Ford Edge ST and 2020 Ford Explorer ST.
Care to guess whether either of those two performance-oriented CUVs will offer a manual transmission option?
The 2020 Ford Shelby GT500’s dual-clutch transmission is unlikely to be the same Getrag unit as used by the Ford GT supercar, Tatarevic writes, and could even come from a different manufacturer. The author suspects Ford Performance might deploy the Tremec TR-9007, as it can handle up to 664 lb-ft of torque – slightly more than the 650 lb-ft that the new Shelby GT500 is rumored to make. Meanwhile, the six-speed Tremec TR-3160 manual used by the Shelby GT350 and GT350R already had to be reworked just to handle the 429 lb-ft of torque made by the Shelby GT350, so that gearbox is definitively out, and finding a suitable replacement to appease a minority of buyers might be more trouble than it’s worth.
Spy video of the forthcoming 2020 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang appears to confirm the availability of a dual-clutch transmission in the future performance car, but we can’t rule out the possibility of a manual option just yet; spy photos from April of this year also seem to suggest a stick-shift will, in fact, be available. At the time the stick-equipped prototype was spied, the Tremec TR-6060 was said to be the likely gearbox of choice.