Ford Authority

2020 Mustang Shelby GT500: How Great Will It Really Be?


We’ve seen spy shots and heard rumors about the Ford’s forthcoming 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, but we have to ask ourselves: how great will it really be? The current Shelby GT350/GT350R has proven itself as an all-around performer, but what about the bigger, badder GT500 brother?

With the North American International Auto Show in Detroit less than one month away, anticipation surrounding the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is at an all-time high. Before the latest Mustang is officially released, let’s break down how we think the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 will stack up against its siblings, and of course, the competition.

Power & Torque

Will the horsepower figure start with a 7 or 8? We think that it’s more realistic that we’ll see a 7xx horsepower GT500 revealed in Detroit, rather than one with 8xx horses.

As far as torque goes, the rumors hover around the 650 pound-feet mark, but have yet to be confirmed.


That torque figure also brings up potential transmission options for the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500. In September, we reported that the new GT500 might skip a manual transmission and go with a dual-clutch strong enough to handle 650 pound-feet of twist.

This might break the hearts of purists, but it would translate to quicker zero to 60 times, quarter miles, and laps around circuits all over the world.


But just what is Ford aiming to accomplish with the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500? Is it going to be a straight line, drag focused muscle car to compete with the Dodge Challenger Demon or be a track monster like the Camaro ZL1 1LE?

We hope that the GT500 will be able to keep up with a Challenger Hellcat in a straight line, but don’t be surprised if the Demon bests the GT500 in the quarter mile.

So then, will the GT500 aim towards more track-focused cars such as the Camaro ZL1 1LE? The ZL1 1LE sports GM’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8 from the Corvette Z06 and Cadillac CTS-V, while packing 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, and enough suspension and aero tech to pull 1.18 Gs according to Car and Driver.

We hope that the GT500 will take back some performance wins that the ZL1 1LE stole from the GT350R, like braking. To wit, it takes the ZL1 1LE 141 feet to stop from 70 mph, five feet shorter than the GT350R. If the GT500 ends up having over 700 horsepower, big brakes (perhaps even of the ceramic variety) will be a necessary addition to the package.

Since the GT350/GT350R are sporty Mustangs with a focus on the road course, and the previous-generation GT500 was more of a straight line muscle car, we can only hope that the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 will be the best of both worlds.

The Ford Authority Take

Ultimately, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby will be a thrill to drive, but where will it truly shine? Our hope is that the new GT500 will be faster than a Hellcat in a straight line, and out-corner its sibling, the GT350R and Camaro ZL1 1LE archrival at every racetrack in North America.

If it doesn’t, then what’s the point? For now, all we can do is speculate, but we’ll be (impatiently) waiting to find out all of the official details in January 2019 in Detroit.


Austin is an automotive enthusiast from Buffalo, NY with a passion for speed. When Austin isn't writing about the auto industry you can find him racing go-karts, competing in time attack events, or autocrossing his 2017 Toyota 86—with a manual transmission, of course!

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  1. vbondjr1

    While that’s all well and good, Personally, i’m more concerned about the 5-Liter GT. I feel that Ford has done a bit of an injustice to the GT by not offering a lot more bolt on, warranty approved upgrades for the GT level car. First and Foremost, the ability to pick and choose things not in a package should be made available to the Mustang. Seeing that the GT is the volume V8 mustang, Ford Performance should offer a Power Package that consist of a Pro Cal tuner, GT350 cold air intake, GT350 throttle, GT350 intake manifold, GT350 style exhaust manifolds and cats, the option of the Touring or Sport exhaust system, GT500 driveshaft, rear differential and axle setup, etc with an estimate of about 495h/450tq. Not only that, a performance handling pack for the Magnetic ride mustangs should be offered as well. I’m sure that Ford will offer the 2019 GT350 wing and some point in time as well as the Track Pack-2 wheels in an upcoming catalog, but Ford needs to match what the Camaro did with the taillights and offer a cool & red option and/or a full width Shelby style tail lamp conversion. along with different headlamps (something with a black housing and different DRL LED pattern). It’s also time for a blacked out Mach-1 style twin scooped hood with heat extractors from Ford along with a some comfort weave recaro seats with a different shape and style than what’s currently in the mustang. Also, we need colors like black jade metallic, royal maroon, Indian fire, Calypso Coral, and pastel grey. Also the Mustang needs graphics & honeycomb trunk panels as options. You guys still trying to figure out where to stick the “Mach 1” name? make it a performance and graphics package for the GT 5.0 with the parts I’ve listed above. Give us Mach 1 power packages, appearance packages & brake & handling packages that we can add to our GT’s. Flat black hoods with either the style single scooped hood or the twin ram air hood. Things like that would really be nice

  2. Will

    We’ve all been waiting far too long for this car, to be all let down Ford, so so don’t disappoint, please.!

  3. lucky eddie

    850 hp & 800 torque

  4. rappini

    I would have felt better if someone payed attention do detail and noticed that the light on the front bumper driver side was out.


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