Ford Authority

S650 Mustang Shelby GT500 May Not Utilize Shelby GT500 Moniker: Exclusive

The S550-generation Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 bowed out of the lineup following the 2022 model year, shortly before that pony car gave way to the all-new 2024, S650 generation model. Since then, most have simply assumed that the GT500 would make a comeback at some point, as it has represented the range-topping variant in the Mustang lineup for multiple generations to date. As Ford Authority exclusively reported last April, Ford began testing S650 Mustang Shelby GT500 mules just over one year ago, and that same variant was previously expected to debut in 2025 as a 2026 model. However, Ford Authority has learned from sources familiar with the matter that the forthcoming, range-topping S650 variant may not utilize the Shelby GT500 moniker at all.

It’s important to note that at this time, no decision pertaining to this matter has been made, so it’s entirely possible that the ultra high-performance version of the all-new S650 generation Ford Mustang will retain its Shelby title, or perhaps continue to be called the GT500. Regardless, Ford Authority has learned that discussions pertaining to this topic remain ongoing within The Blue Oval.

Sources tell us that top Blue Oval executives are fans of using names conceived by Ford, rather than those licensed from third parties like Shelby. The Raptor and Dark Horse are good examples of this, and both have thus far experienced a healthy amount of success. Additionally, one of Ford’s biggest goals pertaining to the S650 Mustang, in general, is to attract a younger demographic, and it’s unclear if the Shelby name would be effective in doing so, though in all fairness, those same customers may not have the means to buy such a machine to begin with – making that point somewhat moot.

However, we can simply look to General Motors for proof of this concept, as the C8 Corvette has thus far done a fantastic job of attracting both younger customers, as well as wealthier ones. Much of this was accomplished by the switch to a mid-engine format and more exotic car-like styling, which have helped breathe new life into a model that was previously synonymous with an aging customer base.

It’s worth repeating that while no decision has been made as of yet, it is possible that the forthcoming, range-topping, ultra high-performance variant of the Ford Mustang may not continue to wear the Shelby GT500 nameplate, which would certainly come as a surprise to many – if that indeed is the case.

We’ll have more on the S650 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Mustang news, Mustang Shelby GT500 news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. rapturd

    Bring back Cobra?

    1. Rick L

      Not to dis anyone, but you could call the new super power $115K+ Mustang anything you want but if you don’t call it a Shelby cause the 18-35 crowd, who couldn’t afford to buy one anyway, because they don’t identify with Shelby, is absolutely ridiculous. Why don’t you call it the fantasy Trans Mustang Villager.

      1. iceman

        Dunno Rick , Trans Am Mustang Villager has a ring to it, kind Mach E ?

  2. Mark B

    One has to wonder when Ford would finally move away from the Shelby monikers. They’ve been producing these and other performance variants for some time now in house. With the GTD Mustang on offer, maybe they feel it’s time to in house brand this segment?

  3. P. Comer

    We don’t want or need electric cars. The E Mustang looks stupid and just putting a horse on it demeans the brand. We don’t need to WOKE UP our cars.

  4. P. Comer

    Shelby helped make the Mustang famous and removing his name is a major mistake if Ford wants to keep selling these special vehicles.

    1. iceman

      Agree 100% Mr. Comer

      1. Time for a change

        At what point does the present need to stop paying for the actions that took place decades ago?

        Shelby hasn’t been involved in the development of Ford-built Shelby Mustang of the past two generations. It’s time to move on.

  5. jose velez

    Ford can use Mustang Cobra without paying Shelby a dime. Ford had a legal battle with the 1984 Mustang GT350 and agree that both could use the Cobra name (which Shelby sold to Ford but not the Shelby name)

  6. Lealand

    I’m sure the licensing fee has nothing to do with this… Ford can sell the top tier model for only so much money and licensing bites into that margin, so the easy answer is to say, “younger people don’t identify with the Shelby brand” and invent something entirely new.

  7. iceman

    Why don’t we just call it IPHONE 4 GIG GT! You know for the younger generation.


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