It has been a five month long odyssey since the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 first made its debut at the 2019 North American Auto Show in January. During that tine, we learned the basic mission of this car, some of the engineering and aerodynamic brilliance that was baked into its flanks, and even saw the first production example sold at the Barrett Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. But amid all of this flurry of activity (even the debut of a seductively attractive green hue) Ford stubbornly held on to just how much power and torque the revamped snake produced. But finally, at last, the Blue Oval has revealed the goods and here they are:
760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque.
That’s a monstrous amount of power, and is a mere five horsepower short of the initial rumblings we heard in the aftermath of its Motor City debut. It’s also much more than the bulk of its rivals in the segment, with the GT500 producing 110 more horsepower than the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 53 more horsepower than a standard Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and even 5 more horses than another 700 plus horsepower Chevy, the Corvette ZR1. When viewed against its decidedly more exotic competition, the figures are even more astonishing. For instance, the 2020 Shelby GT500 outguns the track ready Porsche 911 GT2 RS by 70 horsepower, while it also outclasses the equally wild Ferrari F8 Tributo by 50 horsepower. Only the 797 horse power Challenger Redeye and the 840 horsepower Demon rise above the serpent in its home segment, but the latter can only make its full rating when filled with race fuel, versus the GT500’s conventional octane capability. Regardless, this figure is still very impressive, and it shows that Ford is serious about asserting itself as a leader in the muscle car wars.
Of course, the 2020 Shelby GT500 is more than just about being a mere poster child for raw power, with Ford engineers baking in some of the experience they learned from both the Shelby GT350 and their more track focused programs. The dual clutch automatic (still a sore spot for fans of older manual only GT500s) rows through the gears in under 100 milliseconds, while its aerodynamic add-ons help produce up to 550 lb-ft of downforce. As a bonus, the 2020 model features beefy 16.5 inch brake rotors and optional carbon fiber wheels to add a dollup of track focused style and poise to the GT500’s visual presentation.
With the unveiling of its monstrous performance figures, the two mysteries that still surround this car are how it drives both on the track and the street, as well as how much it will cost for all of this performance? Look for the latter to emerge soon, and we suspect pricing will be roughly on par with both the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Dodge Challenger Redeye. With the strong impression that the 2019 Shelby GT350 left on us when we reviewed it last month, look for the GT500 to try and build upon this solid foundation, while also adding its own distinct ingredients to the proven formula.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.