The 2020 Shelby GT500
Ah, the 2020 GT500. It is perhaps one of the most anticipated releases from Ford as of late.
The teasing has lasted over a year and the world is READY.
In late 2017 we started to see glimpses of what was rumored to be a 2019 GT500 model. As the months have passed, we have confirmation of a 2020 Shelby GT500 being released at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) show in Detroit, Michigan on January 14, 2019.
Ford’s special vehicles have been a huge hit in the aftermarket world. They usually bring us the new technology, more horsepower and with all that, BIGGER PERFORMANCE. Which is what we’re all after, right? Right.
From Ford's mouth
In a Motor Trend article, Ford Performance Director Hermann Salenbauch gave us some insight into the new GT500.
“[The] GT500 for the first time will be very track-capable, but it’s also very straight-lined…It’s an exciting machine…
There’s a little more weight on the front of a GT500 with a supercharger, so you have to deal with it. But I have excellent vehicle dynamics engineers that worked on that. It handles extremely well. It’s not just a straight line car.
It will have more power than we ever had. We told you 700-plus, and it’s not 701 or 701; it’s plus and a bit more…”
"And a bit more" is promising! Could this be the best Mustang yet??
History shapes the future
While most people associate the GT500 name to the 2000-up models, it’s history is deeply rooted in the Ford annals.
In 1967, the first GT500 appeared. Carroll Shelby added the GT500 to the Mustang lineup, equipped with a "Ford Cobra" FE Series 428 cu in (7.0 L) V8 engine with two 600 CFM Holley four-barrel carburetors sitting atop a mid-rise aluminum intake manifold producing 355 bhp at 5400 rpm and 420 lb/ft at 3200 rpm of torque. One 1967 Fastback was updated as a GT500 equipped with a 427 GT40 racing engine producing 650 horsepower, and was known as the "Super Snake”. While the cars were badass, Ford only produced them for a few short years.
Then in 2007, riding high on their resto-reboot styling of the new S197, they released the 2007 Shelby GT500. Powered by a supercharged 5.4L, the Mustang community had a new “Terminator”. The car made 500hp, upping the Mustang game, but still had it’s faults. Reviews came in that the car was too heavy, too expensive, had better performance comparable vehicles, etc… But the Shelby carried the heritage & could easily be modified to make over 600hp which, for a street car, was a lot at the time.
Over the next few years changes were made to improve the car, including a whole Mustang body overhaul in 2010. The GT500 still remained popular.
Then came the 2013-14 model GT500 which, when released, was the highest horsepower production V8 with 662hp and the world was ecstatic. Records were broken left & right and the aftermarket Mustang community praised the car. We LOVED our 2013 GT500, aka Snow White, and even took it to win the 5.0 King of the Streets competition. The cars were an amazing platform. In an article from Motor Trend in 2012, they reviewed the 2013 GT500:
“Ford has improved its monster Mustang in every way possible… This truly is the most potent factory pony car the Blue Oval has ever produced. Savor it while you can because this is likely the last major change we will see to the GT500 before the next-generation Mustang debuts with an independent rear suspension. Will that car make 700 hp? If it's still wearing the Shelby name, you can bet the answer will be a resounding yes.”
Perhaps they should go into fortune-telling since they predicted that one just right! The 2020 model is shaping up to blow our beloved 2013-2014 GT500 out of the water.
2020: Year of the Predator
Cyclone. Trinity. Coyote. Voodoo… Those are cool and all but the 2020 GT500 engine has a name too: THE PREDATOR. And if the rumors & specs we’ve read are right, it will definitely live up to that name.
As we mentioned earlier, the 2020 GT500 is said to have 700+hp (720 to be exact if the supposedly leaked spec sheet is legit, shown later in this article) out of a 5.2L motor with a big blower sitting on top. This makes it a strong contender in the current American muscle market where the Dodge Challenger Hellcat makes 717hp and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 makes 650hp. While some models, like the Challenger Hellcat Redeye and the Demon still best it by a little less than 100hp , we know that is only 1 factor in who is the king on the street & strip.
Nobody can keep anything a secret on the internet
It used to be that you had to head to your local newsstands and grab the latest issue of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, 5.0 Magazine, Motor Trend or the likes to find out the news bits, rumors & specs of the latest Mustang but now the internet is teaming with leaked info, spy shots & more. Out driving in Detroit? You can quickly catch a spy shot with your phone of the latest prototype driving around decked in zebra gear, post it online, and within minutes it’s shared across the globe. Kind of like these shots from when the first bits of the new GT500 were dribbling out:
Or perhaps you were invited to a confidential Ford Dealer meeting where the car was quietly shown to those in the loop and you decided to defy the “no phones” rule and snap a shot which was quickly shared on ever Instagram, Facebook and News Feed across the globe. It was a first look at the GT500 in its entirety and everyone’s interest was more than piqued.
Mustang6G.com has also been a great source of all things leaked about the GT500. They received what is rumored to be the spec sheet for the new GT500.
Let’s start with one of the most pointed-out parts of the sheet… the weight! If this spec sheet is right, the new 2020 GT500 will weigh in at a robust 4,225 lbs. Let’s put this into perspective: a 2018 Mustang GT Performance Pack weighs 3,850 lbs. So where is the additional 400lbs coming from?? That must be a big blower! It’s hard to believe that weight is right, but even if it is, it will still be lighter than the boat that is the Dodge Challenger Hellcat (sorry Mopar guys, that’s a big b*tch, weighing in at 4,448 lbs!) The previous generation GT500 (aka 13-14) had a roughly 240lb difference from the GT so perhaps it’s not too far off? Guess we’ll find out in January!
Instagram user @gt500predator also offers some awesome sneak peeks, one being a video of the elusive Predator making a run down the straightaway of a large race course. The car definitely screams.
Mustang6G/Brian Williams also dropped a sneak video of a GT500 out testing on the street... Even at a red light, the car sounds mean!
Recently, Ford also released a bit of tech info about the GT500, albeit a small leak in regards to the GT500 but a huge leap towards the advancement of car-building technology.
Ford announced that 2 of the pieces in the new GT500’s brake systems are made from 3D printing technology. While they are small pieces (one seems to just be a bracket to hold a hose; pictured above), this step forward in technology means much more fo future endeavors. Instead of needing to tool up aging molds (or discontinuing parts altogether after 10 years, a common Ford practice), Ford will be able to just 3D print & manufacturer replacement parts. 3d printed supercharger, anyone?
In another step towards uncovering the truth, this bit of info was spotted in the latest issue of Motor Trend...
The asterisked info wasn't shown and probably says something along the lines of "tentative info" but still interesting nonetheless! Perhaps the rumors of a 7-speed dual clutch auto are true... and 750 is surely more than 707hp.
Rumor Mill: Patents?!?!
Ford filed some patents that seem to directly correlate to some rumors we’ve heard about the 2020 GT500 (some patents which even mention supercharger clearance…). If these patents made it into production, the new Shelby is sure to be a seriously technology-packed monster.
Active Brake Ducts - Key word ‘active’! These ducts would vector airflow to different wheels for optimal cooling (Road racers, rejoice!)
Strut Tower Brace - OK maybe not fancy new tech BUT it states it’s made of Magnesium and also that it can be set back towards the cowl to accommodate a supercharger. #hinthint
Side splitters - Again, not new tech BUT a new design that is listed as a new and improved splitter assembly incorporating a dive plane feature for improving stability and peak cornering speed of a motor vehicle, which includes a first AND second side splitter piece.
Active hood vent system - More actives!! This patent details a hood vent system that can open & close via a control module, which is hooked up to a plethora of sensors. Smart.
Active aero underbody shield - Seen on the fanciest of cars, this underbody system would be configured to open during vehicle braking to reduce downforce and therefore provide better lift balance adjustment for the motor vehicle.
We’re just a few DAYS away from finding out the official specs of the 2020 GT500 but for now we’re happy believing that it will be a 720+hp, supercharged 5.2L street/strip/track monster that has aggressive looks to back up it’s aggressive performance.
You can be SURE we will get our hands on one as fast as we possibly can.
Check back towards the reveal date to see what we have planned to get YOU the most inside information. *wink wink nudge nudge*