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2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 aboriginal drive: Accuracy and brawn
“This isn’t your grandpa’s GT500,” Jim Owens, Ford Mustang business manager, declared at the barrage of the latest 2020 Shelby GT500. He wasn’t kidding.
Launched in 1967, the aboriginal Shelby GT500 is amid the best coveted nameplates from the aureate era of American beef cars. It set a antecedent for big ability and big fun. The aftermost Shelby GT500, launched in 2013, was a 662-horsepower monster with a claimed 200-mph top speed. This time around, Ford didn’t aloof appetence a car that would go fast in a beeline line. It capital a car that could do everything, from arrest corners to calmly canoeing bottomward the highway. Ford capital both beef and brains.
The new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has batty ability – 760 hp, to be precise, authoritative this ‘Stang the best able Ford assembly car ever. But it additionally has downforce-generating aerodynamic aids, and tech advised to advice the disciplinarian accumulate the agleam ancillary up. Is that abundant to acclimatized all of that power? Can it absolve the Shelby’s $71,395 abject price? And can the best of Ford beat the hottest Chevrolet Camaro or Dodge Challenger? We absurdly hit the clue to acquisition out.
The GT500 has commonly been the flagship Ford Mustang, but contempo models haven’t absolutely conveyed that cachet with their styling. Since Ford brought the GT500 aback in 2007, the cars accept featured almost balmy administration tweaks over bottom Mustangs. That changes with the 2020 model. This car’s advancing looks bout its performance, and they alike advice the GT500 go faster.
The aboriginal affair you apprehension aback walking up to the GT500 is that the advanced end is mostly accessible space. The openings are alert as ample as the already articulate Shelby GT350 Mustang according to Ford. This allows added cooling air to canyon into the agent bay. A appendage in the awning gives that air a aisle to escape, and adds approval for a supercharger. Six calefaction exchangers accumulate the engine, transmission, supercharger, and oil nice and cool. Ducts on either ancillary of the barbecue absolute air to the brakes, ensuring they break air-conditioned as well.
Ford additionally formed to aerate aerodynamic downforce, allowance the car stick to the pavement and bend faster. They may attending like a accidental accumulating of genitalia from Pep Boys, but the GT500’s advanced splitter, axle extensions, rear diffuser, and rear addle-brain (as able-bodied as a abdomen pan) all assignment calm to accomplish counterbalanced downforce. Alike the awning aperture helps abate advanced end lift, according to Ford. The alternative Administration Amalgamation adds a rear addle-brain with a Gurney Accessory – a lip on the abaft bend of the addle-brain that improves performance. The Carbon Cilia Clue Amalgamation adds a beyond rear addle-brain based on the Mustang GT4 chase car’s rear wing, as able-bodied as carbon cilia wheels.
While the exoteric is pumped up, the autogenous is mostly accepted Mustang. The GT500 does get some adapted touches, including carbon cilia trim, and the chiral uses a rotary shifter aerial from added Ford models, but the blueprint will be accustomed to anyone who has apprenticed a current-generation Mustang. That’s not a bad affair as far as usability, but it does beggarly the GT500 isn’t absolutely a footfall aloft added Mustangs aback it comes to tech. You get the aforementioned Sync 3 infotainment arrangement (with accepted Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) acclimated in endless added Ford vehicles, and the aforementioned agenda apparatus array accessible on added Mustang variants. It all works actual well, but it’s a bit black to see the aforementioned tech as a abject Mustang in a car costing about alert as much.
At atomic the autogenous works able-bodied for what it was advised to do. Both the accepted seats and alternative Recaro seats accept acceptable ancillary bolstering, but they’re both still adequate abundant for a continued drive. Because this is still a Mustang, you get a ample block and a roomier autogenous than best sports cars, as able-bodied as aback seats a animal actuality may absolutely be able to fit in (unless you adjustment the Carbon Cilia Clue Package, which deletes them to save weight). The Mustang can’t attempt with the Dodge Challenger on autogenous space, but the Dodge’s arduous admeasurement makes it bulky in the corners.
Every Shelby GT500 is authentic by its engine, and the 2020 archetypal has one of the best greats. Ford took the symphonic 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8 from the Shelby GT350 and topped it with a 2.65-liter Eaton supercharger to blot in added air. The aftereffect is 760 hp and 625 pound-feet of torque. That’s added than any Ford assembly car anytime – including their GT supercar.
Ford doesn’t get ultimate beef car aloof rights, though. While 760 hp is a lot, it’s not abundant to beat the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye’s 797 hp and 707 lb-ft, and the GT500 alone beats the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on application (the Chevy makes 650 hp and 650 lb-ft).
Another bang adjoin the GT500, at atomic in the eyes of appointment denizens, is its transmission. While Chevy and Dodge both action chiral transmissions, the GT500 is alone accessible with a Tremec seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Fans may be balked by the abridgement of a clamp pedal, but this chiral is no slushbox. Preferred by the brand of Ferrari and Porsche, the dual-clutch bureaucracy is absolutely what it sounds like: one clamp disengages a gear, while the added engages the abutting one. That allows for accouterment as quick as 80 milliseconds, according to Ford. That’s abundant quicker than any animal can change gears.
“You’re not alike activity to be able to columnist the clamp of a chiral chiral in 80 milliseconds,” Carl Widmann, Ford Achievement arch engineer, said apropos the accommodation to go with a dual-clutch gearbox. The Tremec chiral can additionally handle the abounding force of the V8’s 625 lb-ft of torque at all times, and is added tunable than added chiral types, Widmann said. The numbers acquaint the story.
Ford claims the GT500 will do aught to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and run the division mile in 10.7 seconds. For reference, a Camaro ZL1 does aught to 60 mph in 3.5 abnormal and runs the division in 11.4 seconds, according to Chevy. Dodge claims a Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody will do aught to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and run the division mile in 10.8 seconds. Ford additionally quotes a top acceleration of 180 mph for the GT500, compared to 203 mph for the Hellcat (Chevy doesn’t broadcast a top acceleration appraisal for the ZL1).
To administration in all of that power, Ford able the GT500 with absolutely massive brakes. The advanced rotors admeasurement 16.5 inches in diameter, acceptation they’re about the aforementioned admeasurement of the auto on an aboriginal 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang. The rotors – and their accessory six-piston Brembo calipers – crave 20-inch wheels, as they wouldn’t fit central annihilation smaller, according to Ford.
So Ford blimp affluence of ability beneath the GT500’s hood, but what about their ambition of authoritative this latest Shelby Mustang added than aloof addition annoyance chase specialist? Ford accomplished that, and more. A car with this abundant power, and afterwards the added absorption of all-wheel drive to acclimatized it, ability complete intimidating. Never has 760 hp seemed so approachable.
Our time with the GT500 started with a drive up arced anchorage from Las Vegas to the top of adjacent Mount Charleston. Active a car with the alternative Administration Amalgamation and accepted Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, we were afraid by how civilian the GT500 felt. The cavernous V8 provided the adapted soundtrack, but it wasn’t accompanied by the wind babble and aback breaking ride that are generally the amount of acceptance in hardcore cars like this. The car’s MagneRide adaptive abeyance does a abundant job of acclimation administration with ride comfort. Accouterment from the dual-clutch chiral were bland and quick. In automated mode, the chiral will alike bang bottomward a few apparatus while decelerating advanced of a bend – absolutely what a animal disciplinarian would do aback alive manually.
With our appetence whetted, we headed to the track. The alley advance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that Ford appointed is bound and technical. It seems like a abundant abode for a Mazda Miata, not a 760-hp Mustang. Unbelievably, this is area the Shelby GT500 absolutely shines.
Our clue time was spent in a car able with the Carbon Cilia Clue Amalgamation (which includes stickier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires) in Clue mode. This turns off absorption ascendancy and adherence control, but keeps them accessible to intervene, aloof in case. Alike with the assurance net pulled back, we acquainted assured lapping this barbarian about the bound track. The absolute council and accomplished anatomy ascendancy afforded by the MagneRide abeyance makes the GT500 feel like a abundant abate car. We additionally accepted that the council doesn’t feel ever abundant in Clue mode, as is generally the case with the sportiest active modes of added achievement cars. The brakes abolish acceleration so calmly that it feels like active into a tractor beam. Overall, the drama-free acquaintance had us cerebration not of added beef cars, but of the Nissan GT-R. The GT500 goes about its business in the aforementioned airy way as Nissan’s supercar.
You accept no charge to abhorrence that 760 hp, either. The car feels actual aloof in best situations, and alike aback you do overcook it, the GT500 gives you affluence of warning. You can acutely feel aback you’re abutting the banned of grip, giving you affluence of time to accomplish corrections and abstain accident the aback end. It won’t aloof footfall out of band abruptly on you. We did apprehension understeer in some situations, but that’s abundant safer than the oversteer that could accelerate you spinning into a barrier.
After the alley course, we headed over to Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s annoyance band to analysis out some added fun features. One of those appearance is the band lock ahead apparent on added Mustang models. This locks the advanced brakes while absolution the rear auto circuit freely, authoritative for effortless burnouts.
Like abounding added achievement cars, the GT500 additionally appearance barrage control. Once it’s set up, all you accept to do is brew the burke while captivation bottomward the anchor pedal. Take your bottom off the anchor pedal, and you’re away. However, we noticed a slight abeyance amid absolution the brakes and launching, and we still got wheelspin alike aback ablution at almost low rpm. That may accept been partially bottomward to conditions, admittedly. We did our runs almost backward in the day, afterwards the apparent had acrimonious up and been formed on by abounding added cars, authoritative it a bit slipperier. That, accumulated with our high-altitude location, meant attempting to bout Ford’s quarter-mile affirmation wasn’t a possibility.
One affair the 2020 Shelby GT500 has in accepted with its 1967 antecedent is an ballsy thirst. We saw 8.6 mpg on our alley drive, and triggered a low ammunition admonishing bulletin (signifying beneath than 50 afar of range) afterwards aloof a brace hours of (admittedly aggressive) driving. EPA ammunition abridgement abstracts for the GT500 aren’t accessible yet, but the bar is appealing low. Both the Chevy Camaro ZL1 And Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat are rated at 16 mpg combined.
The Shelby GT500 is a driver’s car, but that agency it doesn’t appear with abounding disciplinarian aids. You can’t get adaptive cruise control, and dark atom ecology is alone accessible as allotment of the alternative Technology Package.
Ford offers a three-year, 36,000-mile, bumper-to-bumper warranty, and a five-year, 60,000-mile, powertrain warranty. Chevy and Dodge action identical advantage for the Camaro and Challenger, respectively. All three American beef cars accept article abroad in common: a acceptability for below-average reliability.
Crash-test ratings for the 2020 Shelby GT500 aren’t accessible at this time. Added versions of the current-generation Mustang accept accustomed acceptable ratings from the National Artery Traffic Assurance Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance (IIHS), however.
Our ideal Shelby GT500 would accept the alternative Technology Amalgamation ($3,000), which adds navigation, dark atom monitoring, and a 12-speaker B&O audio system, and the Administration Amalgamation ($1,500). The closing includes a Gurney accessory and advanced splitter wickers that add added downforce. We would skip the Carbon Cilia Clue Package, as its Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires don’t assignment able-bodied on the road, and the $18,500 allurement amount is appealing steep. This amalgamation is alone account the added money if you plan on active a GT500 primarily on racetracks.
The GT500 has absurd ability and the reflexes of a chase car, but what absolutely sets it afar is its approachability. Despite accepting over 700 hp, the Shelby is still a accustomed car aback you charge it to be, and it lets alike a amateur disciplinarian accept lots of fun. If you appetence a purer active experience, Ford still offers the Shelby GT350 Mustang, complete with a chiral chiral and naturally-aspirated engine.
Yes. This Mustang does it all.