What It Is: The Shelby GT500 is most powerful factory Ford Mustang in the land, and we've been waiting for the latest version of this supercharged pony car ever since the current-generation Mustang debuted way back in 2013. Unlike its nimble little sibling the Shelby GT350, the GT500 is focused on straight-line speed above all; to that end, it will have a massive supercharged V-8 up front and aerodynamic tweaks to help bolster its top speed. We've seen numerous teasers of the GT500 (and a leaked photo of the real thing) that show huge air intakes up front and a unique front grille shape compared to other Mustangs, along with a body kit, what look to be the carbon-fiber wheels from the GT350, and a huge rear wing.
Why It Matters: The horsepower wars are raging stronger than ever in the muscle-car realm, and Ford needs something to go up against the 700-plus-horsepower Hellcats of the world. The GT350's 526-hp flat-plane-crank V-8 just doesn't cut it, despite that glorious sound. After all, the Mustang has a reputation to uphold, especially now that it singlehandedly carries Ford's passenger-car mantle.
Platform: The same basic rear-wheel-drive platform as other Mustangs will be in play, but with numerous GT500-specific upgrades such as larger brakes and different suspension tuning. MagneRide adaptive dampers seem like a sure bet along with wider, grippier tires to put the extra power to the road.
Powertrain: We know for sure that the Shelby GT500 will have a supercharged V-8 with more than 700 horsepower, and Ford has even released a teaser photo of the engine itself confirming as much (above). Speculation seems to have centered on an engine, code-named Predator, that will share its block with the GT350's 5.2-liter Voodoo V-8 but replace that engine's unusual flat-plane-crank design with a more traditional 180-degree crankshaft setup. While this means the GT500's engine won't be an 8200-rpm screamer like the GT350's, it'll have a Roots-type supercharger to provide plenty of midrange grunt-and then some. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, and an optional automatic is expected to be the same co-developed GM and Ford unit found in the GT500's crosstown rival, the Camaro ZL1.
Estimated Arrival and Price: The GT500 will officially debut to the world on January 14, 2019, at the Detroit auto show, and Ford says it will go on sale later in 2019. Given that the GT350 is already in the $60,000 range, we wouldn't be shocked to see the GT500's starting price hit right around $70,000.
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