Ford has an able rival to the fearsome Dodge Challenger Hellcat in its new Mustang Shelby GT500. The newest pony car on the block pushes more than 700hp from its 5.2-litre V8 motor.
When Ford announced in April that it would be culling smaller cars from is lineup in favour of SUVs and pickup trucks, it made two exceptions. The first was the Ford Focus Active, produced in China. The second car to survive is the venerable Ford Mustang. And as tradition dictates, Ford sent one over to Shelby so the boffins over there could tune it to lay skidmarks over its rivalsâ€™ faces.
Said Shelby boffins went to work on the new Mustang and came up with a truly incredible automobile: 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. The first Shelby GT500 reared its head in 1967, and the bar for the next ones has been set increasingly higher. Fast forward to 2019, the new GT500 on the block makes more than 700hp from its 5.2-litre aluminium alloy engine. This makes it the most powerful street-legal Ford ever.
So many horses deserve a good rein on them if they are to help the car perform. Drivers can now access the carâ€™s power through a seven-speed automatic transmission that needs less than 100 milliseconds to shift gears. All those cribbing about the lack of a good old manual gearbox, this is the future, shifting faster than you can slot the knob into the next gear by yourself.
A car is no good if it can only go fast and not stop urgently when required. Shelby had this fact in mind when it bestowed a set of 420-mm brake rotors upon the GT500. Placed behind the pony carâ€™s 20-inch alloys, these rotors are 20 percent bigger than the GT350â€™s units. The Shelby GT500 is shod in Michelin tyres which are up to the task of bearing the extra downforce generated by the standard rear spoiler.
Ball joint hood pins are a standard affair on the big Shelby, and they are pretty cool too. Shelby affixed six heat exchangers in the car to keep things from getting too hot. The hood vent covers an area of six square feet. Even the oil pan below the block has multiple roles to play: it adds strength to the GT500â€™s structure, and limits vibrations to a large extent.
No one in their right minds would take kids or small adults out for a spin in the ferocious Shelby GT500, so Ford ditched the rear bench entirely. Weight savings and a â€śthis car is about MEâ€ť expression, rolled in one. As if to drive home the â€śMEâ€ť part, Ford has named the choices in its colour palette with bold names such as â€śRed Hotâ€ť and â€śTwister Orangeâ€ť. And it is a no-brainer to pay extra for Fordâ€™s optional racing stripes. They are just that good.
With the arrival of this mad car, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat now has some serious competition from back home. Time will tell whether Shelby will make a Super Snake version of the GT500 to take on the Dodge Demon, but weâ€™re still chuffed about the most powerful street-legal Ford ever.