What Ford are describing as their most powerful street-legal production model ever, the new Mustang Shelby GT500, was announced today at the North American International Auto Show and has been confirmed for release to the North American market in 2019.
Ford have provided precious little information so far, other than to state that the upcoming GT500 will be the “pinnacle of Mustang performance” and its supercharged V8 will offer “more than” 700 horsepower (522+kW); a jump from the last GT500 from 2012, a supercharged 5.8-litre unit that produced 494kW.
Presumably, the new GT500’s block will be the same as that used in the current, naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre Shelby GT350, but with revised heads and possibly changes to the stroke and ECU, in addition to the supercharger.
With a brief to “attack tracks and drag strips”, the GT500 is aimed at Dodge’s Challenger SRT Demon, but with “only” 522kW, falls short of the Demon by just over 100kW (626kW = 840hp), but will be a closer match to the 527kW from the Challenger SRT Hellcat (NOTE: both Challengers are powered by 6.2-litre V8s, but with different sized superchargers being the main difference). The upcoming GT500 will outperform Chevy’s 485kW Camaro ZL1.
Like the latest Shelby GT350 (with 392kW and 581Nm), the Shelby GT500 is unlikely to get an Australian release, but enthusiasts can get similar levels of performance by upgrading their GT with parts from Mustang Motorsport
in Victoria, which is Australia’s only licensed Shelby mod shop.