Nearly 50 years after Carroll Shelby introduced the first-generation Shelby GT500 that went on to take a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finish at the 1967 Le Mans, Ford has now honoured the legendary figure with the most powerful and advanced Mustang ever.
Its hand-built 5.2-litre supercharged V8 delivers over 700 hp; extracted from high-flow aluminum cylinder heads, larger forged connecting rods, improved lubrication and cooling passages.
Power is delivered through a TREMEC 7-speed dual-clutch transmission which can shift smoothly in less than 100 milliseconds, before being transferred to a carbon fibre driveshaft which reduces unsprung weight.
To harness the power more efficiently, Ford has entrusted a set of custom Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres to do the job. Stopping power is taken care of by Brembo 6-pot calipers with two-piece rotors in between – the largest front brake discs ever applied on an American sports coupe.
Shelby GT500 also comes with revised suspension geometry with the active MagnaRide suspension, a new electronic power steering unit and lighter coil springs in the front and rear.
A “Handling Package” includes adjustable strut top mounts and spoiler with Gurney flap. For the hardcore, there’s a Carbon Fiber Track Package that features exposed 20-inch carbon fiber wheels wrapped with custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, an adjustable exposed carbon fiber GT4 track wing and splitter wickers with integrated dive plane. The rear seat is also removed to reduce weight.
“With a double front grille opening and 50 percent more cooling pack airflow versus the Shelby GT350, along with the most advanced aero components and downforce we’ve ever offered, every millimeter of Shelby GT500’s fastback design is aimed at improving performance,” said Melvin Betancourt, Ford design manager.
Inside, the GT500 features an exposed carbon fiber instrument panel, housing a 12-inch full-color LCD instrument cluster, Recaro bucket seats and a custom-tuned 12-speaker B&O Play sound system, controlled via an 8-inch SYNC 3 touch screen.