With the outfield street program at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in front of me, I flip the toggle at the base of the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500’s center stack to Track mode. The rumbling, grumbling, engine note perks up, the steering will get heavier, the magnetic trip dampers stiffen up, and the transmission switches above to its most aggressive system. 

This Quick Red GT500 is decked out for greatest street-program functionality. It has the $18,500 Carbon Fiber Track Package deal, which contains sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup two tires, wider and lighter carbon-fiber wheels, an adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing, a carbon-fiber instrument panel, type-fitting Recaro bucket seats, and a rear-seat delete. For the track, Ford has adjusted the rear wing to include six degrees of pitch and eliminated the front scoop’s undertray for much more airflow. People tweaks support the vehicle produce 550 lbs of rear downforce and 88 lbs of front lift at the GT500’s electronically restricted 180-mph best pace. Significantly of that front lift is induced by the virtual 550-pound gorilla sitting on the trunk.

This vehicle also has a bolt-in half roll cage and a 6-stage harness to maintain drivers with various degrees of talent and brains risk-free.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

On the track, the GT500’s persona is a tale of grip aided by steady improvement. When this generation of Mustang very first hit the marketplace in 2015, it extra an independent rear suspension that need to have been a boon to managing. Even so, the rear finish bounced via corners and did not perform nicely with the front finish. Above the many years, however, Ford engineers have tweaked the IRS to tie down the rear finish and provided different versions of the Mustang wonderful traction with a series of wider (now 305 mm front, 315 mm rear on the GT500) and stickier tires (in this situation, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s).

Considering that its inception in 1967, the GT500 has often been the straight-line vehicle in contrast to the GT350. This GT500 weighs 200 lbs much more than its GT350 stablemate and the supercharger adds 86 lbs up front, but it handles all the exact same.

The GT500 hurtles towards the corners with drag-vehicle pace, then attacks them with the finesse of a street racer. The steering ratio is not overly swift at sixteen:one, but it feels swift and exact, with a wholesome bit of bodyweight in Track mode. The magnetic trip dampers restrict lean, and the vehicle turns in sharply, sticks ferociously, and tracks a correct line.

Check out OUT: Very first drive assessment: 2020 Ford Mustang two.three Higher Efficiency Package deal difficulties the GT

The 180-degree flip four and reducing-radius flip eleven lefthanders need to be specially difficult for a four,081-pound beast with fifty five % of its bodyweight above the front axle, but the GT500 handles them nicely. The vehicle does what I inform it to with the throttle and brake. Go in as well quick or construct as well a lot pace mid-corner and it commences to push. Allow off the fuel or dab the brake and the front in tucks in. Kick the throttle on corner exit and the rear finish methods out a number of degrees. Even so, that is effortlessly corrected with dab of opposite steering angle, and then I can proceed on my meant path.

Ford’s new king of the hill builds large pace, hitting virtually 140 mph on the straights. Substantial serving tray-sized brakes deal with it all with a company pedal, unflinching stability, and a marathoner’s endurance. The fronts are sixteen.five-inch discs—the greatest brakes on any coupe, anywhere—with six-piston Brembo calipers and the rears are 15 inches in diameter with four-piston calipers.

This car’s managing is aided by the light bodyweight of the carbon-fiber wheels and the grip of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s. Regrettably, the Carbon Fiber Track Package deal is the only way for purchasers to get the Cup two tires, and its $18,500 upcharge brings the complete for a 2020 GT500 to much more than $90,000.

The GT500 now turns as nicely as it accelerates. But just how quick is in which it is often been capable, on a dragstrip?

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

Drag Strip mode

I roll the Velocity Blue 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 into the burnout box. Double tap the Cobra button, hold the Okay button, mash the brake pedal until finally it fights back, then complete throttle. Line lock: engaged. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rear tires: roasted.

Click the Okay button once more to disengage the line lock and the GT500 emerges from a cloud of tire smoke, prepared to make its one,320-foot run.

I creep up to the Christmas tree, place my left foot on the brake, and pin the throttle with my proper to activate launch manage. The professional tree flashes 3 yellows then green. I allow off the brake, and the planet blurs.

The supercharged five.two-liter V-eight barks, the 315-mm broad Michelins scrabble for traction, and the GT500 vaults forward with all the fury and subtlety of a rocket launch. In Drag Strip mode, the new seven-pace dual-clutch transmission’s shifts get longer but make the vehicle faster. Rather than the 80 milliseconds of Sport mode, the shift from 1st to 2nd will take up to 150 milliseconds. The engine’s revs really do not dip and the taller ratio of 2nd gear brings down the rpm alternatively of the pc. The result is a push forward for the duration of the shifts rather than a pause in electrical power, and a Ford engineer says it signifies as a lot as two tenths of a 2nd on the strip.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

The vehicle runs straight as an arrow down the track, can make one particular much more shift from 2nd to 3rd, and barrels previous the finish line. I pace via the traps at 130.05 mph and the signal flashes a time unheard of even a decade in the past: eleven.36 seconds.

Meh, not that wonderful. That is extraordinary for a street vehicle but far off what the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 can do. The one,700-rpm launch, which I defined in the instrument panel’s Track Apps prior to the run, induced as well a lot wheelspin and I did not stage on the stickiest element of the beginning line. A Ford engineer displays a ten.85 is feasible in these circumstances (70 degrees and sunny at two,000 feet of altitude), and Ford estimates a very best ET of ten.70, straight from the factory line. I guess that is what you get with 760 horsepower.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's 5.2-liter supercharged V-8

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500’s five.two-liter supercharged V-eight

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 supercharger

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 supercharger

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 supercharger

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 supercharger

This V-eight is the literal and figurative heart to the GT500’s pace. Atop the exact same five.two-liter block as the Shelby GT350 sits an Eaton two.65-liter roots-kind supercharger that spins up twelve psi of enhance in the GT500. To steer clear of extreme vibration, this engine has a cross-plane crank alternatively of the GT350’s flat-plane crank and several of the internals are beefed up or tuned for much more functionality. The head bolts are longer to deal with the additional cylinder strain of an extra 234 hp, sodium-filled exhaust valves support dissipate heat produced by this a lot functionality, and a 92-mm throttle body—the greatest Ford has ever used—dumps all that air into the cylinders to match copious quantities of dino juice. It all adds up to 146 hp per liter of displacement and it launches the GT500 from to 60 mph in three.three seconds.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

Street modes

On the street, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a rolling menace. Its gaping black maw of a grille screams intimidation, as does the large, black rear spoiler. The white, black, or blue stripes (obtainable in tape for $one,000 or paint for $ten,000) along the best surfaces study race vehicle, and the rumbling, snarling, and oh-so-loud engine note says, “get the hell out of my way.”

Regrettably, it does not truly feel as particular within as it appears on the outdoors. The difficult plastics on the doors and center console are economic climate-vehicle good quality, in spite of the bits carbon-fiber and Alcantara trim. Plus, individuals engine sounds hinder conversation.

The broad 305s up front also want to run along street seams, however that concern does not appear as egregious as it is in the Mustang GT with Efficiency Pack Degree two.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive, Las Vegas, October, 2019

Conversely, the transmission and magnetic dampers group up to increase the on-street knowledge. In Sport mode, the dampers are not as well company, and they soften up to produce a livable trip in Standard mode.

The seven-pace dual-clutch transmission supplies crisp, smooth shifts in each modes, and taps into the V-8’s wall of electrical power in any mode. It operates nicely with this monster motor, however that monster does not often truly feel so intimidating. Even much more than Dodge’s Hellcat V-eight, which can stay subdued on the street, the GT500’s V-eight does not release the hounds unless of course my proper foot tells it to.

The GT500 has often been quick in a straight line, but previous versions haven’t turned all that nicely. The 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 adjustments that, specially when outfitted with the Carbon Fiber Track Package deal. Its supercharged engine can make it quick in a straight line, its dialed-in suspension can make it quick close to a street program, and its appear and sound make it truly feel particular. Fifty-two many years of evolution have turned the Mustang Shelby GT500 into a street, strip, and street program hero.

Ford offered travel and lodging to World wide web Manufacturers Automotive to carry you this firsthand report.