Over the course of the past six or so months, Ford Motor Company has offered up a teaser video and a few images of the upcoming Shelby GT500 Mustang. In that video, Ford promised at least 700 horsepower and images floating around the internet suggest that the power will come from a supercharged V8. With those teasers from the automaker and the spy shots of what is expected to be the newest Shelby’s supercharged engine, the focus of most discussions has been the power and appearance, but the new GT500 is likely to have a long list of features that will make it the best-performance Mustang ever.
Today, we take a look at some of the features that will almost certainly be found on the next Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Nothing here is groundbreaking, but with so much attention paid to the exterior design and engine out, I wanted to talk about some of the other features that we can expect from the next super-Stang.
The key to the remarkable combination of ride quality and road handling abilities in the Mustang GT and the Shelby GT350 is the MagneRide suspension system. This system uses magnetic dampers to offer constant adjustments each millisecond, with modes that put emphasis on ride quality, handling or a mix of the two.
This system is almost guaranteed to be utilized in the upcoming GT500, as not only will it offer a mix or driving comfort and incredible handling, but it will also allow the Ford engineers to set up a Drag Mode of sorts. With the GT500 expected to pack between 725 and 800 horsepower, we can expect plenty of owners to hit the quarter mile with them, so even though this car will likely be a balanced performance machine – I expect a driving mode to enhance the drag racing ability of the car and MagneRide will be a key part of that system.
Gigantic Brembo Brakes
Every modern high performance vehicle has an appropriate high performance braking system, so we can expect that the upcoming GT500 will follow the trend set by the Mustang GT and the GT350, wearing big Brembo brakes from the factory.
The modern Shelby GT350 has a unique Brembo floating rotor system that allows better heat insulation during periods of hard, repeating braking. We can expect that the GT500 will either have that Brembo braking system, a slightly larger version of a similar design or an even higher performance system.
Many high end performance cars have gone to carbon ceramic rotors and Ford could go that route with the GT500, but regardless of the rotor material – we can expect big, high performance brakes on the next Shelby Mustang.
We know that the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will pack more than 700 horsepower and it is widely expected that the power will be derived from a supercharged V8. Provided that is the case, we can expect that this car will have an exhaust system that will likely offer the loudest, angriest factory exhaust tone from any modern Mustang.
Ford currently offers an exhaust system for the Mustang that lets the driver select the volume, ranging from a quiet setting for when you are leaving for work in the morning to a track setting that makes the Mustang GT one of the loudest cars I’ve tested. A similar system on the GT500 will allow the engineers to offer a handful of settings for normal driving along with a track setting that will likely make for the loudest factory-built Mustang to date.
Huge Wheels and Tires
Whether the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has 725 horsepower or 800 horsepower, it is going to need big tires to put all of that power to the ground, so we can expect that this muscle car will have the widest wheels and tires offered on a factory-built Mustang. It seems likely that the wheels will be 19 or 20 inches in diameter while the rear wheels will likely be 10-11 inches wide, making plenty of rim space for a 305-325 tire under the rear quarter panels.
We can expect that the front wheels and tires will be wide as well, but my safe money says that the fronts will be a bit narrower – presumably something in a 9.5-10 inch wheel with a tire in the range of 275-295mm.
Also, depending on how crazy Ford goes with the pricing, the GT500 could have a carbon fiber wheel design similar to the one used on the GT350R, but to keep costs down, they might stick with aluminum wheels or have the carbon fiber wheels as an option.
Premium Interior Layout
Finally, we can expect to see the 2020 Shelby GT500 come with a long list of premium interior features – even if some are optional rather than standard. With the other high performance American machines like the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coming with loaded interiors, Ford will almost certainly follow suit with the GT500.
Expect to see the high tech digital gauge cluster from the 2019 Mustang GT behind a flat-bottomed steering wheel, likely wrapped in suede and clad with plenty of buttons. If an automatic transmission is offered, this steering wheel will have shift paddles as well.
Elsewhere in the cockpit, we can expect to see a set of Recaro race seats up front and the latest Ford infotainment system, with a big touchscreen and a booming sound system. There will likely also be plenty of leather and Alcantara trim throughout the cabin, hopefully with a splash of carbon fiber to drive home the premium performance feel.
It might be months before we meet the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 in the flesh, but when it arrives, the odds are good that everything mentioned above will be present – in addition to an aggressive exterior and a supercharged V8 with more than 700 horsepower.
It is a great time to be a lover of American muscle cars and it just keeps on getting better.