2020 Ford Shelby GT500

2020 Shelby GT500 Photos
This is not my first encounter with a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. I was once fortunate enough to lay hands on a spanking new 2013 Shelby GT500 for the express purpose of unleashing it on a cross-country road trip from Atlanta to Los Angeles. That car was a 662-horsepower blunt instrument that was made all the more beastly by a balky six-speed manual gearbox that could complete a 0-to-60 mph speed run in first gear. But the powertrain was not the most knuckle-dragging aspect of that car. No, that would be the solid-axle rear suspension, which only reminded me how much I resented the Mustang for its stubborn reliance on such truckish underpinnings. Oh sure, the 1999-2004 SVT Cobra had independent rear suspension, but that was a low-volume special with a clumsy IRS adaptation. It hardly counts. My opinion utterly changed when the Mustang underwent its sixth-generation redesign. The 2015 Ford Mustang came standard with a well-conceived IRS system that was equally impressive on autocross courses and high-speed circuits alike. Now, finally, this latest generation gains its own GT500, complete with IRS, plus 760 horsepower, a seven-speed DCT and an optional Carbon Fiber Track Pack suspension and tire upgrade. I cannot wait to have a look.   This initial view of the GT500’s front suspension is largely hidden behind a massive set of brakes, but a strut suspension (yellow) is still discernible over the top. At just over 16.5 inches in diameter, these pizza-sized front rotors are a full inch bigger than those found on a GT350. These are composite rotors made by German supplier SHW, so named because the 40mm-thick cast-iron friction ring is connected to the central aluminum hub via a series of stainless steel pins. This construction allows the rotor to float somewhat to curb vibration, but the aluminum center section also trims unsprung weight. That’s going to be a theme with this car.   All sixth-generation Mustangs have a dual-pivot lower linkage instead of a single lower control arm, but I saw nothing but cast iron and steel the last time I crawled under a 2015 Mustang GT. Here it’s plain to see that the GT500’s knuckle (yellow) and the forward link (green) have switched to aluminum. As for the lateral link (red), it’s still made of steel.   The steel lateral link takes up the lion’s share of the cornering loads. These will be immense in a performance-focused car like the GT500, so this link’s inner pivot (green) employs a ball joint for maximum lateral stiffness. But the world isn’t smooth, so the angled aluminum tension link has a high volume rubber bushing (red) at its inner connection point. Pothole strikes and other big hits will tend to shove the hub rearward, and this bushing is there to take the edge off. But the central idea behind a dual ball joint arrangement is to move the lower steering pivot point outward to a spot that would otherwise be physically impossible with a wishbone and a …
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This is not my first encounter with a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. I was once fortunate enough to lay hands on a spanking new 2013 Shelby GT500 for the express purpose of unleashing it on a cross-country road trip from Atlanta to Los Angeles. That car was a 662-horsepower blunt instrument that was made all the more beastly by a balky six-speed manual gearbox that could complete a 0-to-60 mph speed run in first gear. But the powertrain was not the most knuckle-dragging aspect of that car. No, that would be the solid-axle rear suspension, which only reminded me how much I resented the Mustang for its stubborn reliance on such truckish underpinnings. Oh sure, the 1999-2004 SVT Cobra had independent rear suspension, but that was a low-volume special with a clumsy IRS adaptation. It hardly counts. My opinion utterly changed when the Mustang underwent its sixth-generation redesign. The 2015 Ford Mustang came standard with a well-conceived IRS system that was equally impressive on autocross courses and high-speed circuits alike. Now, finally, this latest generation gains its own GT500, complete with IRS, plus 760 horsepower, a seven-speed DCT and an optional Carbon Fiber Track Pack suspension and tire upgrade. I cannot wait to have a look.   This initial view of the GT500’s front suspension is largely hidden behind a massive set of brakes, but a strut suspension (yellow) is still discernible over the top. At just over 16.5 inches in diameter, these pizza-sized front rotors are a full inch bigger than those found on a GT350. These are composite rotors made by German supplier SHW, so named because the 40mm-thick cast-iron friction ring is connected to the central aluminum hub via a series of stainless steel pins. This construction allows the rotor to float somewhat to curb vibration, but the aluminum center section also trims unsprung weight. That’s going to be a theme with this car.   All sixth-generation Mustangs have a dual-pivot lower linkage instead of a single lower control arm, but I saw nothing but cast iron and steel the last time I crawled under a 2015 Mustang GT. Here it’s plain to see that the GT500’s knuckle (yellow) and the forward link (green) have switched to aluminum. As for the lateral link (red), it’s still made of steel.   The steel lateral link takes up the lion’s share of the cornering loads. These will be immense in a performance-focused car like the GT500, so this link’s inner pivot (green) employs a ball joint for maximum lateral stiffness. But the world isn’t smooth, so the angled aluminum tension link has a high volume rubber bushing (red) at its inner connection point. Pothole strikes and other big hits will tend to shove the hub rearward, and this bushing is there to take the edge off. But the central idea behind a dual ball joint arrangement is to move the lower steering pivot point outward to a spot that would otherwise be physically impossible with a wishbone and a …
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Retail Price

$70,300 - $70,300 MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

NA Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
Engine 5.2L V-8
MPG 12 City / 18 Hwy
Seating 4 Passengers
Transmission 7-spd auto-shift man w/OD
Power 760 @ 7300 rpm
Drivetrain rear-wheel
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