So, there's a new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, and instead of a manual transmission or a torque-converter automatic, it has a seven-speed dual-clutch. Ford Performance opted for a Tremec-supplied DCT not only because it can handle the high, yet-to-be-confirmed torque output of the GT500's 5.2-liter supercharged V8, but because it offers quicker shifts on track. But, it might not be the only transmission the GT500 gets.
We spoke with Carl Widmann, head engineer for Ford Performance and the Mustang, just after the GT500 was unveiled in Detroit today. I asked if we could see a three-pedal GT500 in the future.
"Right now, we're DCT-only, [but] we get feedback, and we're real tight with the Mustang crowd," Widmann said. I asked if that meant a manual was on the table. "We always listen to what our customers want, right?" he said with a grin.
That's not a confirmation, of course, but it's hardly a denial either. A Ford spokesperson clarified that a manual for the GT500 is not planned currently, but it seems like if there is sufficient demand for three pedals, Ford Performance might very well make it a reality. You know what to do, folks.
The GT500's DCT probably won't make its way into the GT350, though—Widmann says there's no "near-term" plans for this.
And why not use the regular Mustang's 10-speed automatic? Widmann said that the dual-clutch can handle more torque than the auto, and the shift times are quicker. Ford Performance wants the GT500 to be fast on a drag strip and on a road course, and a dual-clutch was the best transmission for the job.
But for all of the benefits the dual-clutch will surely bring, we'd still like to see a manual for the GT500. After all, its two closest rivals—the Challenger Hellcat and the Camaro ZL1—offer a stick. Customers just need to convince Ford that making a three-pedal GT500 is a good idea.
This story was updated at 1/16/19 with additional clarification from a Ford spokesperson.