2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: What We Know

Ford is working on a mega-powerful Mustang to challenge the Camaro ZL1 and Challenger Hellcat. Here's what we've heard.


Note: We're continually updating this post as we learn more info about the upcoming 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. The last update was made on 11/29/18.

Ford is working on a new Shelby GT500! In January, the automaker confirmed that this beloved nameplate would return for the most powerful Mustang ever, a 700--hp monster. Official details on the upcoming GT500 are thin, but we've got a decent idea of what to expect.

Shown above: A teaser image of the GT500 shown by Ford at a future product press conference.

We'll See It Next Year

The legend returns in 2019. The most powerful street-legal production Ford ever with more than 700hp projected 🐍.

— Ford Motor Company (@Ford)

Ford says the Shelby GT500 will arrive next year, debuting in January at the Detroit Auto Show. That means it'll likely share the stage in Detroit with another long-awaited revival, the 2020 Ford Bronco.

A 2019 debut often means that a car will be a 2020 model-year, but as we've reported before, Ford's VIN decoder indicates that the 2019 Mustang will be sold with a supercharged V8. That means the GT500 could very well be a 2019, and that bit of information brings us neatly to the next section...

It'll Almost Assuredly Get a Supercharged V8

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The GT500 is Ford's answer to the 650-hp Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the 707-hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat, so everyone is predicting it'll get a powerful V8. A twin-turbo V8 was rumored as a possibility, but a supercharged mill like the last GT500 seems way more likely. Judging by the teaser photo of the engine bay posted by Ford's official Instagram of what looks to be a supercharger with a giant snake printed on top, we think Ford is taking the supercharged route. As for power, Ford has confirmed to us it will be a "700-" horsepower car, though it hasn't specified further.

Our colleagues at Car and Driver think the GT500 will get , but with a traditional cross-plane crankshaft. The Instagram image you see above shows a supercharger housing with a Shelby logo and the number 5.2 stamped on it, which could confirm at least some of Car and Driver's speculation. The Truth About Cars also published images of a wiring diagram showing .

a picture of a Shelby GT350 with a supercharged engine, claiming that what's shown is a GT500 prototype, but that's unconfirmed. This could be a prototype for a factory supercharger kit for the Shelby GT350, not necessarily a GT500.

It Looks Like This From Above


Ford recently released this rendering of a GT500 seen from above, and there are a few interesting details to point out. There's a big carbon-fiber wing, and the hood looks quite interesting too. It has a huge heat extraction vent, presumably for the supercharger, and it looks like it's raised up quite a bit in the center for clearance. It must be a big supercharger, then.

It Might Be a 200-MPH Car

As we've previously reported, the GT500 might be good for a solid 200 mph flat-out. The Truth About Cars uncovered for the GT500 that seems to indicate this Mustang's impressive top-speed capabilities.

Those documents from TTAC also show that the GT500 will get a couple of bespoke driving modes—including Weather, Launch Control, and Drag Strip—and that carbon-ceramic brake pads might be an option.

There Might Be Two Transmission Options

Car and Driver reports that the GT500 will likely get two transmission choices, a six-speed manual or a new 10-speed auto co-developed between Ford and GM. Those wiring diagrams from TTAC show the GT500's supercharged V8 with a flex plate instead of a flywheel, indicating automatic availability. Ford is already using its 10-speed gearbox in the 2018 F-150 and Mustang, and interestingly, it's also available in the GT500's most obvious rival, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

The video above surfaced on YouTube from of a GT500 test mule accelerating slowly. If you listen closely, you can hear the car quickly shifting up gears. This car certainly doesn't sound like it has a manual, but it's hard to tell whether it's a 10-speed auto or an entirely new dual-clutch gearbox, as Mustang6G speculates. While we'd love to see a DCT in this car, the 10-speed, which is already in the new Mustang GT, likely makes the most sense.

The manual seems like a definite, though. Autoblog has , which will surely excite enthusiasts. Both the Camaro ZL1 and Challenger Hellcat offer manuals, so we'd be shocked to see Ford go auto-only with the GT500.

It Might Look Like The Pre-Facelift Mustang

The Mustang was face-lifted for 2018, but the Shelby GT350's looks were unchanged. Based on the teaser image at the top of this post, and other spy shots we've seen, it looks like the GT500 will look more similar to the GT350 than other Mutangs. Just check out the old-style headlights in the teaser.

Ford Is Benchmarking It Against Serious Competition

Ford is testing the GT500 against some stiff competition too. testing in Arizona with a Camaro ZL1, which seems like an obvious target. After all, the previous-gen Mustang GT500 and Camaro ZL1, both supercharged brutes, squared off back in 2012.

A less obvious rival for the GT500 is the Porsche 911 GT3, but interestingly, Mustang6G.com has near its Michigan headquarters. This doesn't mean that Ford is trying to build a GT3-rival though. Automakers often benchmark other cars just to study one or two particular elements.

There's a lot unknown about the GT500, but thanks to the few details Ford has confirmed and rumors swirling around, it sounds like it'll be a monster. We can't wait to find out how it really stacks up against the ZL1 and the Hellcat.

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