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2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Pros and Cons Review: Lunch Money Stealer

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  6. 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Pros and Cons Review: Lunch Money Stealer

Not just a big motor, the GT500 is finally, indisputably the best Mustang you can buy.

Ford Mustang Full Overview

Often, history is made simply by breaking a cycle. Sounds easy enough, but sometimes a thing hasn’t been done for a good reason. The GT500 has never been the best Mustang, just the one with the biggest engine. Not anymore. The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has changed history.

“This car is the ultimate expression of what the American pony car can be,” pro racer Randy Pobst said after only driving it on the street. After driving it on the track: “God, that thing pins you to the seat running from corner to corner. It hooks up very, very well. That impresses me tremendously. Ford Performance has done a terrific job of setting up that chassis to put down power. I’m in love with the car.”

“Now, this is what a proper Best Driver’s Car podium finisher looks like, sounds like, and drives like,” road test editor Chris Walton said. “As soon as you stop driving it like a Mustang and start driving it like the supercar that it is, it all falls into place. It’s gob-smackingly capable and confidence-inspiring in ways that few cars (costing multiples more) are.”

It reminded us in all the best ways of the 2014 Best Driver’s Car champion, the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, in that you can absolutely thrash the car and it just laughs in your face and asks for more. Ride it hard and don’t let up, because it doesn’t. Fling it at a corner without a second thought. It always comes through, begging you, mockingly, for another effort.

It’s stupid-quick, too. Putting your foot down getting on a freeway feels for all the world like it ought to be illegal, or at least require a special license. It sounds like absolute insanity and slings you down the road in a way not even a Hellcat can compare.

It’s the same sensation while stopping. Stand on the plain-old steel Brembos, and the Shelby GT500 stops like a race car every single time. “I never really got to 100 percent of it because it was so good,” Pobst said after his hot laps. “I could have gone deeper.” Then he started yammering (repeatedly) about how much better the GT500’s steel brakes are than the Ferrari’s carbon-ceramic jobs, much to the chagrin of the Ferrari rep.

“I was following the Ferrari F8 Tributo,” Walton said, “and it couldn’t shake me—not on the brakes, not in the corners, and not even on the straights.”

There’s a difference, though, between fantastic and perfect. Unlike the Mustang Shelby GT350, which we love very much, the GT500 drives big. It always felt like it was taking up the entire lane, never shrinking around you the way the Shelby GT350 does. It’s also considerably stiffer than the GT350, which is fine on a smooth track but had the car dancing around a bit on rough roads. Counterpoint, per senior features editor Jonny Lieberman: “The GT500 beats up the GT350, takes its lunch money, and buys more gas.”

It also demands respect. “You have to be very judicious with the power,” Pobst said. “You got to have that egg between your foot and the gas pedal in the middle of the corner and just roll on the power. And if you do that, it transfers weight and just hooks up. It’s possible to spin up the back tires in second gear, third, and fourth, but if you’re just a little careful, it hooks up.”

That’s the GT500. Everything about it is intimidating and forceful. It attacks the road and isn’t sorry for using the whole damn thing. Keep up or get out of the way.

Looks good! More details?

POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD
ENGINE TYPE Supercharged 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 315.1 cu in/5,163 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 9.5:1
POWER (SAE NET) 760 hp @ 7,300 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 625 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
REDLINE 7,500 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 5.3 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.73:1/2.09:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 16.0:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.3
BRAKES, F; R 16.5-in 2-pc vented disc; 14.6-in 2-pc vented disc, ABS
WHEELS, F;R 11.0 x 20-in; 11.5 x 20-in, carbon fiber composite
TIRES, F;R 305/30R20 103Y; 315/30R20 104Y Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 107.1 in
TRACK, F/R 63.8/64.4 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 189.5 x 76.6 x 53.7 in
TURNING CIRCLE 44.1 ft
CURB WEIGHT 4,054 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 56/44%
SEATING CAPACITY 2
HEADROOM, F/R 37.6/— in
LEGROOM, F/R 45.1/— in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 56.3/— in
CARGO VOLUME 13.5 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 1.8 sec
0-40 2.4
0-50 3.0
0-60 3.6
0-70 4.3
0-80 5.1
0-90 6.0
0-100 7.0
0-100-0 10.7
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 1.3
QUARTER MILE 11.3 sec @ 131.6 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 94 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.05 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.5 sec @ 0.89 g (avg)
2.2-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 93.84 sec
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,550 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $74,095
PRICE AS TESTED $93,595
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS 8: Dual front, side, curtain, knee
BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 yrs/60,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 16.0 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 12/18/14 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 281/187 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.37 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium

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