The new Ford Mustang GT500 is Shelby's most powerful beast yet
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Not one, but two highly anticipated two-door sports cars were revealed last night. And ironically enough the one with lashings more power got a bit overshadowed.
Yes, the new Toyota GR Supra was unveiled for the first time in Detroit last night, but so too was this thing; the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 — a 700hp+ monster designed to turn innocent tyres into rubber shrapnel in the blink of an eye.
Shelby has yet to release an actual power figure yet, but speculation throughout last year indicated it would exceed that magical 700hp (521kW) barrier. The company does claim, however, that the GT500 will hit 100km/h in less than four seconds, and mow down the quarter mile in under 11 seconds.
The engine is a supercharged 5.2-litre V8, mated to an all-new Tremec seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Sadly there is no manual on the cards, although admittedly it would take a pretty sharp driver to be able to keep up with the aforementioned numbers as efficiently as a DCT can. Ford claims the new transmission can process gear shifts in less than 100 milliseconds.
The aero was largely leaked back in October last year, but it's nice to see it with some clarity. Again, we note how interesting it is to see headlights closely resembling those on the pre-facelift Mustang make a comeback.
The aero is clearly more ambitious than any Mustang before it, and complimented by a copious amounts of carbon fibre and a front fascia so packed with vents that would dice any animal unlucky enough to stand in the GT500's path.
Speaking of carbon fibre, the GT500 follows its GT350's lead by featuring carbon fibre wheels. These help overall weight as well as rolling resistance, and come wrapped in super sticky Michelins designed specifically for the GT500. Behind the wheels sit big 16.5-inch Brembo rotors paired with 6-piston calipers, and behind them are Ford's MagneRide magnetic dampers.
While many of these elements point to the GT500 being a total weapon on the track, Shelby are also conscious of owners who might just want to lark about and have silly fun.
So while this beast comes with launch control and a carbon fibre differential, it also comes with electronic line-lock to make it easier to do burnouts in.
Whether we will get it in New Zealand remains to be seen, but given that we never got the GT350 (examples on our roads are left-hookers imported from the US), it's potentially unlikely. Still, when you see one (or hear one), you'll know that it's no ordinary Mustang.