The Godfather

In an effort to move ahead and push the boundaries of what the pony car can do, Ford introduced the 2020 Shelby GT500 at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. It is the most powerful Ford ever. It is the fastest Mustang ever. It has the biggest vent ever fitted to a production Ford. It is basically a race car you can use on the road as well. And this is a tale about the 2020 Shelby GT500’s most amazing facts and quirks. It’s a winner, this one. For sure.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has More Rear Downforce Than The Ford GT40

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Yup, the rear end of the new Shelby Mustang GT500 can give you more downforce than you will ever get from the 2017 Ford GT. And that one basically looks like a huge wing. This is one of the main aerodynamic characteristics of the Track package that adds a massive rear wing that appears to be taken from the Mustang GT4 race car. It is a two way adjustable unit via Allen Key wrenches. Basically, you can adjust it to meet your own specific requirements

This is actually an entry point to prove that the GT500 is basically a race car you can drive on the roads.

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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See, apart from the adjustable rear wing that is more or less the same as that of the Mustang GT4 race car, the 2020 Shelby GT500 has removable wicker splitters at the front.

Again, a cool touch that makes it possible to better adapt the GT500’s aerodynamics to suit any track. Add to this the active underbody sheet, and you have yourself a proper racer. This piece can add more downforce if open or make the car more streamlined if closed. That’s what you need if you want to access GT500’s 190+ mph top speed.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has the Biggest Vent Ever Fitted To A Production Ford

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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See that huge vent on the bonnet? That is the biggest vent ever fitted to a production Ford. It takes up six square feet. Now, that’s something. Yet, there’s more to it than just its incredible size. Ford trickled a rainguard under the vent.

It will not protect the engine from getting splattered with the elements.

Now, this thing is easily removable, and Ford engineers think it will work like this - when it’s particularly sunny outside, and you want to take your car for a spin on the track, you can remove it. When the rainguard is removed, the airflow under the bonnet also gets dramatically improved. Now, all the air that passes through the 40-percent-larger-than-on-the-GT350 grille will actually have a far greater cooling effect than with the rainguard on.

This is yet another neat trick that proves the 2020 GT500 is better suited for the track than ever before.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has Old headlights

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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We’ve all seen photos of the new 2020 Shelby GT500 and by now, I am sure some of you asked the question - why the heck does this one have the pre-facelift front lights?

I can give you two answers.

First, the official one:
“We had to pull out the fenders, and fenders are wider than on the standard Mustang by 36-37 millimeters, so the new headlights wouldn’t fit with the wired fenders,” Sam Schembari, Ford Product Communication Coordinator, told the press at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

It is actually the same story with the Shelby GT350 that got the old style headlights even after the ‘Stang had been nicely redesigned. Personally, I do not mind it.

Now, the unofficial answer is that the tools and the development cost for the installation of new headlights were too high. This is not the first time I’ve heard that the development of headlights or taillights can massively affect the price of the vehicle and it is actually one of the concerns many manufacturers have to take into account when marketing a product.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has the Largest Cobra Snake Ever Put On The Mustang

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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Well, what else can I say except, hell yeah, ‘murica!
At the center of that massive grill sits the tallest Shelby snake ever. You won’t miss it for sure. Heck, when you open the bonnet, the Shelby snake will welcome you on top of the Supercharger as well.
Cool stuff.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has Hood Pins

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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Finally!

I remember when I tested the 2017 Ford Mustang EcoBoost at 120+ mph (I promise it was safe.) I noticed some strange hood shake and rattle. Now, at first I thought that I am seeing things, but I tried driving at high speeds again two or three times, and that hood shook every single time. I could not believe that Ford would sell a car like that, and I thought it was not a problem, or if it was, it was a localized issue. I admit I tried out the European version. Well, a couple of months after my stint, I saw some videos on youtube that show the hood shake. Much the same as I’ve experienced.

Well, Ford apparently addressed this problem with the new 2020 Shelby GT500.

It has hood pins that keep that hood in place at all times.

It is even more needed for a car like this considering that much more air can reach under the bonnet through that massive grille. The Shelby GT500 is in desperate need of those hood pins for sure.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has Heat Resistant Components Around The 5-inch Exhaust Tips

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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Rear bumper surrounds around the massive 5-inch exhaust tips of the 2020 Shelby GT500 are layered with special heat resistant components that actually make sure your bumpers don’t melt when you trash the GT500 on the track.

The exhaust fumes from the 700+ horsepower engine are so hot that without the special heat resistant material, the GT500 rear bumper could catch on fire.

Ladies and gents, this is probably the biggest proof that we are dealing with a car so endowed with power, heat, and brutality, that only the track is its proper habitat. And that sound! Huuh!

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has a Rotary Dial Transmission Shifter From The Fusion

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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Firstly, Shelby does not offer a manual transmission for the new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. No stick shift inside, then. Secondly, the gear lever does not exist in the GT500 at all. Instead of it, Ford installed a transmission dial from the Ford Fusion. It does the job, for sure, but I feel that Ford should have made that transmission rotational dial a bit more chunky and not as cheap as it feels on the photos and videos. This is a small tidbit I actually hate about the 2020 Shelby GT500.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shleby GT500 Has the Same Supercharger as the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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Bolted to the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500’s 5.2-liter, V-8 is an Eaton TVS R2650 supercharger that makes 12 PSI of pressure. Interestingly enough, the TVS R2650 (R2650 for 2.65 liters of capacity) is the name of the supercharger Chevy installs in the Corvette ZR1. You know, that one with 755 horsepower and 700+ pound-feet of torque. Only, for that application, the Eaton specced the supercharger to produce 14 PSI of pressure. While both Chevy and Ford officials claim that their teams worked specifically on the supercharger for the unique application, I believe that Eaton supplied more or less, the same unit for the GT500 and for the Corvette ZR1.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and the 2020 Mid-Engine Corvette Share the Same Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Transmission

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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The reason for the integration of the dual clutch transmission into a car with 700+ horsepower is a simple one.

This transmission is smarter than you, it shifts exponentially quicker than you ever will (it will change the gear in less than 100 milliseconds), and it gives you a unique opportunity to manage it with the fantastic magnesium paddles behind the wheel.

Ford Performance worked closely with Tremec to produce and tune up the TR-9007, seven-speed dual clutch transmission. This is, in all likelihood, the same transmission that GM plans to use on the upcoming mid-engine Corvette.

While some did infer that the transmission is similar to the one in the Ford GT, I have to point out that the Ford supercar has the Getrag 7DCL750.

All said and done, the GT500 is available with the DCT, but no one from Ford actually excluded the possibility of the three-pedal layout sometime in the future. We live in hope after all.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has 20-inch Wheels to Accommodate Those Extra Large Brakes

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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One of the reasons the new Shelby GT500 has 20-inch wheels is the fact that it needs massive brakes. Extra-large pizza-sized brakes (16.5 inches to be exact) cannot fit under smaller wheels. Especially with those awesome red six-piston Brembo calipers.

Now, the Track package gifts the GT500 with all carbon-fiber wheels. Exposed carbon-fiber, that is.

Lightweight wheels apparently can save up to 60 pounds of rotational mass compared with the standard wheels on the non-Track Package GT500. That’s kinda a lot in a car that will probably tip the scales at 4,200 pounds.

Back to these Brembo brakes - they are the biggest brakes ever fitted to a domestic produced coupe. So, that’s that!

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has Tons of Carbon Fiber Bits

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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The Track Pack really upped the ante on the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. All carbon pieces include the driveshaft (standard on all GT500 models), splitters, wheels, dashboard inlays, and the massive back spoiler. This is really generous! The most amazing fact is the carbon fiber driveshaft. It is a much lighter unit compared with the standard driveshafts, and it will remove a lot of the rotational mass. This equals more power delivered to the rear diff with a 3.73 ratio and, ultimately, to Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires in the back.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Doesn’t have a Flat-Plane Crank Engine

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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While based on the same 5.2-liter, V-8 from the GT350, the engine in the GT500 does not have a flat-plane crank, but a standard, cross-plane piece.

Reliability will probably improve, but apparently, that was not the main reason behind the decision of Ford Performance to integrate a cross-plane crank into the aluminum 5.2-liter, V-8. When asked about the flat-plane crank, Carl Widmann, Chief Engineer at Ford Performance, told Roadandtrack Chris Perkins:

“You don’t really need it, because you’ve got such a short runner off the supercharger. . . you don’t get a benefit going to a flat plane.”

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has Eight Radiators

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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  • Two for that V-8
  • Two for the Eaton Supercharger
  • One for the Tremec transmission
  • One for the engine oil
  • One for the rear axle
  • One for you (or the AC)

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Has an Active Brake Duct System

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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I mean, this is really geeky and additionally proves my point from the beginning of the article. The Active Brake Duct System can vector airflow to different brake discs, thus cooling brakes. It works automatically with the rest of the active aero system and decides where to vector air thanks to the input of the monitoring sensors on the wheels. The Shelby GT500 is a track ready car!

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby Gt500 Can Be Equipped With a Carbon Fiber Track Package

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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This is a package for the true track aficionados. It transforms the Shelby GT500 from cool to extraordinary thanks to:

  • Rear-seat delete
  • 20-inch carbon fiber wheels with exposed carbon
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires
  • Adjustable exposed carbon fiber GT4 track wing
  • Splitter wickers with integrated dive plane

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Handling Package Upgrade

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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On top of the standard Shelby GT500, it includes:

  • Adjustable strut top mounts,
  • Spoiler with a Gurney flap

Final Thoughts

16 Little-Known Facts About The Astounding 2020 Shelby GT500
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This is a production Ford Mustang with 700+ horsepower, it goes 0-60 mph in mid 3s’, it has adjustable suspension, more downforce compared to the Ford GT, active aero elements, and a top speed of more than 190 mph. I do not get to have any final thoughts on the 2020 Shelby GT500. The 2020 Shelby GT500 is final!

2020 Shelby GT500 specifications

Engine 5.2-liter aluminum alloy V-8
Horsepower +700 HP
Quarter mile < 11 seconds
Transmission shifts < 100 milliseconds
0 to 60 mph mid 3.0 seconds

Further Reading

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Shelby GT500

2017 Ford Mustang GT4 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Mustang GT4.

2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2013-2014 Ford Shelby GT500

What do you think?
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