Is This Really the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500R?
At least is a starting point on how it may lookby Michael Fira, on
Can we believe what we’re seeing? We’ve barely gone past the news that an image of the 2020 Ford Mustang GT500 was leaked and now the GT500R too? It would be too good to be true.
Last week, we were unexpectedly hit with the news that the new GT500 based on the S550 Mustang has been sneakily photographed during a dealer presentation. It featured the same dual white stripe over blue livery as seen in Ford’s official overhead sneak peek shot, so we think that that is the real deal.
However, we’re not so sure about the GT500R, since we don’t even know if and, if yes when an R version will come for the GT500. We know the GT350 was offered in R form so it would seem natural that its big brother sees a similar treatment, but nothing’s been confirmed yet.
Don’t hold your breath for a GT500R just yet
The new Ford Mustang GT500 will be officially unveiled at next year’s Detroit Auto Show with much aplomb. But, until then, with just as much aplomb, we’ve seen unconfirmed details emerge about the upcoming performance ’Stang and its angrier sibling, the GT500R. In this video from Stang It Up we see what looks to be a slightly modified version of the GT500 as we’ve come to know from the leaked imagery last week. This time, the shot is said to come from an upcoming Ford commercial.
Obviously, people poured in to watch the video, and some noticed that it isn’t quite what it was presented to be. In fact, the still isn’t from an upcoming Ford commercial, but from an old one featuring Ford’s complete range of performance-oriented models. The original image is nearly 12 months old, and it features Ford Performance machinery on a desert flat, all in that characteristic Ford Performance blue.
The supposed GT500R is actually a computer-altered GT350R that was positioned in the original image between the Fiesta ST and the Ford GT.
The Fiesta ST was visible in the "leaked" still, and that wouldn’t have made any sense at all with Ford firmly deciding to end its sales of regular cars, aside from the Mustang, in the U.S. - including the Fiesta. It’s, at the end of the day, another lesson to not take everything at face value and always have a grain of salt nearby.
With that being said, what do we actually know about a beefier version of the GT500? Well, as I’ve said, we don’t genuinely know if it will happen, we just hope it will and think it’d be a natural step as a model that could battle with the Camaro ZL1 and the meanest of the Challenger Hellcats.
Some sources say that the regular GT500 will come with a 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 that develops 720-horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 650 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. Curb weight could be around 4,225 pounds with projected top speed around the 190-mph mark. That’s all astounding already so you have to imagine that the R version will have to top that. Will it have 750-horsepower or maybe 770?
Will it come with a 10-speed automatic or, maybe, the 7-speed dual clutch transmission from the Ford GT? You should be adamant to imagine it arriving with a 6-speed manual though.
Also, the "skin" will have to change a bit. The GT500 features a large hexagonal shaped front grille separated by a thick bar in the middle with the indicators incorporated within narrow, tilted, elements just above the outboard inlets whose outer line extends towards the edge of the headlights themselves.
The R should have an even bigger mouth up front, a larger lip attached to the splitter and, maybe, an even bigger carbon fiber wing.
The louvered hood intake could also be enlarged, as well as the car’s hips which could get wider still.
In any case, let’s hope that whatever comes next on the subject of the GT500R is something more legit than a photoshopped image of an existing model.
Get the latest and greatest from our full speculative review of the 2019 Ford Shleby GT500
Read our full review of the 2013-2014 Ford Shelby GT500
Get in the know with our in-depth review of the 2019 Ford Shleby GT350