Which one would you get?

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The meanest and fastest production version of the Ford Mustang just made a comeback after a five year hiatus. Last discontinued in 2014, the Shelby GT500 signaled its return at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show with more aggressive looks, more power and... well... more everything. But does it live up to the hype?

The Looks

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Both the new and old GT500s are sportier evolutions of the Mustang GT on the outside. And needless to say, both look more aggressive than their regular counterparts. However, the new GT500 stands out a bit more more.

For starters, the front grille is ridiculously large and puts to shame any other sports cars on the market right now. By comparison, the old GT500 had the regular Mustang grille, paired with a slightly larger bumper intake.

Second, the new GT500 feels notably wider and the way the front fenders meet with the headlamps and the bumper adds even more aggressiveness.
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Third, the new GT500 sports the largest rear wing ever seen on a street-only Mustang. The aero element is actually taken from the race-spec Mustang GT4, a feat that the old GT500 can’t brag about. The latter doesn’t even have a wing, but just a small spoiler atop the trunk lid.


Quick Comparo: 2020 Shelby GT500 vs. 2013 GT500 Exterior
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Both cars are powered by supercharged V-8s, but the similarities stop here.

While the old GT500 came with a Trinity-type 5.8-liter V-8, the new muscle car shakes a 5.2-liter, cross-plane crank V-8 under the hood.

Ford also went with a new. 2.65-liter Roots-type supercharger that’s larger, yet more efficient.

What about horsepower? Well, Ford has yet to release the final rating, but said the new GT500 delivers at least 700 horsepower. That’s 38 horses more than the old GT500, rated at 662 horsepower and 631 pound-feet, but expect the difference to increase when the final number comes out. Word has it the GT500 will actually come with 755 horsepower on tap, which will account for a 93-horsepower update.

Quick Comparo: 2020 Shelby GT500 vs. 2013 GT500 Exterior
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Although notably more powerful, the new GT500 isn't quicker than its predecessor.

Ford says the new muscle car will hit 60 mph from a standing start in 3.5 seconds, which puts it in par with the old model. The new GT500 could crack the quarter-mile a tad quicker, but again, we don’t have enough data. The old GT500 did in 11.3 seconds at 130 mph though, and this is hard to beat.

No Manual

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Arguably the biggest difference between the two is the transmission setup. While the old GT500 came with a Tremec-built six-speed manual, the new coupe features a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. With no option for a manual. That’s controversial to say the least!

A GT500 without a manual was unheard of until now, but it's a sign that the nameplate is finally embracing the 21st century.

Manual transmissions are becoming extinct and dual-clutch units are returning the best performance. The latter is mostly likely the reason why Ford ditched the manual for this generation of the GT500.

I’m pretty sure Mustang gearheads are very upset right now, but this GT500 will post quicker lap times thanks to this transmission. Still mad?

Further Reading

Quick Comparo: 2020 Shelby GT500 vs. 2013 GT500 Exterior
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2020 Ford GT500 brings 700+ Horses and Dual-Clutch To Detroit

Quick Comparo: 2020 Shelby GT500 vs. 2013 GT500 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Shelby GT500

Quick Comparo: 2020 Shelby GT500 vs. 2013 GT500 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2013-2014 Ford Shelby GT500

Ford Infuses the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 with Racing and GT500 DNA Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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