Are We in For The Best Muscle Car Ever?

While the last Shelby GT500 was a proper brute, the anticipation for the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT500 has become ever so stronger thanks to its biggest competitors. Ever since Dodge unveiled that bonkers Challenger Hellcat and Chevy showcased the Camaro ZL1, it was clear that the new Shelby GT500 will have to compete with them. An extremely powerful engine and the best possible tech that Ford has in its arsenal will end up complementing its sexy muscle car body.

While we are still months away from the 2019 Shelby GT500 unveiling, which will probably happen at the NAIAS in January, I found several interesting facts about the upcoming car to keep us more than entertained and excited about its upcoming reveal. So, without further ado, this is what we know about the new GT500 so far.

The new Shelby GT500 will challenge the Camaro ZL1 and the Challenger Hellcat

Everything We Know about the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Spyshots Exterior
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ord obviously wanted to make sure it is offering the most compelling package on the market.

The Challenger Hellcat largely rewrote muscle car rules by offering supercar power levels with a simple suspension and a drivetrain layout that closely follows the guidelines set by the gods of muscle cars at the very start. The Camaro ZL1, on the other hand, has some sporty gear that made it the most track-ready Camaro ever. Now, the new GT500 may marry the extreme power and the best suspension setup ever rigged to a muscle car. Ford obviously wanted to make sure it is offering the most compelling package on the market. I can’t wait to see it tackle the likes of the Camaro ZL1 and the Challenger Hellcat. Heck, it could compete with that bonkers-powerful Red Eye as well.

It Will Get A Supercharged V-8

Everything We Know about the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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A recently leaked document promises that the new GT500 will have a 710-horsepower engine with 650 pound-feet of torque

Mustangmannylv Instagram channel published a photo of a 5.2-liter V-8 with a Shelby Cobra plaque engraved on it. Under the photo, they posted a simple question - 2019 GT500? While this picture alone is not enough for us to claim that the Mustang GT500 will get the 5.2-liter V-8, Car and Driver speculations, as well as Motor Trend information, suggest that the new GT500 will probably get the modified 5.2-liter V-8 we are familiar with from the likes of the GT350.

The predator V-8 engine will receive a cross-plane crank (opposed to the flat plane in the GT350), a supercharger, and obviously, numerous modifications to support the added power and changes. Expect new intakes, new headers, a new exhaust, and a totally reprogrammed ECU.

A recently leaked document, which was the topic of one of our articles, promises that the new GT500 will have a 710-horsepower engine with 650 pound-feet of torque. Insane, to say the least. This is the power of the 5.2-liter V-12 from the DBS Superleggera. All of it in a Mustang.

While all indicators do support the theory that the GT500 will get a supercharged, 5.2-liter V-8, I am not still sure about the power output. See, some did suggest previously that Ford may go overkill and offer as much as 750 horsepower. We will have to wait and see, but one thing is for certain - whatever the power output turns out to be - we will not be disappointed. The new 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will be the most powerful car in Ford history. These aren’t my words, mind you. Joe Hinrichs, Head of Global Operations for Ford, said that first.

Special Driving Modes - Weather, Launch Control, and Drag Strip

Everything We Know about the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Spyshots Exterior
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The 2019 Shelby GT500 will have three cool modes to play with - Weather, Launch Control, and Drag Strip mode

As expected, the Shelby GT500 will be packed with technology. Personally, I expect adjustable dampers, a perfectly suited suspension for track and drag strip tasks, as well as a special mode selector which will adapt the car to different scenarios. It is already reported that the 2019 Shelby GT500 will have three cool modes to play with - Weather, Launch Control, and Drag Strip mode. Carl Widmann, Mustang Chief Engineer, reported on the Drag Strip mode when talking about the standard 2018 Mustang GT. He said, "Typically, when you shift gears, you give up time. In Drag Strip mode, the engine torque doesn’t drop when you’re shifting. You get peak engine torque and horsepower straight through thanks to our new Ford-built 10-speed transmission."

Other modes, like the Launch Control and Weather, will prioritize other features. The Launch Control will probably provide blistering 0-60 mph passes thanks to some smart transmission trickery, diff control, and enhanced throttle response, while the Weather mode is all about using all the grip available in grip-challenging scenarios, like on wet roads or snow-surfaces. Not that someone will play god in these kinds of conditions with the GT500, but Ford must think of everything.

A six-speed Manual and A Ten-Speed Automatic

Everything We Know about the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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A manual is a sure bet here as Shelby GT500’s closest competitors - the Hellcat and the Camaro ZL1 offer a manual.

Muscle car purists will always say that in order to have the best muscle car experience you have to go for a manual. Some of the most astounding muscle cars were manuals after all. For example, the GTO was offered with a four-speed manual transmission. Nevertheless, the new Mustang Shelby GT500 will probably have two transmission options. A six-speed manual will probably be offered. Autoblog spy photographers actually captured the interior of the GT500 prototype somewhere on the streets, and that one had a manual transmission. A manual is a sure bet here as Shelby GT500’s closest competitors - the Hellcat and the Camaro ZL1 offer a manual.

As for the other possible option, the Internet is actually divided in its opinion. The Shelby GT500 may feature a 10-speed automatic Ford developed with GM. This is the most likely option as the development of yet another transmission would be costly. However, if the Internet warriors and Mustang enthusiasts have it their way, the new Shelby GT500 could have a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission. No matter what it ends up being the Mustang Shelby GT500 will be ridiculously fast.

We May Get A Genuine Shelby Cobra GT500

Everything We Know about the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Spyshots Exterior
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We have not had a proper Shelby Cobra since 1969 when Ford officially stopped using the name for its cars

We have not had a proper Shelby Cobra since 1969 when Ford officially stopped using the name for its cars. As Hotcars reports, the name returned in 2005 for the Shelby CS6/8, but we still did not have a proper Ford-badged Cobra car. Some report that the new model may reinvent just that - the Cobra badge, so we get the Shelby Cobra GT500. You will be able to easily spot it thanks to the heat extraction went on the hood, possible buffed up fenders, new bumpers, and a massive rear wing.

Other Tidbits About The 2019 Shelby GT500

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  • It will probably sport carbon-ceramic brake pads and possibly carbon brakes (first for Ford).
  • Leaked information suggests that the 2019 Shelby GT500 will tip the scales at 4,225 lbs making it some 300 lbs heavier compared with the previous generation car.
  • It will sport a vented hood and a large front grille opening that will feed air to the intakes located next to the lights.
  • Many suggest a top speed of 200+ mph (which isn’t surprising considering the incredible power output).
  • The new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will come with a full carbon body kit including a front carbon splitter, a rear carbon diffuser, and a massive rear carbon wing.
  • The 2019 Shelby GT500 price will start at $60,000 to $70,000
  • It will probably come with 20-inch black Shelby wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.

Conclusion

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I am confident that the 700+ horsepower 2019 Shelby Cobra GT500 will be more than a match for sports cars and a definite champion of muscle cars.

When unveiling the 1967 GT500, Carroll Shelby himself said: "This is the first car I’m really proud of." At that point, the legend and the iconic pedigree of the new Shelby GT500 started to form and with several awesome cars that followed with the same name, the GT500 became an icon like no other. Then, in 2000 Nicolas Cage got behind the wheel of the Eleanor - the best-known GT500 ever. All that Carroll Shelby did in the Sixties has been brought back to the mainstream seemingly overnight.

Now, when we have so many epic muscle cars and supercars roaming the earth, the GT500 has a tougher job than ever. However, I am confident that the 700+ horsepower 2019 Shelby Cobra GT500 will be more than a match for sports cars and a definite champion of muscle cars.

Further Reading

Everything We Know about the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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Get the latest and greatest from our full speculative review of the 2019 Ford Shleby GT500

2013 Ford Mustang Shelby 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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Get in the know with our in-depth review of the 2019 Ford Shleby GT350

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Read more Ford news.

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