First spy shots of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 emerge

Due to arrive in 2019 the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will have over 700bhp and the option of a manual gearbox

Ford’s forthcoming Mustang flagship, the Shelby GT500, has been spotted testing on the public highway ahead of its 2019 release. The images of the disguised prototype confirm a manual transmission will be available, although they also pose questions regarding how track-focused Ford’s leading pony car will be.

Our spy photographers managed to capture shots of the test mule’s interior, crucially displaying a manual gearbox, thought to be the same six-speed Tremec transmission found in the GT350R. However, Ford is expected to offer an automatic option, too, likely to be the new ten-speed unit (co-developed with GM).

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

> Ford Mustang GT350R review

What still remains a mystery, however, is the engine. All we know so far is it will produce in excess of 700bhp, according to Ford, placing it on a par with Dodge’s Hellcat models. It’s been mooted the Shelby will receive a heavily-revised version of the 526bhp, 5.2-litre flatplane crank V8 out of the GT350R; maintaining reliability though could prove problematic with the lofty power target in mind.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

That’s why others believe a crossplane V8 will feature instead, and our spy photographers agree this could be the case having heard the car up close. They reported a lumpier, gruffer note, suggesting the presence of a more traditional V8 configuration. Either way, the engine will be boosted by forced induction, likely to be a supercharger. 

Whatever form the engine takes, its influence on the exterior design is undeniable. The GT350R-based front end features enlarged air intakes to satisfy the engine’s likely greater cooling and oxygen requirements. While above, on the bonnet, a pronounced power dome ensures you won't be mistaking the Shelby for any old Mustang.

However, the test mule isn’t clad in the full aero bodykit with which Ford teased the car in a video earlier this year. The fixed rear wing is nowhere to be seen, although the corner plates, extended sills and rear diffuser are all present, as shown in the teasing video. Perhaps the wing will come later, or, Ford Performance, which has been tasked with developing the car, has looked to alternative downforce solutions. Ford previously stated ‘innovative track technologies’ and ‘functional track-tuned styling’ will be a feature of the GT500.

Ford is yet to reveal any pricing for the range-topping muscle car due in 2019.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/ford/mustang/201952/ford-mustang-mach-e-makes-uk-debut
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E makes UK debut

14 Feb 2020
Visit/ford/mustang/202231/1969-ford-mustang-mach-1-given-986bhp-twin-turbocharged-v8
Ford Mustang

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 given 986bhp twin-turbocharged V8

13 Feb 2020
Visit/ford/mustang/202137/ford-mustang-shelby-gt350-tuned-to-over-1000bhp-with-twin-turbochargers
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 tuned to over 1000bhp

27 Jan 2020
Visit/ford/mustang/201971/ford-plans-a-hot-mustang-mach-e-shelby
Ford Mustang

Ford plans a hot Mustang Mach-E Shelby

20 Nov 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/saloons/202421/supersaloon-face-off-old-vs-new
Saloons

BMW M5 F90 vs E28 M5, RS6, E500 and Lotus Carlton: supersaloons old vs new

From the first to the very latest, we take a dive into the history of the supersaloon with the 1985 BMW M5 E28 and other classics taking on today's mo…
4 Apr 2020
Visit/honda/nsx/202424/honda-nsx-review-enough-to-take-on-its-european-rivals
Honda NSX

Honda NSX review - enough to take on its European rivals?

Honda’s supercar is immensely capable and startlingly fast, but it’s easier to respect than it is to love
6 Apr 2020
Visit/lamborghini/huracan/202426/lamborghini-huracan-performante-gains-twin-turbochargers
Lamborghini Huracan

Lamborghini Huracán Performante gains twin turbochargers

US-based AMS Performance has fitted a pair of snails to the Lamborghini Huracán Performante
6 Apr 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019