Ford Mustang rumors are a dime a dozen. There are always new reports of what the next Mustang either will or won’t be packing under the hood, or what type of rear suspension it’s going to have. Very rarely do we ever get an inside look, or even a peek at what’s next for the Mustang. Luckily, our colleagues at Motor Trend have caught a glimpse of two Mustang Shelby GT 500s at the Nürburgring and they’re sporting some pretty interesting hardware.
The first Mustang Shelby GT500 spotted was the black and blue example that, at first glance, looks like a normal GT500 just getting some lap time around the ‘ring. But a closer examination of the grille reveals what looks to be additional cooling tubes—possibly for a larger liquid-cooled intercooler. Also of note on the blue-striped beauty are the fog lights. The passenger side fog light cutout is plugged with either black plastic or tape, while the driver’s side reveals a big gaping hole. Motor Trend's photographer managed to get a close up on the driver side and it revealed what looks to be more cooling hardware, possibly an enlarged transmission oil cooler.
The second Shelby GT500 MT captured on film was dressed in Race Red. The red Mustang provided more contrast so we could get a better look at what kind of cooling hardware it was packing. As you can see from the gallery below, this GT500 also has extra cooling in the grille, as well as what looks to be a cooling system mounted where the driver’s side fog light should be. There are a couple minor differences between this red GT500 and the striped one. The red GT500’s lower grille is cut out, possibly to provide even more cooling to whatever this GT500 is packing under its hood. The second thing that this GT500 is sporting that the other one wasn’t is winglets on its front bumpers. The winglets look like they provide additional down force on the front of the car, as well as to help handling and aerodynamics.
So what does this all mean? Well, it’s possible that Ford is trying to combat the heat soak that the GT500 is prone to when hot lapping with additional cooling or even a new supercharger. That being said though, it’s long been rumored that Ford was going to drop an “EcoBoost” twin-turbo V-8 into the Shelby GT500. With Ford throwing turbocharged engines in everything from compact cars to full-size pickups, it’s a possibility that one could appear under the hood of the GT500. However, a prominent front-mount air-to-air intercooler that would be indicative of a turbo doesn’t seem to be present. So it appears the next GT500 will remain supercharged, in some form.
That’s not to say a turbocharged powerplant will never appear. Not only would an Ecoboost mill make sense in a GT500, it would also be more fuel efficient than the supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 that’s currently under the hood of the GT500. And what about those front winglets? Well there are two possibilities. They could either be one offs for the engineers to use while lapping the Nürburgring, or they could very well appear when the GT500 is next refreshed. Only time will tell.
Check out the full photo gallery over at Motor Trend.
Source: Motor Trend