2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Test: The Best Mustang of All Time
Anyone who thinks the Shelby GT500 is just another drag-strip special is living in a bygone era.
When it came time to execute this 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 track test, we already knew a few things about the car. Indeed, from the moment we first drove it last fall, we were blown away by its completeness.
The star of the show out of the gate is absolutely the 5.2-liter supercharged V-8; with 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque, how could it not be? Even in today's realm of overly powered performance cars—does 500 hp even register as special to anyone in 2020?—the opportunity to dip your foot into more than 700 hp isn't something many people have ever experienced, or will ever get to.
Numbers-wise, the straight-line figures are impressive. We track-tested two versions of the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, one with the Handling Package and one with the Track Pack. The Handling Pack car, equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, accelerated from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and covered the quarter-mile run in 11.4 seconds at 130 mph. There's not much to complain about there, but switch to the Track Pack and its stickier Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tires and better off-the-line traction, and the numbers improve to 3.4 and 11.0 at 132 mph. Mind you, we conducted this test on a hot day at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and have not applied any mathematical correction formula to account for temperatures or barometric pressure; doing so would have no doubt improved them and made them even more glamourous on a spec sheet.
But as we learned when we ultimately awarded an Automobile All-Stars award to the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, road courses are where this beast really comes alive. In the hands of pro racer Andy Pilgrim, the Handling Pack GT500 clocked a test time around NCM Motorsports Park of 2 minutes, 14.77 seconds. That puts it just 0.2-second behind the 2019 Acura NSX we track-tested on the same circuit, and less than a second behind the stickier-tire equipped 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R.
Switch to the Track Pack-equipped 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, though, and any track test becomes a whole new world. With its grippier rubber—similar to the 2020 GT350R's for a better apples-to-apples comparison—and more aerodynamic downforce, we clocked a blazing time of 2:09.70, well into supercar territory. That time is more than a second quicker than the 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S and the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R we tested, proving the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 takes corners just a bit more than epically serious.
Times are great, you say, but what was the experience like behind the wheel? Watch this episode of Pro Racer's Take to find out why Pilgrim still has a grin on his face.