The model, which was previewed in a video (bottom) at the Detroit motor show in January, is being co-engineered by Shelby. The iconic tuning firm’s famous Cobra logo and racing stripes will adorn the model.
The super-performance muscle car will revive a model Ford stopped selling in 2015. It will be the most powerful street-legal Mustang offered yet, with more than twice the horsepower of the first-ever V8 performance model of 1967, which is featured in the preview video.
The GT500 uses a further developed and ‘charged version of the Mustang GT350‘s 5.2-litre engine. Although Ford has remained tight-lipped on the car’s specifications, rumours suggest the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox from the Ford GT supercar could be used to channel power to the GT500’s rear wheels.
Ford is expected to build a limited run of GT500s, and to put the build in the hands of a specialist company, but the company won’t specify the size of the batch.
Sales are due to begin in 2019, but, like the GT350, the GT500 is unlikely to be sold in the UK. However, the GT500 looks a strong candidate to appear on US racetracks, like so many of its Shelby predecessors.
Ford has announced the Shelby GT500 will be one of a number of new versions of the Mustang – which will include a hybrid version, part of a major electrification strategy of the firm’s North American line-up. Ford says the hybrid system in the Mustang Hybrid will be tuned to ‘deliver V8-like performance with more low-end torque’.
Ford will also launch a new GT California Special edition, which features a limited-edition design package. The California Special, likely to be for the US market only, takes its name from an early personalised version of the original Mustang created by a dealer. That model will be one of the first Mustangs to feature a rev-matching system to smooth out gear changes.
A video released by Ford at the Detroit show revealed the Mustang Shelby GT500 with wide longitudinal body stripes, and with two lights set centrally into the grille.