The new GT500’s top speed has been confirmed – and it’s slower than we thought.
Ford finally lifted the wraps off the all-new 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 at Detroit earlier this month. But while the new GT500 is billed as the most powerful production car Ford has ever made, the Blue Oval automaker was surprisingly light on technical specifications.
So far, we know the car’s supercharged 5.2-liter aluminum alloy V8 engine produces over 700 hp, enabling the 2020 GT500 to hit 0-62 mph in around 3.5 seconds and do the quarter-mile in less than 11 seconds. Ford has also now confirmed the new GT500’s top speed – and it’s slower than we were hoping.
According to the publication, the new GT500 will have a manufacturer-limited top speed of 180 mph. That’s not exactly slow, but the last-generation model was capable of hitting 200 mph. Crucially, this also means the new GT500 is slower than its main rival, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, which tops out at 202 mph.
The GT500’s slower top speed has given Ford some advantages, however. For starters, it costs a lot to develop a car capable of reaching 200 mph, which is difficult to justify when very few owners will achieve these speeds. It has also allowed Ford to engineer a new dual-clutch transmission and develop a high-downforce aero package for the car.
Ford has also released new details about how it used supercomputers and 3D models to study airflow cooling for the engine and brakes. “This all-new aero design merges state-of-the-art design and materials technology with the craftsmanship of Ford racing expertise to create the most aero-capable Mustang ever,” said Steve Thompson, Ford Performance vehicle dynamics engineer. “It’s powerful, balanced and consistent – even over extended track runs – which works to deliver more fun and greater confidence for drivers.”
With GT500s equipped with an optional Carbon Fiber Track Package, a large rear wing generates 500 pounds of downforce at the car’s maximum speed, whereas the standard GT500 gets a new rear spoiler dubbed the “swing,” which Ford describes as a hybrid between a spoiler and a wing, that produces 379 pounds of downforce at 180 mph. Originally, the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 was due to go on sale in the fall, but Ford is now saying it will arrive this summer.