The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 media drive was last week, and with it came the final performance numbers we’ve been waiting for. As expected, the GT500 is a gold medal triathlete of a muscle car, with world-class road course capabilities, supercar quickness, and everyday livability. Of course, for its price, it ought to be. Full-on comparison tests between the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE are bound to be around the corner, but for now, here are the facts.
The 4,171-pound, 760 horsepower 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 can rocket from 0-60 mph in just 3.3 seconds, beating the last-generation GT500, as well as the 650 hp Camaro ZL1 and Challenger Hellcat Redeye thanks to its lightning quick seven-speed Tremec dual clutch transmission. Yet that’s a full half-second slower than the (more affordable) 2020 Corvette Stingray, which has a more diminutive 490 horsepower. Nevertheless, the hefty GT500 has superior power-to-weight.
At the end of the quarter-mile, however, it’s the Shelby GT500 that’s the superior American performance car. With ideal conditions, the Mustang can hammer down a 10.7-second quarter mile @ 133 mph, while the 797 horsepower Hellcat Redeye does it in 10.8 @ 131 mph, the Camaro ZL1 in 11.4 seconds @ 127 mph, and the C8 Corvette seeing 11.2 seconds @ 122 mph. It’s even better at the drag strip than the incredible Ford GT supercar, which does it in 10.8 seconds @ 134 mph.
The only muscle car do accomplish a faster quarter-mile time from the factory was the 9-second Dodge Demon, which is no longer built.
This is all on top of the Bugatti Veyron-beating 0-100-0 time of an insane 10.6 seconds. However, the one metric that the GT500 falls behind on is overall top speed, at 180 miles per hour. This is largely because of the downforce the Ford muscle car utilizes to make it slice and dice around the corners at high speeds. Downforce counts as drag, and can severely inhibit the top speed of a high performance vehicle, regardless of the horsepower number.
Nevertheless, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is so capable that it’s effectively de-throned the $400,000+ Ford GT supercar as the company’s performance king in several metrics. But we still await to see what it can do on the road course. Will it be able to defeat the Camaro ZL1 1LE around Virginia International Raceway at the next Car & Driver Lightning Lap? Will it astound during Motor Trend’s Best Driver’s Car? We hope to know soon enough.