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Its Top Speed Is 180 MPH

Ford Performance Mustang Shelby GT500 S550
Image Copyright Lucas Allen, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

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.

Ford Mustang

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.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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