The S550 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is one of the most impressive performance vehicles to come out of not only Ford, but America, period. It strikes a balance of drag strip straight line performance and world class handling that no other Mustang has ever achieved. And while the handling is what really elevates it from the previous GT500, it’s still a muscle car at the end of the day. That’s why a recent top speed test of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds got us excited to see what the 760 hp monster could do.
But unfortunately, we were quickly reminded of one huge limitation to the Mustang Shelby GT500: Ford included a top speed limiter to cap the vehicle at 180 mph. The 0-100 mph pull is extremely impressive, and it continues to accelerate at a hard and consistent rate until around 175 mph, where it approaches the limiter. The mighty Mustang did end up hitting 182 mph at its highest speed, but it’s clear the top speed limiter on the S550 GT500 is a real drag.
There also wasn’t much point in running the full 2.7 mile strip, as it sat around 180 mph for about 30 seconds. This could position the S550 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 as a potential half mile of mile run champion.
It’s a little surprising Ford decided to put that 180 mph limiter on the Mustang Shelby GT500, considering the standout selling point of the previous Shelby GT500. The final iteration of the S197 generation Mustang came with a 200 mph top speed, which hasn’t been matched by a production Mustang since. Based on the rate of acceleration of the 2020 GT500 in the video, there’s a good chance it could hit that magical 200 mph mark or beyond.
Hopefully somebody can figure out how to remove the limiter on the GT500 and give it the chance it deserves at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds some other time.