With the unveiling of the S650 Ford Mustang, there were tons of details to decipher. Because not only were the EcoBoost, Mustang GT, the convertibles, and the mighty Dark Horse with 500 horsepower, there were major motorsports announcements. This included the Mustang GT3, and GT4, Dark Horse N, Dark Horse R, and more. Indeed, it felt almost as if Ford announced the entire product life cycle of the S650 Mustang in one fell swoop. Except, they didn’t.
While the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse is impressive, to be sure, it’s certainly not going to be the end-all-be-all of the S650 generation. And spotted recently were some equally exciting and peculiar future Mustangs that are on the way. Some have speculated that they could be the next-generation Shelby GT500. Which, if you’re a Mustang fan, seems premature. The GT500 was the apex of every Mustang generation before it, and followed variants like the Shelby GT350, Bullitt, and Boss 302.
Then, there’s something even more radical on the way that was spotted: a potential street-legal version of the upcoming S650 Mustang GT3 race car.
Future S650 Ford Mustang Performance Variant: Is It A GT500?
Spy photographers recently got a look at what they speculate is a test mule for the next-gen Ford Mustang Shelby GT500—featuring a new front fascia with styling similar to the Dark Horse model. While possible, it’s likely not the grand finale of the S650 Mustang just yet.
According to Motor1 (pictures), there appears to be a larger lower grille for increased airflow, while wider front track has the tires offset beyond the wheel wells. An eventual production version would have the flared arches so that the wheels and tires are nice and tucked. Additionally, the lower side sills appear to be wider than usual. At the back, there are massive quad exhaust tips. It’s unclear if the 5.0L Coyote V8 is under the hood in its naturally aspirated form, or of there’s the aid of forced induction. What’s lacking, however, is a bulged hood that would make room for a supercharger, which a GT500 would likely have. The S550 Mustang GT500 was powered by a 5.2L “Predator” supercharged V8 engine, pushing out 760 horsepower. This engine can now be found exclusively in the Ford F-150 Raptor R, tuned to 700 horsepower.
Interestingly, this high-performance Mustang development vehicle is a convertible, indicating that this potential Shelby GT500 could also have a drop-top version. But, as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, it’s more likely that this new variant is something else. Names like the Shelby GT350, Mach 1, Boss 302, and Cobra are all on the shelf. And with the new introduction of Dark Horse, it’s possible that this new pony could see a new name entirely.
If this next-gen Mustang prototype is cause for excitement, wait until you read about the Mustang GT3-inspired version that was recently spotted.
Not long ago, Ford Performance unveiled the Ford Mustang GT3 race car, which is quite an impressive creation. That was followed by a tweet from CEO Jim Farley asking if the company should make a street-legal version. It turns out that that’s precisely what they’re doing as spy photos posted to the Mustang7G forum shows off a disguised S650 Mustang with a wing and modifications to the rear deck, along with a camouflaged front-fascia hiding what appears to be a more aggressive grille. That aside, its stance appears to be the same as the rest of the lineup, missing the widebody style that’s typical of high-performance variants like the Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500 from the last generation.
The rear end reveals the most exciting detail: a revised bumper and a center-exit exhaust hidden behind a wire mesh cage. The outboard placement of the S650’s exhaust tips have been covered over. The car apparently sounds exceptionally aggressive, and the prototype is riding on Pirelli PZero tires. The car looks extremely aggressive and slick in the black paint, and we’re sure it’ll turn plenty of heads whenever Ford decides to unveil it.