The #savethemanuals crowd may weep, but the Ford fanboys will still rejoice. The 2020 Ford Mustang GT500 is here. It’s loud, it’s powerful, it looks cool, and it has no clutch pedal.
That’s right. The more than 700 horsepower expected from the 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 will funnel through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission from Tremec. Drivers will take back manual control via paddles.
That doesn’t mean a manual won’t be available later. Not to mention, there’s a lot more to this super-snake story.
That horsepower number above makes it clear that Ford has Hellcats in its sight, along with the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Key performance components include a cross-plane crankshaft, forged connecting rods, 16.5-inch Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers, a carbon-fiber driveshaft, MagneRide suspension dampers, high-performance Michelin tires that Ford says were specifically designed for this ‘Stang, and available Pilot Sport 4S tires. The supercharger is a Roots-type unit. The car rides on 20-inch wheels.
Buyers also get line-lock, launch control, and track apps.
The front end is definitely more assertive than what’s seen on the lower-trim ‘Stangs. Other aero bits include a new front air damn, an adjustable carbon-fiber splitter, a functional slatted hood vent, larger air openings, a different grille, and a front splitter.
If that’s not enough, buyers can tick a box to receive a package containing carbon-fiber wheels, exposed carbon fiber on the rear wing and dash, Recaro leather seats with suede, and rear-seat delete. A high-capacity oil pan and an adjustable exhaust are also part of the Shelby mystique, along with hood pins.
Available drive modes include drag and track, along with weather. Ford also says the chassis is race-tuned, which is not surprising, as this isn’t just intended as a drag-strip missile. It longs to be a true track star.
Ford claims a 0-60 time of mid-three seconds, a quarter-mile run in under 11 seconds, and gear shifts in under 100 milliseconds.
Everyday amenities include a rear-view camera, Sync, in-car wi-fi, and a 12-inch digital instrument cluster.
As TTAC’s resident Mustang fanboy, my initial “hot take” is that the car looks bad-ass up close, but it’s weird to not see a manual-transmission shifter. I get the reasoning — no human can shift as fast at the DCT, and it may be tough to find a manual that can handle the torque this engine is likely to generate. Still, it’s jarring to see a Mustang like this with an automatic-trans shifter that looks yanked from an Explorer.
More importantly, Dodge and Chevrolet will be forced to take notice. Prepare for an onslaught of buff-book comparos. No matter which car wins, the Shelby appears ready for battle.
[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC]