Ford dropped the covers on the new Mustang Shelby GT500 at the Detroit Auto Show this year. Ford claims that the new GT500 is its most powerful street-legal car ever with more than 700hp on tap.

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 starts with a hand-built supercharged 5.2-litre V8 aluminium alloy engine that has surpassed the output figures of its previous generation models. Ford claims that in order to keep the intake air cooler and deliver a lower centre of gravity, the engineers inverted a 2.65-litre roots-type supercharger with an air-to-liquid intercooler tucked neatly in the V8 engine valley.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT50

The engine transfers its juice through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to the rear wheels.

Similar to its stablemate GT350, the aluminium alloy block features weight-saving wire-arc cylinder liners and high-flow aluminium cylinder heads along with larger forged connecting rods, improved lubrication, and cooling passages. Beneath that, Ford has added a structural oil pan that adds strength, reduces vibration and features an active baffle system to keep the oil where it’s needed.

The engine transfers its juice to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission through a new carbon-fibre prop shaft, powering the rear wheels. The new Mustang Shelby GT500 reaches triple-digit speeds in a claimed 3.5 seconds and is capable of shifting gears in under 100 milliseconds. It also comes with a series of drive modes that are tailored toward the road, track and drag-strip driving.

New Mustang Shelby GT500

In order to tame the staggering 700+hp, Ford has provided the GT500 with two handling packages.

The new Mustang is also claimed to have a host of tweaks in the chassis including new lighter coil springs, active dampers, revised suspension geometry, Brembo six-piston callipers and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. It will also feature line-lock system which holds the car’s front brakes when stationary, allowing the driver to do some old-fashioned burnouts without wearing the rear pads.

In order to tame the staggering 700+hp, Ford has provided the GT500 with two handling packages. The less extreme version does with adjustable suspension top-mounts and a fixed rear lip-spoiler, while the hardcore pack adds wider 20-inch carbon-fibre wheels, an adjustable GT4 wing, and a functional splitter with canards. Shelby has also dropped the Mustang’s rear bench for more weight savings.

Ford has been suspiciously mum while Dodge’s Challenger Hellcat and Chevrolet’s Camaro ZL1 dominated the performance muscle segment with 707hp and 650hp respectively. However, with the features and performance that the new ‘Stang puts on the table, buyers might face a harder dilemma in choosing among the three.