IT HAD TO HAPPEN. You didn’t think Ford was going to sit around in Dearborn, Michigan, gnawing on chicken-shawarma sandwiches while its competitors built Hellcats and ZL1s, did you? Carmakers might be dumping increasingly large loads of money into ride-sharing schemes and electric cars, but meanwhile the big-boy pony cars are playing with 700-plus horsepower. Seven-hundred-plus horsepower. Think about that for a second. The Le Mans– class-winning, half-million-dollar Ford GT makes 647 horsepower. A $300,000 McLaren 720S only just crests the 700-hp summit. And the Porsche 911 Turbo S produces a paltry 580.
So yes, Ford has launched the latest salvo in this power war with the 2020 Shelby GT500. It is what longtime Mustang designer Melvin Betancourt describes as the model line’s “holy shit” car.
Holy shit indeed.
The supercharged V-8 thumper makes— drum roll, please—“700-plus” horsepower. Ford won’t say precisely what the GT500 will be rated at and claims it won’t have official numbers until this summer, mere months before the vehicle goes on sale. But it doesn’t make much sense for Ford to produce a vehicle that makes less power than its main adversaries. The Blue Oval will need to best the output of Chevy’s 650-hp Camaro ZL1 and the Dodge Challenger’s updated 717-hp Hellcat. We’re guessing that the GT500 will come in around its rumored 720 horsepower and pump out in the neighborhood of 650 pound-feet of torque.