If a 0-100-0 in 10.6 seconds Mustang doesn’t arrest those mid-engine Corvette daydreams, you don’t dream hardcore enough. Ford will sell you the most powerful street-legal Mustang—actually the most powerful street-legal Ford, ever built. It’s just announced the 2020 Shelby Mustang will pack 760 hp and 625 lb-ft of torque.
Can the human brain even keep up with this type of raw power?
Power is generated by a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 engine. Right now Ford is a bit mum about the internals, instead providing a bunch of info on the new transmission and the Mustang’s different “modes.” Let’s take a look.
Helping your brain process all of this power, and harnessing that power to the pavement is a Tremec TR-9070 DCT seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that Ford developed in conjunction with Tremec. Shifts happen in a split second, managed by the advanced control system executing 80-millisecond shifts.
The transmission incorporates a novel wet clutch system with five friction plates. Clutch surfaces are supplied with fluid only when thermal needs require it. This minimizes parasitic losses. Based on the torque curve, gears are pre-selected by an electrohydraulic shift mechanism. Low-leak solenoids then execute those 80-millisecond shifts.
Ford offers the ability to select five different driving modes with a switch on the console. You can transform the Mustang instantly from a more comfortable daily driver to a hardcore track car. Dampening, stability control, brake modulation, and steering feel are all changed instantly. Even the Mustang’s sound and the instrument panel change.
In normal mode, you have a docile, almost commuter car-like dynamic. Switch to sport mode and shift characteristics change. Shift timing is cut roughly 20%, with much more responsive throttle tip-in extending rpm ranges into the maximum torque curve.
“Every aspect of the Shelby GT500 driving experience changes the mode,” says Pat Morgan, Ford Performance powertrain manager. “Throttle responsiveness and snap of the shifts you feel in the seat of your pants, or the ‘pop and burble’ of the exhaust in performance mode. It’s a full multi-sensory visceral experience.”
Thinking straight line instead of the track? The Shelby Mustang features rpm-selectable launch control and an electronic line lock. For optimum quarter-mile times, pseudo launch control mandates serious launches any time without selecting a drive mode.
Transferring all of that power and split-second shift-ability is a 3.73:1 independent rear end with limited slip. A carbon-fiber driveshaft and 20-inch carbon fiber wheels reduce rotational mass. Made by Torsen, it features larger halfshafts and redesigned suspension hubs.
Getting from 100mph back down to zero are 16.5-inch Brembo brakes. They feature two-piece rotors which are the largest of any sports coupe made in the US. Everything from the performance to the brakes is massive.
Pricing starts at $73,995, but options can quickly take the price past the six-figure mark. There are separate handling and technology packages, and there is the $18,500 Carbon Fiber Track Package. Besides the afore-mentioned 20-inch carbon wheels, the package adds an adjustable rear wing and front splitter wickers.
The specifications and performance for this 180-mph Mustang are more than impressive. You’ve got to hand it to Ford for stealing some of the Corvette’s glory. This fall we’ll all have an opportunity to see for ourselves which car grabs you by the throat and calls to your speed-crazed dreams.