When it comes to power, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 isn’t exactly short of it. But the new Dodge Challenger Super Stock has even more. And even though it’s not as popular, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is the Shelby GT500’s match on the track. The new Shelby American Ford Mustang GT500 and GT350 Special Editions aim to change that.
Shelby American’s Ford Mustang GT500 and GT350 Special Editions
The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is already the most-powerful Mustang ever built, Car and Driver reports. Its 5.2-liter supercharged V8 makes 760 hp and 625 lb-ft, sent to the rear wheels via a 10-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, with a 5.0-liter V8 making 460 hp and 420 lb-ft, isn’t as powerful. However, it’s arguably more special, Car and Driver reports, due to its Ferrari-like cross-plane crank. And while it can’t go 0-60 in 3.6 seconds like the GT500, it’s only 0.3 seconds behind. Plus, unlike the G500, the Shelby GT350 offers a 6-speed manual.
But, although the Mustang GT500 and GT350 use the Shelby name, they’re technically not Shelbys, Motor Trend explains. Instead, Ford licenses the name. As such, they’re not listed in the official Shelby registry. It’s a bit like some classic Bugatti clubs’ treatment of Pur Sang’s replicas. The new Shelby American GT500SE and GT350SE, though, are genuine Shelby products.
The GT350 and more race-focused GT350R Special Editions don’t make any additional power, Road & Track reports. However, in keeping with the model’s handling focus, they do have upgraded springs, anti-roll bars, tires, and wheels. Because 2020 marks the GT350’s 55th anniversary, the SE also gets special badges to mark the occasion, Roadshow reports.
Shelby American’s Mustang GT500SE, though, goes a bit further. In addition to stronger suspension components, it has stiffer springs, anti-roll bars, camber plates, and recalibrated magnetorheological dampers, Hagerty reports. It also gets stronger wheels, stickier tires, and a ventilated carbon-fiber hood.
And all this is necessary due to the added power. Shelby hasn’t released official ratings as of this writing. However, thanks to upgrades to the supercharger and intercooler, the GT500SE puts out “over 800 hp” on 93-octane gas.
Pricing and availability
Shelby American’s Special Edition package is available for every 2015-2020 GT350 and GT350R. However, only 2020 models will receive the anniversary badging. And whether you’re after the GT500SE or the GT350SEs, you’ll need to act fast. Shelby American is only making 100 SEs for each model year.
The 2020 Shelby American Mustang GT500 Special Edition adds $29,995 to the car’s $72,900 starting price. And that’s before options like the wide-body kit, Michelin Cup 2 tires, and racing harness bar. However, the price includes a donation to the Carroll Shelby Foundation, which provides medical and educational assistance to those in need, Motor1 reports. The first 15 GT500SE reservations also come with a few ‘First 15’ perks, including special dashboard plaques, Shelby gear, and a trip to the factory.
Meanwhile, the Shelby GT350 and GT350R Special Editions, with a $9995 starting price, are a bit cheaper. As is the model itself; it starts at $60,440. Like the GT500, Shelby’s also offering it with a ‘First 15’ package. But there’s another incentive to order yours quickly: after 2020, the Mach 1 replaces the GT350.
The Shelby Mustang GT500SE and GT350SE vs. the competition
With the GT500SE’s output ratings still undisclosed, it’s difficult to directly compare against some of its rivals. However, it will likely come close to the Dodge Challenger Super Stock’s 807 hp, or even exceed it. And the base GT500 already makes more power than the Camaro ZL1 1LE.
As of this writing, Dodge hasn’t released official Super Stock pricing. However, Car and Driver estimates it will cost a bit more than the $80,190 Redeye. Which makes it noticeably cheaper than the Shelby Mustang GT500 Special Edition.
However, the Super Stock is focused almost entirely on drag racing. And even with more power than the ZL1 or GT500, the Redeye lost to both in Car and Driver’s and Throttle House’s testing. As for the ZL1 1LE, Car and Driver ranks it ahead of the base GT500 in terms of handling, while offering more standard features at a lower price.
The Shelby Mustang GT350 Special Edition, though, is arguably even more of a value. The non-SE matched Porsche’s pricier 718 Cayman in Car and Driver’s testing in terms of handling and performance. And it lost to the significantly more expensive Porsche 911 Carrera S by a very slim margin, MT reports.
Seeing how sharp these snakes’ fangs are, though, will require a proper side-by-side comparison.
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