The Ford Mustang has been wowing car lovers for years, and it just keeps getting better. With 760 hp and 625 lb-ft of torque, it has more power under the hood than many so-called supercars. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that Road and Track awarded the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 the “Performance Car of the Year” award, even though the competition was fiercer than ever.
What is the ‘Performance Car of the Year’ award?
The Performance Car of the Year is an event planned by Road and Track that is one of the most anticipated competitions to hit the auto world. It’s where some of the best supercars on the market are brought together to be put through their paces. One could make the argument that it’s similar to the Kentucky Derby in some respects.
The cars are put through their paces both on the road and on the track. This means that a car must be able to perform as well on curvy mountainous roads as it does on a straight track where picking up speed quickly is essential.
This is the eighth year anniversary of the event, and thanks to COVID-19, Road and Track had to get a little creative with how it put on the event. This meant less time to spend with the cars, as Road and Track learned them inside and out. Even so, it was an exciting event that will be remembered for years to come.
The competition was fierce
To be a contender, a car must have debuted in the past 12 months. Road and Track reports that previous contenders aren’t allowed to rejoin the race unless they have been through some serious updates that automakers only do once every few years.
This year, there were some amazing cars in the event. The Mercedes-AMG CLA45, Bentley Continental GT, Polestar 1, BMW M8 Competition, Ford Shelby Mustang GT500, Porsche 718 Cayman T, Mini Cooper John Cooper Works GP, Jaguar F-Type R, and the RAM 1500 TRX were all contenders.
Each vehicle was completely different, so judging the event was no easy feat. Where one vehicle reigned supreme, it might fail miserably in another area.
The cars hit the Lime Rock Park track in New England, which is considered one of the most challenging tracks in the U.S. It may only be 1.5 miles, but it gives the driver a good idea of what a car can do.
Once each car hit the track, it was time to hit the roadways. Hurricane Zeta was making her presence known at the time, which meant that the cars had to go over mud puddles and standing water. The Ram TRX excelled here, but another vehicle took home the crown.
The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 triumphs
Considering the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 can reach a speed of 100 mph in a mere 10.6 seconds, it’s no surprise that it got the attention of Road and Track.
According to Road and Track, “It was the quickest vote in PCOTY history. A unanimous choice that should be obvious by now. The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a true triumph, and one of the all-time great pony cars. A genre-redefining epic that brings a little Trans Am to the street and makes you feel like a hero on the track. There are so few cars like this, a willing partner thoughtfully designed and engineered to be a track rat and a back-road demon alike, an ultra-high-performance brute that’s useful in all kinds of weather.”
With a cost of $70,300, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is definitely out of the price range for many consumers. Even so, it’s a beautiful car that is worthy of the attention it gets.