There’s a lot more to building a 200 mph Shelby GT500 Mustang than simply bolting in a 5.8-liter supercharged V-8 rated at 662 horsepower and 631 pound-feet of torque. Without aero enhancements, lift at speed is a very real (and very dangerous) problem, and driveline improvement are necessary to ensure the driveshaft doesn’t explode at high rpms. As a flagship Mustang, the Shelby GT500 also has to feel a bit more refined than the rest of the herd, something the old GT500 fell short of (especially in regards to shifting).
To help the new Shelby GT500 achieve its performance potential, Ford engineers gave the car a larger clutch to handle the engine’s torque, then optimized the clutch pedal assembly for better feel. Next came the shift linkage, which was revised for smoother and more positive gear selection.
Underneath, the Shelby GT500 gets a single-piece carbon fiber driveshaft that reduces both vehicle weight and inertial weight. The hollow carbon fiber tube uses splined connectors that are pressed into place, ensure better strength than a joint bonded with adhesives.
Up front, the GT500’s fascia has been revised to reduce drag (permitting higher speeds), but more importantly it’s also been changed to reduce lift at speed. Airflow into the engine is a key factor, too, since keeping under-hood temps where they belong can be a challenge on a race track.
While the GT500 is a strong performer out of the box, owners who track their cars will want to add the Performance Package for its Torsen limited slip rear differential and the Track Package, which includes improved cooling.