Ford’s Shelby GT500 Mustang is back with a Hellcat-challenging 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque—and looks to match.
Jay Leno, a self-described worshiper of Carroll Shelby, is a fan of Cobra Mustangs. The GT500 in his garage this time around is the first he’s seen, and Ford’s own Dave Pericak joins him for a walk-around, a discussion of the GT500’s history, and yes, some wheel time.
Pericak goes over the modifications that make the GT500 tick, from the supercharged and beefed-up 5.2-liter cross-plane crank V-8 (as opposed to the GT350’s flat-plane crank design) to the thoroughly revised and adjustable aerodynamics designed to help keep the big Shelby planted and in one piece, which Leno admires as a function-over-form addition to the big Mustang.
“People have no idea, especially here in L.A., I see people put wings [on]. There’s a real art and science to getting a wing exactly right; and when you get it wrong, it’s actually worse [than stock].”
The GT500 also boasts 16.5-inch front rotors—the largest on any coupe on the market— and like the hopped-up GT350R, the GT500 offers carbon-fiber wheels for reduced weight. Under the hood, the strut tower brace is made from magnesium, and the design incorporates cut-outs to optimize its weight and a curve to fit over the supercharger.
On the road, Leno admires the GT500’s power, poise and perhaps most notably, its sound.
“It’s a nice driving car…you just want to go somewhere in this thing,” Leno says behind the wheel. “I think we’ve reached the point where original equipment is as good as it gets. There’s nothing really an aftermarket guy can do to this to make it faster than what it is now, without breaking emissions rules or something of that nature.”
The GT500 sounds incredible on the road, and that alone is worth the watch. Check it out in the video above.