Just a few years after the original Ford Mustang rolled off the factories, Ford’s
association with Shelby to add some performance to the Mustang resulted in the first Shelby GT350 model in 1965. Just a few years later, in 1967, the Mustang GT500 was launched with a massive big-block V-8 under the hood with 428 cubic inches of displacement, resulting in one of the most powerful road cars of the time. More than half a century since then, the Shelby name still holds a special place in the heart of enthusiasts. After being out of production for quite a while, Ford decided to bring back the brand in 2005 with the fifth-generation Mustang. The GT500 was also reintroduced two years later and was built from 2007 to 2014 with a facelift in between. Later, Ford decided to launch the latest GT500 as a replacement for the GT350 in 2020 with 760 hp of power from a supercharged V-8 engine. However, all Of this performance and the Shelby badge come at a cost. The latest GT500 was launched at a starting price of $70,000, which is already a significant premium over the standard Mustang. Prices crept up to $70,300 back in 2021 and remained stable up until late 2021.
However, as of 2022, a box standard
Mustang GT500 will set you back nearly $74,555, resulting in a price bump of over $4,000 in just a year. But that’s not all; the GT500 also qualifies for the gas guzzler tax which amounts to nearly $2,500, bringing the total price to $78,350 if we also include destination charges. While this may seem like a lot, some models were sold for as high as $200,000 last year because of the insane new car market and high demand. Even with the significant price bump, the GT500 is carried over for 2022 with no notable changes. Ford has also revealed plans of rebooting the GT500KR, which bumps up the power to 900 hp.
The new Mustang Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition
To celebrate the 55th anniversary of the GT500, Ford has launched a limited edition model, similar to the GT350 Heritage treatment a few years back. GT500 Heritage models will also be available in the Brittany Blue shade with a choice of Wimbledon White or Absolute Black racing stripes. The overall design and paint scheme takes a lot of inspiration from the original 1967 model. The Heritage edition also demands a small premium over the standard GT500 with a starting price of $78,835. To top it all off, Ford also offers hand-painted livery for an extra $10,000. The drivetrain and
mechanicals are identical to the standard GT500.
What made the GT500 special?
Even if we consider the original 1967 Mustang GT500, its aggressive design and colour scheme stood out and were easily recognizable when parked side by side with a standard model. The latest generation continues that trend with a completely
revamped exterior design including a bulging hood, flared wheel arches, massive 20-inch wheels, front and rear splitter for better downforce, and the signature Shelby cobra badge at both ends. From the rear, the quad tailpipes and rear diffuser stand out. Dimensionally, the GT500 gets a slightly shorter wheelbase; but is bigger in every other measure thanks to the splitters and extended wheel arches.
On the inside, the most noticeable difference is the Shelby badge on the steering wheel and the Recaro bucket seats with extra bolstering. The standard gear lever is also replaced with a simpler gear selector dial to control the potent 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. A closer inspection will also reveal the new carbon-fibre instrument panel and several toggle switches near the engine start button. As usual, back seats are included if you want to ferry around more passengers. While they may look aggressive, the front seats are comfortable to handle the daily grind or longer Journeys. As a whole, the interior is a welcome upgrade over the standard Mustang without being too aggressive. Coming to the heart of the matter, the most notable upgrade for the GT500 model is the potent 5.2L supercharged V-8 under the hood dubbed the ‘Predator” that revs to a stratospheric 7,300 RPM redline, producing 760 hp. With all that power sent to the rear wheels through an equally potent 7-speed Tremec dual-clutch transmission, the GT500 reaches 60 MPH in just 3.4 seconds and crosses the quarter-mile in 10.7 seconds.
The GT500 Carbon Fiber Track package
Although the Mustang GT500 will be produced in limited numbers, expect some of it to be optioned with the carbon fibre track package that adds 20-inch exposure. carbon-fibre wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, a rear wing, and unique interior trims to keep the weight down. Recaro bucket seats are also included as standard, and the Track Pack gets rid of the rear seats for good.
How does the Mustang GT500 compare to rivals?
While it may seem sedate and unassuming, especially compared to the modern crop of supercars, the Shelby GT500 is surprisingly quick around a track thanks to the thoroughly reworked suspension and chassis. Combine that with the aerodynamic bits and sticky Michelin rubber, and you have a track monster on your hands. The standard adaptive dampers are aided by a Torsen limited-slip differential to improve traction. Further improving confidence are the six-pot Brembo brakes at the front with massive 16.5-inch discs. While it may be a scalpel at the hands of a skilled driver, the Mustang GT500 is not for the faint-hearted. Push it hard and you can get into some trouble if you’re not careful. That being said, with a skilled driver behind the wheel, the Shelby GT500 can put some supercars like the Lamborghini Huracan Evo to shame around the track.
Overall, the Mustang Shelby GT500 justifies its high price tag with stellar performance and track capabilities. It also has all the makings to be a future classic, making it highly
desirable among track-focused muscle cars.