HISTORY OF THE 3rd GEN SVT SHELBY MUSTANG GT500 (2022-??)
The third generation of the Special Vehicle Team (SVT) Shelby Mustang’s GT500 was revealed to the world at the January 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but only arrived at markets in the fall of 2020. Like previous iterations of the GT500, the 2020 model placed its focus on performance by using the most advanced technology Ford has seen in its cars. Part of this advancement was the introduction of Ford’s new powertrain that can deliver higher levels of both power and torque.
Hermann Salenbauch, current SVT director, made it a point that the car uses its most powerful street-legal V8 engine to date along with a fast transmission system to produce performance above the competition.
THE SVT SHELBY MUSTANG (3RD GEN)
The third generation of SVT Shelby Mustang GT500, as the previous generations, came from the partnership that Shelby and Ford’s SVT formed and was based on the previous advancements that the second generation of the SVT GT500 achieved during its lifespan. Some things were kept from the previous models, such as the 2011 GT500’s aluminum V8 engine although it did see a revamp for enhanced performance.
The initial 2020 GT500 model was given a hand-built supercharged 5.2-liter aluminum alloy engine which was able to deliver 760 horsepower and to ensure that intake air was colder, the SVT designed a new inverted 2.65-liter roots-type supercharger inside the engine valley. Along with these upgrades, the car also features wire-arc cylinder liners, forged connecting rods, aluminum cylinder heads, and new cooling paths. Underneath this, a new oil pan was added that not only reduces vibrations but also sports a unique active baffle system for oil management.
The carbon fiber driveshaft was improved through its Ford GT supercar’s dual-clutch transmission, the TREMEC 7-speed dual-clutch, which can shift in under 100 milliseconds, to allow the car to output more torque and power. This addition enables several drive modes such as sport, track, and naturally drag.
Notably, the 2020 GT500 offers the highest-ever lateral acceleration from a Mustang through the usage of a new electronic power steering unit and improved frontal and rear coil springs. New active MagneRide suspension was also included by the SVT to increase performance and driver control.
Design is another focal point of all Shelby vehicles, and the 2020 GT500 took on that legacy with a vicious look that matches its performance. A large grille opening and a revamped hood add an intimidating flair to the car, which was the intent of the cross-functional team of designers.
EVOLUTIONS AND CHANGES YEAR BY YEAR
Ford’s SVT started working with Shelby for the third generation of the SVT Shelby Mustang and this partnership culminated in 2019 when the 2020 GT500 model was announced. Both parties will work on this new model to produce upgrades that can significantly add value and performance using advanced technologies and new car designs. Jim Farley, Chief Executive Officer of Ford, chimed in during the production of this 2020 model by adding that Carroll Shelby would have loved this model more than any other.
2020 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT500SE
Since 2015, Shelby American has produced the SE line to commemorate its founder, Carroll Shelby, by using the design principles that Shelby used 50 years prior in its cars. A large part of the appeal of the SE line is the exclusivity that each car offers, and this is due to the 100-unit limit that each iteration has seen since 2015.
The 2020 GT500SE was created with performance in mind, and Shelby ensured that this model would be able to outperform the 2020 GT500. Naturally, Shelby also improved handling and suspension to deal with the increase in horsepower through several modifications, which in turn helped produce a modern high-performance car that serves as a callback to the old days of Shelby cars.
Like the GT500, the 2020 GT500SE is equipped with a 5.2-liter V8 along with a Ford Performance supercharger that outputs 800 horsepower, but with a revised pulley that Shelby American credited with the increase of 40 horsepower compared to the 2020 GT500. Furthermore, the car’s engine was modified with a high-volume intercooler, an improved heat exchanger, and a less restrictive Borla cat-back exhaust system.
The GT500SE was also given a new suspension system that lowered the car’s height, which served to improve stability as well as its cornering ability. Further upgrades came in the form of new front and rear springs, and performance caster camber plates which allow full front-end alignment adjustability.
As previously mentioned, the GT500SE saw several cosmetic changes, some of which served to improve the car’s performance. One such change was the introduction of a dry carbon ventilated hood, which aside from increasing the visual appeal of the car, lowered the car’s curb weight. The Shelby badges were also included in several key spots on the car’s exterior, such as on both sides adjacent to the doors. A feature hard to miss was the signature striping that runs along the length of the car.
The interior of the car was given new leather recovers that featured custom Shelby embroidery. The floormats also were given this custom Shelby embroidery, and to add to the car’s value, the GT500SE was given a sequential placard.
2022 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT500 HERITAGE EDITION
The 2022 GT500 Heritage Edition pays homage to the reputation that the GT500 has created since 1967, and this is partly due to Carroll Shelby’s words. Shelby admitted during the creation of the original GT500 55 years ago, that it was the first car that he felt he was genuinely proud about. Dealers began to take orders on November 15, 2021, and production of the model delivered cars in the spring of 2022.
The 2022 GT500 Heritage Edition was engineered with the thought of producing the most powerful street-legal Ford ever, and the car delivers this promise using powertrain technologies that allow for supercar levels of performance. A feature that did not lose its spot in the GT500 was the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which allows the car access to several drive modes such as drag and track.
The model uses a supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 which outputs 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque, and with its standard tires manages to reach 60 mph in 3.4 seconds.
External design and look makes use of Brittany Blue exterior paint and the signature striping that runs along the length car and a unique GT500 logo. Notably, Brittany Blue Metallic paint will be exclusive to the GT500 Heritage and Coastal Editions only.
SVT SHELBY MUSTANG (3RD GENERATION) FAST FACTS
- The 2020 Shelby GT500 will run 0-60 mph in 3.3 sec and the quarter-mile in less than 10.7 seconds at 130+ MPH.
- The 2020 Shelby GT500SE runs on 93-octane pump gas.
- GT500SE features is a new vented carbon-fiber hood that's 30 pounds lighter than the original.
- The 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 has a base price of $73,995 but can reach past $95,000 with options.
LEGACY OF THE SVT SHELBY MUSTANG (3RD GEN)
The legacy of the third generation of the SVT Shelby GT500 will heavily play on the impressive performance that it has achieved with its 760-horsepower 5.2-liter V8, as it is the most power-dense supercharged V8 in the world. Beyond the raw power, that engine upgrades will bring to future iterations of Shelby’s GT500 is the advancement in the form of a new control system that allows the car to optimize its performance for distinct settings. These drive modes will improve new models to adapt to their users and environment in such a way that GT500s will be able to perform at their best in all situations.