Last month, Mustang enthusiasts from around the world were thrilled to hear the rumors that a select few automotive journalists were getting the chance to test drive the 2020 Shelby GT500 in October.
While the team at Ford Performance kept a pretty tight seal on the exact details of this event, we did learn that the test drive of Ford’s flagship vehicle would focus on the three specific areas this car is designed for: the street, the road course, and of course, the drag strip.
So it came as no surprise when we heard that AmericanMuscle’s Justin Dugan had been selected to fly out to the Shelby Heritage Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, to take part in this historic media test session.
The confidence this car inspires is really out of this world. As an ‘average’ road course driver, I left my five laps feeling like Billy Johnson! – Justin Dugan, AmericanMuscle
“After months of speculation, the day has finally come to put this car to the test on the street, on the road course, and yes, even the drag strip,” said Justin. “Let’s see what this Halo Mustang is really all about!”
The first part of Justin’s video review starts on the street, and this is where he gives us a closer look at the stunning Grabber Lime GT500. And you can immediately tell by the smile on his face that this is not your average Mustang!
Justin proceeds to test out the different driving modes on the street and gives viewers his honest opinion on just how this car handles on the open road.
Once he finds an open area to stop, he proceeds to give us a complete walkaround of the car, noting the many advancements over the GT350 and even the previous GT500, including the advanced aerodynamics, braking, and cooling efficiency.
And of course, Justin also gives us a much-needed recap of the powertrain improvements on the new GT500, including the addition of Eaton’s 2.65-liter supercharger, on top of the 5.2-liter cross-plane Predator V8.
This lethal combo helps produce an impressive 760 horsepower at 7300 rpm and 625 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm!
AmericanMuscle Hits the Road Course!
Now we all know that Justin is no stranger to putting down fast times at the drag strip, but he does admit that his road course skills might not match his reaction times when it comes to getting the drop on someone in a straight line. And this point is exactly what makes the new GT500 such a well-rounded sports car.
Ford Performance worked tirelessly to ensure the new GT500 would not fall into the straight line only stereotype of the previous model. The result is a potent combination of suspension and braking components that effectively work in sync for any level of enthusiast.
“The confidence this car inspires is really out of this world. As an ‘average’ road course driver, I left my five laps feeling like Billy Johnson!”
Justin Finally Gets His Shot At The Drag Strip
The final five minutes of the video have Justin testing out the new flagship Shelby in an environment he is all too familiar with, the drag strip. “This is the moment I have been waiting for since this drive was announced,” Justin explained, “to see what this thing is capable of.”
Justin went on to explain the drag strip numbers that Ford Performance officially announced. While Justin was hoping to get this GT500 as close to the advertised 10.61 at 133 mph drag strip time, unfortunately, because of the adverse weather conditions in Las Vegas, Justin was only able to clock a best of 11.1 at 128 mph with a 1.8 60-foot time.
But when you take a minute to consider these test vehicles were making multiple passes and according to many sources at the event, were even left idling almost the entire time, for a bone stock car straight from the factory, Justin put down an impressive time.
“We saw journalists who have never drag raced once in their lives conquer the quarter-mile with ease and most importantly, drama-free despite having 760 horsepower on tap,” replied Justin.
Justin and the team at AmericanMuscle did a great job of showing us all aspects of the 2020 Shelby GT500. We can’t wait to see what the team has in store for aftermarket upgrades once these impressive machines start hitting the streets, the road courses, and the drag strips very soon!
Stay tuned for our own review of the stunning new Shelby right here at FordNXT. Coming soon!