BUFFALO, NY — I had the rare opportunity to drive the awesome new 2020 Shelby GT500. We melted some tires at the drag track, we put the pedal to the metal at the race track and we put through its paces on the street. I had a special interview with the head of engineering at Ford Performance about what makes the GT500 engine different from the GT350, GT350R, and Ford GT.
Please allow me to be technical for all you motorheads.
The Shelby GT500 makes 760-horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque. The hand-built 5.2L V8 is based on the GT350 engine. It has the same bore and stroke, but Ford touched just about everything. The heads have been CNC ported, it has higher tension valve springs, the valve covers are aluminum, not plastic and the head bolts are longer.
It needs those longer bolts, in part, because the in-cylinder pressure is much lower than the GT350, over 1800 psi vs about 1150 psi. The head gaskets also required an extra active layer to improve sealing.
GT500 vs. GT350
The compression ratio is 9.5:1, but of course the biggest difference between the two engines is the 2.65-liter supercharger from Eaton that sits on top of the GT500. Ford picked the reverse flow supercharger with an air-to-water intercooler mounted on top because it was able to shove it down in the V of the engine, which allowed it to keep the hood height lower.
The supercharger makes 12 psi. As you can bet, cooling, both inside and out of the engine is very important.
With the ability to hit 1.5 Gs in corners the 11-quart oil pan features active baffles to keep the oil below the pickup tube. The openings in the front fascia are 50% larger than GT350 and it features a total of 7 coolers or heat exchangers.
The car actually has enough cooling to support 800-horsepower. But all the power from the engine passes through a 7-speed wet DCT from Tremec. There are 5 driving modes to help the driver get the most out of the car depending on the situation.
In Sport Mode, the shifts are faster than the blink of an eye at 80 milliseconds, but in Drag Mode they’re actually slower to get the maximum power to the rear wheels. Ford has only given a 0-60 time of in the mid 3.3 seconds and blistering fast 0-100-0 in 10.6-seconds.
There are only three options available; the handling package, technology package and our favorite, the carbon fiber pack.
The GT500 will be on sale with an all-in starting price of just under $74,000