There are few more iconic cars in the world than the Ford Mustang. When the brand announces that it has launched the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, performance fans sit up and take notice.

Detroit firepower

It was only fitting that the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was launched at the Detroit motor show. The all-new Shelby GT500 is touted as the pinnacle of any pony car ever engineered by Ford Performance and the most powerful street-legal V8 engine to date.

Shelby GT500 starts with a supercharged 5,2-litre aluminium alloy engine built by hand. Bolted to that is a 2,65-litre roots-type supercharger. An air-to-liquid intercooler is in place to help keep charge temps down. Ford does not quote a headline figure, but says that the Mustang Shelby GT500 produces over 520 kW.

Power is channelled to the rear wheels via carbon-fibre prop-shaft to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The transmission features a number of drive modes, including normal, slippery, sport, drag and track, and features line-lock and r/min-selectable launch control for quick take-offs.

Speaking of quick launches; Ford says the Mustang Shelby GT500 will sprint to 100 km/h from standstill in around 3,5 seconds and do a standard quarter mile in under 11 seconds… and that’s straight out of the box. American tuners are going to have a field day with this car.

Harnessing the power

Two handling packages are offered for the all-new Shelby GT500. The Handling Package includes adjustable strut top mounts and spoiler with Gurney flap. For track rats there is a Carbon Fibre Track Package (as seen above), which features exposed 20-inch carbon fibre wheels, track-spec Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, adjustable exposed carbon-fibre GT4 track wing and splitter wickers with integrated dive plane. The rear seat is deleted to reduce weight. Stopping power comes from massive 420 mm two-piece rotors at the front that are clamped by Brembo six-piston calipers.

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Menacing appearance

Ford says that it used a modern fighter jet aircraft as inspiration for the Mustang Shelby GT500. Wider front fenders house Shelby GT500-specific 20-inch. That rear spoiler and a rear diffuser are standard fitment. A massive louvered hood vent features a removable aluminium rain tray for better air extraction and increased downforce.

Learn more about the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 on the Ford Performance official site.