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Spy Photo! 2019 GT500. The Generations of the Shelby Mustang GT500

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 5/25/2018 Hot Rod Network Staff
GT500_FINAL© Hot Rod Network Staff GT500_FINAL

Here it is, the one shot of the GT500 released by Ford. It is rumored to make 700hp, have an upgraded IRS suspension, and a 2.0L or larger supercharger on top of the 5.2L flat-plane-crank V8, but Ford might for the gold and make more. The guys at Ford aren't saying a word.

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Ford's answer to the contemporary horsepower wars is here and much like its forebears, the GT500 is a special breed. The acceleration of technological development from the turn of the century has helped automakers break down barriers and breathe new life into the "American Muscle Car". To be able to quantify how far the GT500 Mustang has come, let's take a quick look back at the past generations.

The GT500 was born in 1967. The big brother to the GT350, the GT500 came with the infamous 428ci engine that produced 355hp and 420lb.ft. of torque. They packaged this power in sporty fiberglass body parts at a price of $4,195 (about 30k today). This car was immortalized by the 2000 blockbuster Gone in Sixty Seconds, starring Nicholas Cage and Angelina Jolie. The movie car was embellished a bit, but it's safe to say that everyone wanted a '67 GT500 "Eleanor" after seeing that film.

In 1969, Ford took over the primary design of the car, and though it looked tough in the nose, the car was very long. It did however, retain its 428ci engine, which in 1969 had 20 less horsepower but 20 more lb.-ft. of torque. This year, the GT500 was for the first time offered in a convertible. Ford didn't formally build GT500s in 1970, but cars that didn't sell in '69 had their emissions systems updated to accommodate for new regulations, and were issued new VIN numbers by Uncle Sam. Sadly this was the last year of the GT500 for nearly four decades.

GT500_FINAL

Fast forward to 2005 at the New York Auto Show: Ford and Shelby debuted the first GT500 of the new century. Though the cars didn't go on sale until the 2007 model year, there was great anticipation for the blown 5.4L Modular "Mod" engine coupled with a Tremec 6-speed powertrain, good for 500hp and a quarter-mile in the 12s. This generation lasted from 2005-2009.

The next generation of GT500s were sold from 2010-2012 (though this body-style lasted until 2014). The first year, the drivetrain saw changes other than a 40hp increase and a top speed bump to 180mph. The 2011 model year was the introduction of the aluminum 5.4L engine which shed over 100 pounds off the car increased horsepower to 550 ponies. In some ways though, this generation of the GT500 was the lead up to the last two years of the model before the whole Mustang line got a facelift.

In 2013 and '14, Ford built the fastest Mustang in the car's history. The DOHC V8 pumped 662hp and 631lb.-ft. of torque. These staggering numbers lead to a 11.8-second quarter-mile and 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds, blowing the doors off of the ZL1 Camaro and Z06 'Vette. Oh, and did we mention that the car was rated for 202mph?

We've been waiting for a GT500 since Ford threw IRS under the Mustang and did a full redesign of the car. After teasing us all for a few months, it's finally here!

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