2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: Instant Classic or Dinosaur? No, You’re Wrong!

An electrified Mustang? That's crazy...right?

In this latest episode of “No, You’re Wrong,” we argue the merits of the new GT500.

The 2020 Mustang GT500 revealed itself at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, and it’s packing an awful lot of power. Ford wasn’t specific on exactly how much power it produced, other than to say it was “more than 700 horsepower”. Rumors suggest it’s in the region of 755 horsepower, which would put it in league with the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and the Chevy Corvette ZR1. What’s more, Ford designed the new Shelby GT500 to pack more aerodynamic trickery, and greater handling over the old GT500.

But is that enough? At the end of the day, this is a big V8 muscle car. While that appeals to some, it may be too little, too late for this GT500 in an evolving era of tighter emissions regulations and electrification. Or, perhaps this Mustang is the swan song of the old school – a massively powerful, massively fast slice of Americana with a bellowing V8 exhaust note out back and a cobra badge up front.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Ford’s most powerful car does look properly mean, as it should.

There are a few other dings in the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500’s armor. At least, that’s the case with fans of the old Shelby GT500. The first is its transmission. There’s no manual option with the new Mustang Shelby GT500 – a Tremec 7-speed dual clutch is all you get. Ford argues that’s necessary to make for faster shifts. It’s hard to argue technically, but for those of us who want a more visceral experience with our 700+ horsepower Mustangs…that hurts.

The other also pertains to the transmission. Ford decided to use a rotary dial with the new Mustang Shelby GT500. So, not only do you not get an actual shifter to row your own gears, you don’t even get a gear lever for the dual-clutch transmission? Again, that’s a sticking point among some enthusiasts. Some out there won’t mind, I’m sure, but it may detract from that visceral experience I mentioned.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Some of us just can’t resist a big V8!

An eye toward the future?

Some may see this car and its compatriots — namely the Dodge Challenger and Chevy Camaro — as the last bastions of old-school muscle cars. By that, I mean none of them have moved toward electrification. At least, not yet. However, particularly as we see electric motors argued in the vein of performance (looking at you, Tesla), perhaps electrifying the Mustang isn’t such a bad thing? That instant torque from an electric motor would potentially fill in the gaps where the V8 isn’t at its punchiest.

Then there’s the question of all-wheel drive. Sacrilegious in the Mustang? Again, that’s a sticking point with enthusiasts. However, as far as making the Mustang out-and-out faster (and more efficient), electrification may be a big step in the process.

Whichever side of the argument you fall on, let us know in the comments below! Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more news, views, reviews, and No, You’re Wrong arguments like this one.