What Does the 2020 GT500 Exactly Compete Against?
Power specs for the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 have recently been unveiled with a staggering 760 HP and 625 foot-pounds of torque. These power specs beg the question: What does the GT500 compete against?
Let us take a look at high horsepower American cars. Dodge around this time last year unveiled the 797 HP Redeye. Essentially, this is a detuned Demon. It is worth mentioning that the Demon will be able to handle the GT500 under the right track conditions but can only handle the GT500 in a straight line. The Redeye can complete the quarter mile in 10.8 seconds and sprint to 60 in 3.4 seconds. One would think this would be a perfect GT500 competitor however there is a major category left out: Handling. The Challenger is big and heavy and there are very few components that would make it a track weapon. The chassis is very outdated and there is currently no track pack currently offered from Dodge. On the other hand, the GT500 will have its own track package with one of the keys features being a wing that will produce an astonishing 550 lbs. of downforce.
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE packs 650 HP out of its 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 engine producing 650 foot-pounds of torque. I believe it is safe to say the ZL1 in its current form stands almost no chance at beating the GT500 in the quarter or half mile thanks to the 110 horsepower difference and the Mustangs quick shifting DCT. Handling could be close but I suspect Ford was aware of the Camaro’s 7:16 Nurburgring time and decided to make the GT500 as quick yet as nimble as possible with the current chassis. Lap times could be close but with Ford being aware of the ZL1 1LE for a couple of years, improvements from Ford were made.
Last but not least, we have the last of the front engine Corvettes: The Z06 and the ZR1. The Z06 is fairly old but will be replaced fairly soon with a potential monster engine that may shake the auto industry. The Z06 and ZL1 power numbers are identical but performance is a different story. With the Carbon Package, the Z06 can do 0-60 in 2.95 seconds while completing the quarter mile in 10.95 seconds. However, those are perfect conditions and Ford stated that the new GT500 can do the quarter mile in less than 11 seconds. It might be safe to say the Shelby will beat the 10.95 time and it may run a sub 11 consistently thanks to the DCT. Top speed for the Z06 was never officially recorded but regular civilians have gotten America’s sports car to the 180s and 190s, but have fallen short of 200 MPH most of the time. The GT500 is limited to 180 MPH which is a bit of a let down considering the previous GT500 could hit 200 MPH right off the dealer lot. Nurburgring times were never officially recorded but there is video of a manual Z06 completing the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 13 seconds. One would think the automatic version would be able to go sub 7:10 but that is pure speculation as is the GT500 lap time. We are now left the with ZR1 which will most likely be available for the 2019 model year only. The ZR1 can do 0-60 in 2.85 seconds and can cover the quarter mile in 10.6 seconds. It’s worth mentioning the GT500 can do 0-60 in the mid 3-second range but nobody runs a race to 60. Top speed for the ZR1 is 212 MPH with the wing off. The Nurburgring time is just over 7 minutes at 7:01. The GT500 will more than likely not go sub 7 at Germany’s infamous track.
So what’s the verdict? Well, if you are concerned about straight line speed then I think the Redeye Challenger is the perfect competitor. Mid to high 10s is what I speculate the GT500 will be able to do bone stock in the quarter mile. The Redeye is a consistent 10 second car. As for handling, the Z06 actually seems like the perfect competitor. Yes, the Z06 is less powerful but is much lighter with a lower center gravity. The ZL1 is up there too but with the dramatic power difference and similar weight numbers, the GT500 is just destined to beat it. The ZR1 is also lighter and the power numbers are similar but the ZR1 has significantly more torque. The ZR1 will more than likely still remain the overall king but that was to be expected.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Donovan Webb can be reached at 1.516-531-4021. He is currently attending American International College.