The Shelby GT500 is always one of the most anticipated iterations of every Ford Mustang, and the 2020 GT500 is no different. When Ford unveiled the most powerful production Mustang at the Detroit Auto Show this year, the intriguing and still unknown horsepower figure made headlines, but it was clear there was more to it than total brute force. Today, Ford proved those suspicions right by releasing the computer models they used to develop the new Shelby’s cooling and aerodynamics — and the 2020 GT500 is easily the most advanced Mustang ever built.
Ford still won’t release the exact power figures, but we do know this GT500 will have over 700 horsepower and a top speed limited to 180 MPH. The problem with all that power and all that speed is the desperate need to keep it under control. The amount of heat produced by an engine capable of 700 horsepower is immense, as is the task of keeping all four wheels on the ground when it gets put to use and the car builds up speed.
To help Ford develop the most effective design, it used supercomputers and computational fluid dynamic software to construct the cooling system and sculpt the GT500’s body to not only produce downforce, but also to aid in dissipating the heat from under the hood. The result? With the Carbon Fiber Track Package, the GT500 produces 550 lbs of downforce at 180 MPH. Ducts and intakes up front funnel airflow to six heat exchangers and intercoolers. A number of vents then channel the hot air out around the car, the largest being the six-square-foot hood vent which feeds over the hood and to the rear wing.
The days of the GT500 being a one-trick, straight-line pony are over. Manipulating airflow for cooling and downforce screams a race track mentality. Sure, it’ll be exciting and entertaining to see the new Shelby thunder down a drag strip, but it’s safe to assume Ford have much more in mind for the most powerful Mustang ever.
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