The previous-generation Shelby GT500 had a claimed top speed of 200 mph (320 km/h) and with even more power, one would have assumed the new GT500 would be faster. However, Ford had other priorities when designing and developing its range-topping pony car.
According to Car and Driver, Ford decided that instead of developing a car capable of 200 mph (320km/h), it would rather build one that hits 180 mph (290km/h) and spend the left-over money on the vehicle’s dual-clutch transmission, its aggressive aerodynamics package, and track performance.
In addition, Ford saw no real need in developing a Mustang that can hit 200 mph because during physical testing and virtual simulations, it found that there are very few tracks in the United States where the Shelby GT500 can even exceed 180 mph. Ford also told Jalopnik that the GT500 needs to flatter the novice while also rewarding the most skilled drivers
While Mustang Shelby GT500 drivers won’t be able to win bragging rights with owners of the 200-mph Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, there’s a chance they will enjoy greater on-track performance. In fact, the Mustang’s optional Carbon Fiber Track package delivers 550 lbs (250 kg) of max downforce, enough to give the hardcore Camaro ZL1 1LE a run for its money.
Interestingly, Ford is still remaining mum about certain aspects of the new GT500, most notably its engine. We know that the car features a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 engine but the Dearborn brand has only confirmed that it pumps out in excess of 700 hp.