The new Mustang Shelby GT500 isn’t like other domestic sports coupes; it’s built for supercar levels of performance.
Its 760-horsepower 5.2-liter V8 engine boasts 625 ft.-lb. of torque shot through a Tremec® TR-9070 DCT 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, balanced by 16.5-inch rotors, letting it reach a 0-100-0 in 10.6 seconds.
“The range of brute-force drag acceleration, seamless road shifts and amazingly smooth shifts on the track further highlights how the soul of the Shelby GT500 is elevated in our most advanced Mustang ever,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief program engineer. “Effortlessly handling the 760 horsepower is our segment-first Tremec dual-clutch transmission, with an advanced control system that enhances GT500’s five drive modes to deliver a driving experience once reserved only for exotic supercars.”
That vaunted transmission features a wet clutch system with five friction plates in the odd-gear pack, totalling 155 square inches of surface area. The even-gear pack provides 136 square inches of surface area with six friction plates. Inside the control system, shift points and clutch modulation are arranged by a computer-controlled mechatronics system that reads a broad range of vehicle and environmental factors – including engine and transmission rpm, driver input and g forces, and clutch and shift fork positions – to pre-select and engage the optimum shift.
“Contrary to popular belief, fast shifts do not always equate to better road performance,” said Morgan. “In every driving situation, we emulated what professional drivers do, whether it’s a smooth, precise heel-and-toe shift of a professional track driver or a much more forceful powershift like drag racers. We’ve designed the perfect shift every time.”
The 2020 Shelby GT500 has five drive modes, which can change the car’s personality from a moderated “normal” car to a “track” master with more aggressive throttle responsiveness and gear selections. The system changes nearly every aspect of the car’s behavior, including ride dampening, stability control, antilock brake modulation and steering feel – even the sound and instrument panel change.
In normal mode, the system selects gears and shift timing for moderated, everyday driving and seamless shifting. In sport mode, shift character changes, cutting shift timing by approximately 20%, while throttle tip-in is more responsive and rpm ranges extend longer into the maximum torque curve.
Track and drag modes further change the shift characteristics to pure performance. For straight-line quickness, gear changes use “over-torque” shifts for uninterrupted power delivery, similar to powershifts that give an extra torque hit in between upshifts. Take the Shelby GT500 into a turn, however, and the transmission immediately adapts with smooth shifts to ensure maximum lateral g cornering by minimizing driveline disturbances.
“Every aspect of the Shelby GT500 driving experience changes with the mode – be that the throttle responsiveness and snap of the shifts you feel in the seat of your pants, or the ‘pop and burble’ of the exhaust in performance modes. It’s a full multisensory visceral experience,” said Morgan.
Power output is routed to the 3.73:1 Torsen limited-slip independent rear suspension by way of a carbon fiber driveshaft for reduced rotational mass and torsional distortion, plus larger halfshafts and a redesigned rear suspension hub for additional strength.