There are still many details that we do not really know about the new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Apart from the fact that it will be the most powerful production Ford in history, “more than 700 horsepower” is all we have so far.
However, Ford has launched a lot of new and juicy treats to tire us, and among all of them there is an especially juicy nugget: the GT500 will have a limited top speed.
Now, at 180 mph it’s not exactly slow, but it’s interesting to note that manufacturers like to use the maximum speed for bragging rights. As a reference, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat can exceed 200 mph.
Jalopnik contacted Ford to ask why the maximum speed was limited. This is what they were told:
“Our Ford performance engineers and our professional drivers had the goal of making the new Shelby GT500 as fast as possible both on the roads and on the drag track, while remaining comfortable and engaged on the open road. .
“The GT500 also had to flatter the rookie while rewarding the more skilled drivers. “The maximum speed of the GT500 is compatible with the best drivers in every track on which the vehicle was tested, both physically and virtually, without compromising the other attributes of the car.”
The spokesman also told them that 180 mph was faster than their professional drivers managed to reach on any of the tracks or drag strips they tested, either in the real world or in simulations.
In a nutshell, Ford was more concerned about making him incredibly capable on the road than giving owners the bragging rights at top speed, and a lot of new details show how they did it.
The simple answer is a great focus on downforce and cooling. Ford says he spent most of his time optimizing cooling in the front of the car, working through more than 500 3D models to constantly optimize airflow.
At the rear, a wing inspired by the Mustang GT4 racer is available as part of the Track package to help deliver the greatest downforce ever seen in a ‘legal street stang’.
So, while he can not beat his rivals on an infinite salt plain, it looks like Ford is pretty sure he’s going to beat his lap times at any race track.