Ford’s Shelby GT500 Ditches the Manual Transmission


The 2019 North American International Auto Show, known anecdotally by its much shorter name, the Detroit Auto Show, recently opened its doors for press previews of the ever-evolving designs from top automakers.

And while there’s a lot of cool stuff headed out for display, it seems that the muscle cars always get the most eyeballs, and this year the frenzy is already heating up around the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

That’s because this beast is reportedly Ford’s most powerful street-legal vehicle in history. Offering at least 700 horsepower from its V8, CNet’s Road Show says it “has its knives out” for the Chevy Camaro ZL1 and Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

According to Ford, Shelby GT500 can rip a quarter mile in 11 seconds, and hits 60 miles per hour in 3-and-something seconds — no exact figures just yet. It also looks every part of its muscle car reputation, with a larger, more aggressive grille, specially designed Michelin performance tires, 20-inch wheels, and a huge hood vent. As for color, your options include “Twister Orange Metallic,” and “Grabber Lime.”

You have until the fall to decide if this is the right ride for you; that’s when it will arrive in showrooms. If you’re trying to sell the idea to your spouse, you might mention this: The GT500 is designed for everyday driving as well. Drive modes include settings for “weather” or “sport” conditions, which optimize the transmission behavior to accommodate your requirements. But one “transmission setting” you won’t find here is manual. That’s right, the seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission is said to shift in as little as 100 milliseconds, making it – according to Ford – “markedly faster than any manual gearbox.”

The Detroit Auto Show opens to the public on January 19, but meanwhile, take a look at the Shelby GT500, and give it a listen. Manual or no, this isn’t your standard sedan.

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