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Old 10-29-2019, 11:33 AM   #126
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:54 AM   #127
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Default 11 Ways the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 ”R” Is Different from the Base GT500

The $18,500 Carbon Fiber Track package is costly but worth it


11 Ways the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 ”R” Is Different from the Base GT500 - Motor Trend

We can all agree, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a game changer. Yet, for reasons with which we cannot agree, Ford has decided to list as an $18,500 option the Carbon Fiber Track package rather than simply calling a GT500 with the option a "GT500R." It did so with the base GT350 ($61,535) and the GT350R ($74,530), a $12,995 difference. What gives?

No matter how you option a GT500, it has the same, brilliant 5.2-liter/760-hp/625-lb-ft supercharged DOHC 32-valve V-8 and seven-speed twin-clutch automated manual transmission, carbon-fiber drive shaft, and a Torsen limited-slip differential with a 3.73:1 ratio out back. The distinct drive modes are the same: normal, sport, slippery, track, and drag strip.

Regardless of marketing strategy prohibiting an R badge, here are the 11 things that transform an already breathtaking Mustang Shelby GT500 into the hellraising GT500R, at least that's what we're calling it.

1. The stock 11.0 x 20-inch flow-formed aluminum alloy wheels at all 4 corners are replaced by 11.0 x 20-inch (front) and 11.5 x 20-inch (rear) exposed carbon-fiber wheels.

2. The base car's Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (305/30R20 front; 315/30R20 rear) summer tires are swapped out for streetable track tires, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 (305/30R20 front; 315/30R20 rear).

These changes alone decrease unsprung weight by 35 pounds at each corner while serving up a noticeably and measurably higher level of grip.

3. The GT500R is fitted with adjustable strut top mounts. This means a real track rat can set up his car for different events or tracks.

4. Beefier springs mean a slight ride penalty but sharper steering response and better body control. They also lower the car by 15mm (0.6 inch).

5. Because of the lighter wheels and stronger springs, the magnetorheological shocks in the GT500R get a different "tune" with regard to compression and rebound characteristics.

6. The otherwise optional Recaro front seats are standard in the GT500R. These seats have belt pass-throughs that accommodate five-point harnesses.

7. Speaking of seats, who needs rear seats that add weight? The GT500R deletes them making it a two-seater.

8. The GT500R has a unique front fascia combining a large splitter down low and what would be the equivalent of "dive planes" on the leading corners.

9. The stock GT500 has a low flow-through composite rear wing, but the GT500R's manually adjustable carbon-fiber wing stands tall on uprights. It's literally pulled off of the GT4 race car.

10. In lieu of the base GT500's black plastic dashboard panel, the GT500R's is covered with exposed carbon fiber.

11. The combined effect of these changes transforms the demeanor of the GT500 from criminally loud, fast, fun, well-sorted, and highly predictable sports car—with more power than it sometimes knows what to do with—to a limited-production track-focused world-class supercar that excels and thrives because of that power.

Ford is taking pre-orders now, so choose wisely. Deliveries begin in the fall of 2019.
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