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Dodge should worry about Ford’s next-gen Mustang GT500

Intentionally or not, Dodge started a horsepower war when it introduced its 707-horsepower Hellcat engine a couple of years ago. Ford is in the final stages of developing the next-generation Shelby GT500, and industry whisperings indicate that the Blue Oval is looking to one-up its crosstown rival.

Recent rumors reported by website Horsepower Kings claim that the 2018 Mustang Shelby GT500 will have no less than 740 horsepower on tap, 33 more than Dodge’s Hellcat-powered models and 214 more than the GT350R (pictured), the next model down in the Mustang hierarchy. It will eschew the GT350’s naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V8 and instead use a brand new 5.0-liter V8 engine equipped with a pair of turbochargers and direct fuel-injection. The eight-cylinder’s output will be channeled to the rear wheels only, but transmission options remain unconfirmed at this point.

The GT500 is also set to benefit from Ford’s sizable investment in lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum. Putting the super-‘Stang on a diet will boost performance, while making it more efficient and more dynamic to drive. Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires will help drivers make the most of the eight-cylinder’s prodigious amount of power.

Visually, the GT500 will boast a more muscular look characterized by a specific front fascia with a deep bumper and a fixed wing mounted on the trunk lid. The cabin will receive track-oriented bits and pieces such as bucket seats for the front passengers and a GT500-specific instrument cluster.

Read more: Hennessey celebrates 25 years with a Ford Mustang that hunts Hellcats

Ford is keeping its lips sealed about the next Mustang Shelby GT500, so enthusiasts will need to be patient to find out how much power — and what kind of engine — it will land with. We might not have to wait for very long, however, because the GT500 is tentatively scheduled to make its official debut either this fall during the Los Angeles Auto Show, or early next year at the Detroit Auto Show. Regardless, it will go on sale in time for the 2018 model year.