The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 leak
Sinister_Life

Ford has largely stood on the sidelines as Chevrolet and Dodge wage a full-fledged horsepower war to dominate the muscle car segment. Now it’s finally ready to jump in the battle with one of its most iconic nameplates as a weapon. The Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 packing over 700 horsepower, and a leaked image posted on Instagram gives us an early look at the model.

The picture was uploaded by Instagram user Sinister_Lifestyle and taken by an anonymous shooter during what looks like a preview event held at Ford’s headquarters for a group of hand-selected customers. Ford hasn’t commented on it but we think it’s the real deal. It shows a mean-looking evolution of the 2019 Mustang with huge air intakes up front, a heritage-laced cobra emblem attached to the grille, a sizable wing on the trunk lid, and wheels that appear to be made out of carbon fiber. The GT500 is finished in Ford Performance’s typical shade of dark blue and it wears a pair of white racing stripes for contrast.

It’s too early to tell precisely what lurks between the flared fenders. Ford previously hinted at a supercharged V8 engine rated at more than 700 hp; an earlier, unverified report pegs its output at 720. We know it will be the most powerful street-legal Ford production car ever made, topping even the last-generation GT500 and the mighty, 647-hp GT supercar. It will need that kind of power if it wants to take on its Detroit-based rivals.

When it comes to horsepower, the GT500 will easily beat the 650-hp Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and likely fall in the same ballpark as the 717-hp Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The 797-hp Challenger Hellcat Redeye will likely remain the most powerful American muscle car available brand-new, however.

The eight-cylinder will send its prodigious power to the GT500’s rear wheels through a carbon fiber driveshaft. The report claiming a 720-hp output also points to a six-speed manual as the standard transmission option, though Ford could add an automatic (possibly its 10-speed unit) to the list of extra-cost options.

Ford plans to introduce the Mustang Shelby GT500 during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, but the leak might force the company to show us the car sooner. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear more about it in November during the annual SEMA show. While pricing information hasn’t been announced yet, we expect the GT500 will start under the six-digit mark. Act fast if you want one; like its predecessors, it will become an instant collector’s item.

Updated on October 19, 2018: Added leaked image and the latest technical specifications.

Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.
Cars

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.
Cars

Meet the born-again Ford Bronco that will soothe your ’90s nostalgia

Ford has confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in a few short years. While it's still very much a work in progress, this is what we expect from the Blue Oval's born-again off-roader.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.
Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.
Cars

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.