Is Ford Hinting the 2019 Shelby GT500 Mustang Will Have 772 Horsepower?
A few suspicious numbers in the new Mustang's brochure lead to speculation.
It's been something of an open secret that Ford has a new Shelby GT500 version of the Mustang in the pipeline. After all, heavily-camouflaged test mules have been roaming the streets and tracks for years now; we even wound up thrown for a loop after Google revealed that Ford was still sitting on the URL, leading us to suspect the car might arrive as soon as 2017. Clearly (and sadly), that wasn't the case—but there's finally some light at the end of tunnel. Ford officially announced the new Shelby GT500's incipient arrival earlier this month during the Detroit Auto Show—not by revealing the car itself (that would be too expected), but by dropping a short computer generated video featuring the super-'Stang on social media.
FoMoCo is playing it close to the vest with the horsepower figure; so far, the company only willing to go so far as to say the new GT500 is projected to make more than 700 hp. But with that as a guideline, it's hard to imagine a world where Dearborn would let the new king of the Mustangs out the door with anything less than a Hellcat-matching 707...if not a Mopar-baiting 708.
Or, perhaps, Ford intends to crank up the engine way, way further.
The proof, though thin, is interesting. As Reddit user FireflyOD pointed out on the /r/cars forum, the latest brochure for the 2018 Mustang lineup includes a picture of the new Mustang's 12-inch digital gauge cluster that depicts a hard-charging Mustang doing 72 miles per hour in seventh gear. Or, to put it another way...it's a picture that seems designed to highlight the numbers 7, 7, and 2.
Now, that image alone doesn't seem like proof of anything beyond the fact that one of the new automatic Mustangs turns 3,400 rpm at 72 miles per hour in seventh gear. But context, as they say, is king....context such as knowing that Ford has a bit of a history of hiding horsepower details in the digital gauge cluster of the new Mustangs.
Now, astute muscle car fans will point out that the 2018 Mustang GT actually makes 460 horses, not 455. But that tweet from Ford product communication manager dropped on January 18th of last year, six months before Ford formally announced the output—and likely well before the carmaker had settled on the final horsepower figure. A five-horsepower gap is well within the variances of final tuning on a new engine, let alone a 5.0-liter V8 cranking out near-supercar levels of power.
Of course, seeing as how Levine's original picture was crammed with other Easter eggs in the odometer and fuel range fields, it's possible the 74.3-mile figure in the odo field could instead be a hint at the Shelby GT500's horsepower. But considering the last GT500 had a roughly 30-unit gap between the horsepower and torque figures (it cranked out 662 hp and 631 lb-ft), we're willing to bet—if there really are any Shelby hints hiding here—that "743" represents the number of pound-feet the new supercharged V8 can make.
Granted, this is all just speculation for now. But if, when the new GT500 is revealed, Ford declares it makes 772 horses and 743 lb-ft of torque...well, don't say it comes as a surprise.