2020 Ford Mustang R-Spec Is Australia’s 700-HP Shelby GT500 Alternative
Given the Shelby GT500’s absence Down Under, Ford Australia made its own supercharged ‘Stang complete with a six-speed manual.
Over the summer, Ford declared that it had no plans to sell the most powerful Mustang in the marque's history—the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500—in Australia. The land that gave us the word "hoon" couldn't stand for that and devised its own answer to the GT500, which it calls the Mustang R-Spec.
The R-Spec wouldn't be a competitor to the GT500 without enough horsepower to reverse the Earth's rotation, so Ford Australia will answer the Shelby by installing a Ford Performance Roush 2650 supercharger kit in every Mustang R-Spec. They haven't officially stated how much power R-Specs will make, but Roush says that this same kit will kick the Mustang GT's 5.0-liter Coyote V8 up to a mighty 700 horsepower and 610 pound-feet of torque.
All that power gushes to the rear wheels through, thankfully, a six-speed manual gearbox (the GT500's 10-speed automatic is nowhere to be seen). As this makes the Mustang's rear end even livelier than usual, Ford Australia will also fit the R-Spec with a MagneRide Handling Pack, 19-inch alloy wheels, and a big old rear spoiler for maximum stability at the speeds easily attained with 700 horses.
Only 500 Mustang R-Specs will be built, each with a numbered plaque. Anyone spending the $99,980 AUD (about $67,300 USD) on one will want their entire neighborhood to know they have one of the meanest Mustangs ever made by Ford, and fortunately for them, Ford will cram R-Spec logos appear anywhere they fit. R-Specs will only be available in blinding colors, and with racing stripes, so there'll be no confusing them for lesser GTs.
Should you feel jealous of Australia's warrantied, 700-horsepower, manual-box Mustangs, don't fret. We Americans have the option to buy the 808-horsepower Mustang GT Gulf Heritage edition, which trounces the R-Spec by 108 horse and 65 torque in addition to being available as a convertible. Be prepared to pay if you want one of these, though, as they come in at almost $140,000—more than twice the price of an R-Spec. Hey, it's a Free Country™.