That's because Ford has made a decision to saddle its ultimate pony auto with a factory installed speed limiter. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye tops out at 203 miles per hour. Ford more than likely tweaked the GT500's aerodynamics for maximum downforce, which would improve handling at the expense of top speed.
Not much is known about Ford's upcoming range-topping pony auto, other than somewhere underneath the carbon-fibre bodywork and aero sits the chassis from a Mustang. Although the Shelby GT500 won't hit 200 miles per hour, Ford says it will be the most track-capable Mustang ever. Ford isn't ready to share official specs, but continues to tell us to expect more than 700 horsepower from a supercharged 5.2-liter V-8.
The news from auto and Driver comes concurrently with a Wednesday press release from Ford detailing the process by which the company developed the car's aerodynamic and cooling components, which obviously go hand-in-hand. A company spokesperson explained to us via email that "top speed is only one metric, and our Ford Performance engineers and professional drivers have found the sweet spot to make the all-new Shelby GT500 as fast as possible at both road courses and the drag strip".
This Just in: Everything You Need to Know About The 2020 Shelby GT500 Aero!
Ford Performance invited a small group to its Allen Park wind tunnel to tout its 3D printing of prototype parts, especially air intakes and aero bits, plus its supercomputer-powered design and engineering efforts. The Ford Performance engineer described how his team saved a GT350 preproduction prototype from the scrapyard in order to use its front fascia to test various 3D-printed parts for the GT500. In fact, they created more than 500 designs. An added GT4-inspired carbon-fibre rear wing contributes to a net downforce of 461 pounds. An innovative new rear spoiler design, standard on the base 2020 Shelby GT500 and known by the aero team as "the swing" - a hybrid between a spoiler and a wing - is a result of the advanced simulations and prototyping process. With available Handling Package and Gurney flap installed, the swing works to deliver 379 pounds of rear downforce at 180 miles per hour.
Up front, the new fascia doubles the air volume to cool the powerful engine through six heat exchangers. Two new racing-style oil and transmission coolers ensure the vehicle can handle track temperatures as well. We have a feeling Ford is saving the best nuggets of information for last.