Supposedly the Next Shelby GT500 Will Humble the Hellcat’s Horses

Ford Mustangs are hot. They’re hot in America, and they’re unusually hot in Europe, too. People like driving them, and they sure as hell like talking about them. But it’s no secret that Ford thinks the Mustang isn’t hot enough, given its third-place standing in the pony car horsepower wars.

We’ve heard that Ford wants a Mustang to challenge the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, but a new report claims that the next Shelby GT500 will beat them both.

HorsepowerKings, citing an unnamed source, claims that the folks at Ford Performance have a GT500 planned for 2018 that offers power “well over the 700 hp mark.”

The ZL1 makes 650 hp and the Hellcat makes 707 hp, meaning Ford could handily beat both. Right now, the top pony in the Mustang stable is the GT350, which makes 526 hp and has developed a nasty habit of generating fiery explosions on the track. As we’ve seen recently with Ford’s trucks, the automaker doesn’t like ceding the power crown to General Motors or FCA.

So, where does the power come from? Nothing’s set in stone, but the same source tells the publication that the development team is working hard on a direct injection engine — one that breathes “through a straw.”

Ford isn’t expected to upgrade the high-compression 5.2-liter V8 from the GT350. That mill would be difficult to modify. Instead, HorsepowerKings speculates that the twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 spotted in Ford test mules will find its way under the hood of the GT500, possibly with direct injection.

Such an engine would likely take on a familiar name, giving Ford an EcoBoost lineup spanning the gamut from three to eight cylinders. The automaker’s recent developments in aluminum architecture and use of carbon fiber means the next GT500 (which disappeared from the lineup after 2014) could see significant weight savings.