Rejoice: The 2020 Shelby GT500 Could Get A manual!
I posted about the new Shelby GT500 on DriveTribe, my blog, my Facebook, and my Instagram (you can read about all the tech and capabilities that Ford stuffed into the GT500 in my GT500 reveal post here). Perhaps the biggest surprise (and only disappointment) was that the car wouldn't be offered with a manual. Instead, it would come with a 7-speed dual-clutch auto made by Tremec.
If there is one common theme across all platforms where I posted, though, it's that people want a manual and it looks like Ford is going to be listening very closely. Prior to the reveal, I predicted that this was going to be the first GT500 to offer an automatic, but I figured it would be the 10-speed automatic available on the Mustang GT and I never expected Ford to drop the manual as an option.
According to a report by Road & Track, the reason why Ford went for this transmission instead of the torque-converter automatic was because it offered quicker shifts on track, suggesting that the 10-speed auto didn't meet Ford's targets for shift times (interestingly, the 10-speed auto was co-developed by Ford and GM and GM uses it in the Camaro ZL1, which is the Shelby GT500's most direct rival).
More importantly, though, was the fact that Carl Widmann - the head engineer for the Ford Performance division and the Mustang - wouldn't rule out the possibility of a manual in the future. According to him, the GT500 is only available with a dual-clutch auto "right now", although they listen to feedback and are "real tight with the Mustang crowd." When asked if that meant the manual is an option, he said with a grin: "We always listen to what our customers want, right?"
So if you need your brand new Shelby GT500 to come with three pedals and a manual and you have your cheque book ready, make sure to let Ford or your local Ford dealer know! In the meantime, if you haven't yet learned how Ford made this the most capable factory Mustang ever, make sure to head over to my deep dive article to find out.