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2026 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: Everything We Know About the All-New Muscle Car King

With both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger driving off into the sunset soon, Ford will be left alone to rule over the muscle car realm. The Blue Oval has a new-gen Mustang in its stable, whose deliveries kicked off earlier this year.
2026 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 - Rendering 17 photos
Photo: Screenshot Youtube | Hycade
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It's better in every aspect than its processor, yet if there is one thing that needs improvement, it's the power. You see, Ford only offers it in the regular versions, meaning that there are no Shelby alternatives available – yet. The Dark Horse brings 500 horsepower to the V8 party, 20 horsepower more than the regular GT, and the EcoBoost comes with 315 horsepower from its 2.3L four-pot.

Boasting some GT3-inspired tech and priced over the top, the Mustang GTD is a track-focused monster built in limited numbers that boasts a targeted 800 horsepower. It's expected to launch late next year as a 2025 model and should cost around $300,000. With some options, chances are it will be as much as a Lamborghini Huracan with only the delivery miles under its belt.

While the GTD will certainly help Ford's and Shelby's engineers go deep into the S660 Mustang territory, it will be the new GT500 that will eventually top the family. It is supposedly a couple of years away and will feature the usual beefed-up looks, re-tuned chassis, bigger brakes, and a jaw-dropping amount of power under the hood, wrapped up in a package that will likely put it in the six-digit territory.

2026 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 \- Rendering
Photo: Screenshot Youtube | Hycade

Design at a Glance and That Racy Interior

Prototypes of the next-gen Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 have yet to hit the open road, and when they do, they will immediately set themselves apart from the normal S660 'Stangs. For one, they should feature a generous grille up front, an apron attached to the bigger bumper, broad shoulders, an aggressive diffuser, and a large wing out back. Do you see where this is going? Yep, it will likely mirror the upgrades of its predecessor, albeit with improved aerodynamics and downforce.

Carbon fiber wheels should also be a thing on this model, which will also feature carbon ceramic discs with large calipers hugging them every time the driver steps on the left pedal. The ground clearance will be revised to improve its cornering, and the suspension, which could be exclusive to this car, will be stiffer. Thus, it will be more suitable for the occasional track driving than going to the mall on weekends, so the average Joe will be better off with the regular GT or the Dark Horse – or, who knows, maybe the GT350/GT350? There's no word about either of them, but as we've learned over the years, never say never.

The interior will be largely identical to the normal seventh-gen Mustang, including the dashboard, center console, dual screens, buttons, knobs, and so on. However, Shelby will likely leave its mark on the steering wheel, which should have a racier look, as well as the gear shifter, seats, with front bucket ones expected, and maybe the door cards, too. The upholstery will be exclusive to this model as well, and it will feature a lot of carbon fiber. The cobra logo will replace the OEM one inside and out, and special treadplates will welcome users every time they open the doors.

2026 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 \- Rendering
Photo: Screenshot Youtube | Hycade

But What About That Power?

It's a delicate topic to speak about the firepower when the car hasn't even been finalized yet, though it will certainly be punchier than its predecessor, whose 5.2L supercharged V8 makes 760 hp (771 ps/567 kW) and 627 lb-ft (847 Nm) of torque. We suspect it could be punchier than the new Mustang GTD, too, with its targeted 800 hp (811 ps/597 kW), and if anything, it might get close to the 900 horsepower mark. Who knows, maybe the company is prepping it with a four-digit output, which would up the ante for Dodge's and Chevy's next muscle cars.

The natural approach would be to give it a 5.2-liter V8 engine with a large supercharger strapped. However, there's no indication that that will be the recipe. Ford could achieve much more than that with partial electrification, so that's always an alternative. Either way, the next-gen Mustang Shelby GT500 will become the Blue Oval's most powerful machine yet, and on a good day, it might even become a supercar bully – at least down the quarter mile.

In conclusion, the upcoming Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is expected to be released in 2025 and should be a 2026 model by the time the first copies start arriving at dealers nationwide. It will be a real dream machine, albeit one that might kick off at almost $100,000. After all, the priciest 2024 Mustang costs nearly $80,000 with every option installed. It should be interesting to find out how much a brand-new C8 Chevrolet Corvette will cost, though the 'Vette family will get the more extreme ZR1 by then, too.

Is the next Shelby GT500 on your shopping list, or would you rather wait and find out what Dodge and Chevrolet have in store, too?
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Editor's note: Renderings courtesy of Hycade on YouTube.

About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
Cristian Gnaticov profile photo

After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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