Yesterday’s Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 reveal was a rollercoaster.
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It seemed the car would be mostly irrelevant to Australia, and then Ford’s official reveal did little more than prove the rumours and leaked information to be true – we didn’t learn much.
Ford Australia told MOTOR that the car wouldn’t be made available locally, but then towards the end of the day we spoke to Melbourne-based Mustang Motorsport, and we were given the good news. The GT500 is coming Down Under.
Though the car will arrive locally in very limited numbers and at what’s likely to be a rather hefty premium, it means those with the means to own one can.
MOTOR news: 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 coming to Oz!
This is possible due to the new legislation passed by the government late last year, replacing the Motor Vehicle Standards Act with the Road Vehicle Standards Act, which allows the importation of vehicles not made available by an official importer.
The previous rules made cars like the GT350 and GT500 out-of-bounds as they were still ‘Mustangs’, which is available in Australia.
The Road Vehicle Standards Act instead recognises that the cars like the GT500 are different enough in their performance that bringing one to Australia isn’t the same as bypassing Ford Australia to import something already offered locally.
In this case, the performance difference will be huge.
While the standard Mustang GT’s naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 produces a healthy 339kW and 556Nm, the Shelby GT500 runs on supercharged 5.2-litre V8 power and makes “more than 522kW” according to Ford Performance.
Detroit 2019: Mustang Shelby GT500 revealed
Theoretically, this could mean its power figure is even higher if Ford is playing the same game as Dodge did with the “more than 600hp Hellcat” which turned out to produce 707hp – or 527kW up from a promise of 447kW.