2020 Shelby GT500 Patents Suggest Wicked Aero Options

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2020 Shelby GT500 patent drawing.

Tantalizing details ahead of the super ‘Stang’s debut show active brake cooling ducts, active hood vent & an active underbody shield.

If there’s one thing development teams at a car company hate, it’s leaks. They spend years developing a new car, testing it, and prepping it for a blockbuster launch, then some jerk with a camera sells a spy photo to a magazine or website and the element of surprise is gone.

But sometimes, the leaks come from within.

That seems to be the case with Ford’s Shelby GT500 team. Sure, we’ve seen teasers for the upcoming high-performance Mustang before, but details are still pretty scant. Fortunately, Auto Evolution recently uncovered patent filings give us our most comprehensive look yet at this hotly-anticipated pony car. Patents are, of course, in the public domain, so this latest look at the hottest factory S550 ever comes courtesy of Ford and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

2020 Shelby GT500 patent drawing.

According to Autoevolution, Ford’s modifications to the S550 will ensure that  the GT500 will be “thrilling in the twisties and more than adequate in a straight line.” The last GT500, the S197 model, made a whopping 662 horsepower and 631 pound-feet of torque. Since the S550 is a lighter, stronger, and more agile platform, the new big Shelby is shaping up to make that one look like it’s from the Stone Age.

The goods, on paper

According to the patent illustrations, active aero is the name of the game. The GT500 will feature active brake cooling ducts at all four wheels. An active hood vent and an active underbody shield will also feature alongside unique sheetmetal from the A-pillars forward. And while the Predator – the reworked twin-turbo Voodoo-based 5.2-liter V8, is shaping up to be the most powerful production Ford engine ever built (sources say upwards of 700 horsepower), the GT500 will also feature a unique magnesium strut tower brace to keep things nice and firm.

2020 Shelby GT500 patent drawing.

Of course, we still don’t know the full picture. Ford, perhaps anticipating people snooping around the patent office, used a GT350 and even a Focus RS in its illustrations. Still, there’s no mistaking that these innovations are slated for the GT500. And like any good leak, it only makes us more excited for its official debut next week at the Detroit Auto Show.

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James Derek Sapienza has worked as a writer and editor in the world of automotive journalism since 2015.

He has a BS in History at SUNY Brockport, with a focus on American popular culture. A fan of the classics with a special interest in German cars, he is a proud owner of a 1991 W124 Mercedes. He is a frequent contributor to Mustang Forums, MBWorld, 5Series, Rennlist, and more.

Sapienza can be reached at [email protected]

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