Could the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Get a Manual?


The all-new Shelby GT500–the pinnacle of any pony car ever engineered by Ford Performance–delivers on its heritage with more than 700 horsepower for the quickest street-legal acceleration and most high-performance technology to date ever offered in a Ford Mustang.
Images from Ford

We Know You Want to Row Your Own Gears

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will come with a dual-clutch automatic transmission (DTC) with paddle shifters instead of the manual transmission many enthusiasts wished it had. However, Carl Widdman, head engineer for Ford Performance and the Mustang, didn’t rule out a manual for Ford’s 700-plus hp Mustang. That means it could get a manual transmission.

Road and Track talked with Widdman at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit where the car made its debut. Widdman didn’t rule out the possibility of a manual transmission at some point. In fact, he seemed to hint that the muscle car could come with one at some point. 

The all-new Shelby GT500–the pinnacle of any pony car ever engineered by Ford Performance–delivers on its heritage with more than 700 horsepower for the quickest street-legal acceleration and most high-performance technology to date ever offered in a Ford Mustang.
Image from Ford

When asked if the GT500 could get a manual transmission in later months, Widman said, “Right now, we’re DCT-only, [but] we get feedback, and we’re real tight with the Mustang crowd. We always listen to what our customers want, right?” 

That’s not a confirmation that the GT500 will get a manual transmission, but it’s certainly not a no. It would seem that Ford Performance is open to the idea. Why wouldn’t they be? If they’re going to miss out on sales because of the lack of a manual, then it only makes sense to put one in there.

Road and track also tried to find out if the Mustang GT350 or other versions of the Mustang would get the GT500’s slick new DCT from Tremec, and Widdman said no. That’s a shame because of the fact that the DTC in the GT500 shifts faster and can handle more torque than the current 10-speed automatic in the regular Mustang.