Drag Racing Tests Show Mustang Shelby GT500 Is Quicker Without Track Tires

The Carbon Fiber Track Pack option for the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has gotten a lot of attention, and at $18,500, people are wondering if it’s worth it. While it’s a stunning package that gives the Mustang flashy carbon fiber wheels, and improved on-track performance, the GT500 CFTP package suffers in straight-line performance, according to a test done by Car & Driver. The reason? Apparently, it’s all in the rubber.

Tests done on the base model Mustang Shelby GT500 and the CFTP put the numbers out there for everyone to see; the base model is quicker in 0-60 mph acceleration, 0-100 mph, and covering the quarter-mile. What this comes down to is the softer Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires costing the special package in straight-line acceleration, while the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S do just fine.

The actual hashing out of the numbers yielded a 0-60 miles-per-hour in 3.4-seconds, 0-100 in 6.9 seconds, and covers the quarter-mile in 11.3-seconds for the base model. While the CFTP sprinted to 0-60 in 3.4-seconds, 0-100 in 7.1-seconds, and covered the quarter-mile in 11.4-seconds.

Ford isn’t surprised by these results, according to lead development engineer for the GT500, Steve Thompson, “It’s not atypical to see a PS4S equal the Cup tire or go a bit faster.” The reason is that the 4S tires have thicker tread that holds heat better, since it was designed for occasional drag racing. The Cup 2 tires are made for lateral grip, and can stand up to full-blown racetrack use on the Mustang Shelby GT500, and doesn’t have the same focus of holding heat.

So while the package is called the Carbon Fiber Track Pack, it doesn’t mean all tracks, and owners might want to pick up a spare set of tires for straight line racing.

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