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The Ford Mustang Shelby ‘GT500’, a new range-topping high-performance variant, has been spied undergoing testing in Detroit.

In addition to the usual full body camouflage, Ford has fitted with the prototype with car bras at both ends to further obscure the styling and body work changes.

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Despite this, we can see the GT500 sporting chunky, low-profile tyres. Looking closely, the car is wearing Michelin 305/30 tyres up front, and these are paired with 20-inch wheels. The rubber at the rear is wider again, but we’re unable to read any of those tyre markings.

The design of the wheels, and style and size of the brakes behind them are hidden behind blanking plates attached via zip ties. Out the back, the GT500, or whatever it will be called, features two sets of twin exhaust tips flanking a diffuser.

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It’s not known what engine will motivate the GT500, but rumours suggest either a turbocharged version of the 5.0-litre Coyote V8 or a supercharged variant of the 5.2-litre Voodoo V8.

The current range-topping Mustang, the Shelby GT350, is powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V8, which develops 392kW of power and 582Nm of torque. The GT350’s V8 has a flat-plane crank and a 8250rpm red line, drives the rear wheels via a six-speed manual and Torsen limited-slip differential.

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Compared to regular Mustang models, the GT350 has a wider front track, with unique front wings and bonnet crafted from aluminium. In all likelihood the GT500 should receive a similar setup, along with more aggressively styled front and rear fascias.

It’s unknown if Ford plans to sell the GT500 outside of North America, with export variants of the Mustang primarily limited to the regular 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder and V8 GT models.

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