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The tyre-shredding 2016 Ford Mustang ‘SVT’ successor to the Shelby GT500 may be a quintessentially American muscle car, but spy photographers have captured a development version lapping Germany’s Nurburgring.

And, courtesy of the high-speed nature of the testing, we can now make out more of the car beneath its lighter camouflage, including its mean and menacing body kit that states for the record its place as the hottest factory-fit Mustang on the road.

Mustang 1

The ‘SVT’ is the successor to the current Mustang Shelby GT500 – the flagship version of the outgoing fifth-generation car that produces 494kW of power and 855Nm of torque from its supercharged 5.8-litre V8 and sprints from 0-100km/h in less than 4.0 seconds. As we know, Ford is not averse to force-feeding (supercharging) an eight-cylinder engine for the new-generation car.

This new one, whatever engine it offers — forum rumours vary from a naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre engine (audio of the car lapping the ‘Ring is bereft of supercharger ‘whine’) with a flat-plane crank through to a worked version of the current supercharged V8 — is expected to take the Pony Car range even further into supercar territory.

Mustang 5

It will need every ounce of gusto if Ford wants to de-throne Dodge and its manic 527kW Challenger SRT Hellcat, not to mention the 433kW Chevy Camaro ZL1. The fight among the US Big Three for supercar supremacy is starting to take on an echo of the power wars being fought between AMG, BMW M and Audi RS is recent years.

The relative paucity of camouflage on the test car you see here clearly shows the wild, racing-inspired front diffuser with mesh inserts, a prominent bonnet bulge, a racy rear apron with massive exhaust tips inset, side skirts and a small lip spoiler.

Mustang 7

Behind the alloy wheels (shod in Michelin Pilot Sport tread) are enormous brakes with cross-drilled rotors. Carbon-ceramic construction could be a feature of production versions for improved stopping and resistance to brake fade.

What we don’t yet know is whether the SVT Mustang Shelby successor will make it to Australia as a pseudo FPV GT/Falcon XR8 replacement at the top of the Ford tree.

The blue oval brand’s local arm has previously confirmed it will introduce the Mustang in coupe and convertible body styles in the second half of 2015 with either a 227kW/407Nm 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo or 313kW/529Nm 5.0-litre V8.