Ford’s Most Powerful Mustang Shelby Is Actually Quicker Without This Pricy Upgrade

Drivers aiming to set quarter-mile records should skip the GT500’s $18,500 Carbon Fiber Track Pack.


Drivers who plan to push the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 to its limits may be surprised to find that it actually runs quicker without the $18,500 Carbon Fiber Track Pack. 

The unlikely revelation comes courtesy of Car and Driver, which discovered that Ford’s most powerful road car is quicker to 60 mph, 100 mph and through a quarter-mile on standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires as compared to the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires included in the Carbon Fiber Track Pack. 


Per C&D, here are the test results: 

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
0–30 mph: 1.6 sec
0–60 mph: 3.4 sec
0–100 mph: 6.9 sec
¼-mile: 11.3 sec @ 132 mph

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
0–30 mph: 1.7 sec
0–60 mph: 3.6 sec
0–100 mph: 7.1 sec
¼-mile: 11.4 sec @ 132 mph


Steven Thompson, the lead development engineer of the GT500, explained that the Pilot Sport 4S tire’s thicker tread blocks retain more heat, making them slightly stickier and thereby offering more traction off the line.

But anyone who wants a ‘Stang suited for the track straight from the factory should absolutely opt for the pricier rubber. 

The Sport Cup 2 tire’s have larger out ribs that are optimized for lateral grip. They withstood 1.13 g’s of in Car and Driver’s skidpad test, while the Pilot Sport 4S tires handled .99 g. 


Regardless of how its specced, the Ford Mustang GT500 boasts a 760-horsepower 5.2-liter V8-powered, a race-bred MagneRide suspension, and a lower center of gravity thanks to the inversion of the engine’s supercharger. 

If you really want to dial-in lap those times, get that Carbon Fiber Track Pack—or at least throw on a set of Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for $1,800