Spoiler Alert: The GT500 Loses the Race
The challenge with getting the Mustang GT500 off the line is due, in part, to one of its greatest attributes: The 760 horsepower generated from the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 and routed to its rear wheels. Think of it like this: That’s 380 hp per tire, or more than most sporty cars make these days in total. On a street surface, traction isn’t just a challenge, it’s elves-and-wizards high fantasy. Sure, the GT500’s quick-shifting dual-clutch transmission helps alleviate some of the challenge to the driver, but it lays all the effort on the overwhelmed launch control system.
If the GT500’s launch control is Pompeii, the 760 hp is Mount Vesuvius circa AD 79. It and the traction control simply can’t weather the awesome power, and the tires struggle to grip the surface until somewhere in third gear. The GT500 driver can, through the menu, adjust the target launch engine speed to somewhere between 1,300 and 1,400 rpm. But it might be better if it bottomed out at 500 rpm. Maybe 0 rpm.
Compounding the difficulty is a maddening delay from the time you release your foot from the brake pedal and the time the Mustang actually starts moving forward. In a countdown from three, the Shelby GT500 driver has to leave on the one count to start moving by “go.”
The Model Y doesn’t have launch control. It doesn’t really need it either. With four driven wheels and an amount of horsepower that can only be described as “satisfactory,” the driver needs only to push the accelerator to the floor and watch the Mustang driver struggle in futility. Only briefly, though, as the GT500 quickly disappears in the mirror.