The upcoming Mustang GT500 looks all set to ditch its supercharged roots and head down the turbocharging path. A prototype spotted recently outside Ford’s Dearbon testing ground had a ‘TT-0081’ sticker on the windscreen, and while this may seem like an innocuous designation, the same (what we assume is the engine code) was earlier seen on the F-150 SVT Raptor test mules. Those, as we know, pack a twin-turbocharged V8.

Rumours of the Shelby GT500 finally employing a twin-turbocharged V8 engine have been circulating for a while and this seems to the evidence to back it up.

Aurally, the engine note seemed notably reminiscent of the GT350R’s high-revving flat-plane crank 5.2-litre V8, so there is a slim chance that the new powerplant might actually just be an evolution of the same engine. Or rather more enticingly Ford’s boffins may have created a mean-sounding turbo lump, in the vein of the good men and women at AMG.

Cosmetically, the changes are stark too, with the front fascia featuring bigger air scoops and more bonnet / hood vents than before. Out back there is a whopping big fixed spoiler, while power is put to the ground via sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres. Braking duties will be handled by Brembo anchors all around with cross-drilled discs.

While the upcoming Shelby GT500 will largely follow the same mechanical formula as the mental GT350R, we expect the output to be much higher than the latter’s 526 horsepower and 582Nm of twist. Thanks to the two turbochargers the GT500 should easily make anything between 750- to 800 horsepower and about 850Nm of torque. That should enable a 0-100kph split of low-threes while the top speed would likely sit at a face-destroying 300kph-plus.

That should be a fitting riposte to the 650bhp Camaro ZL1 and the 707bhp Challenger Hellcat.