Our intrepid spy recently spotted this hot Mustang GT500 prototype leaving Ford’s Dearborn Development Ground, and it looks set to give the SRT Hellcats and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 a tough fight when it launches early next year. Even though the front fascia is completely covered, the bigger air intakes are easy to spot. It also appears to have a “powerdome” on the bonnet, sorry hood, while the fixed rear spoiler at the back is bigger than the GT350R’s.

On the mechanical front, the super-’Stang appears closely linked to the GT350R, however, we expect a much, much higher output than the 526 horsepower the aforementioned makes. It’s difficult to confirm, but the prototype’s exhaust note seems notably reminiscent of the rumble of the 350R’s high-revving flat-plane crank 5.2-litre V8. So it is possible the engine will be an evolution of the current powerplant.

The prototype, which was riding on sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres and featured Brembo brakes all around with cross-drilled discs, curiously also had a ‘TT-0081’ sticker on the windshield, which has also been spotted on the F-150 SVT Raptor prototypes.

In other words, the next Mustang GT500 could pack a twin-turbocharged V8. On the upside, you’d be looking at a power output around the 750-800bhp mark. Should be plenty to give SRT and Chevy something to think about, we reckon.