Dearborn, Michigan - Nobody outside of Ford’s skunk works has seen the 2019 Shelby Mustang GT500 without heavy camouflage, and the Blue Oval’s PR mavens are keeping their lips firmly zipped ahead of the car’s anticipated reveal at the upcoming Detroit Motor Show,  but some intriguing details have emerged from an unlikely source.

Service bulletins.

Ford’s OEM service portal (that’s where your friendly local Ford technician goes for information on how to service the new models) already has some pages pertaining to the new GT500 - including a procedure for speedometer verification which reveals that the speedometer not only reads to 340km/h, but that the GT has a top speed of more than 320km/h, making it the second fastest street-legal Ford yet, after the Ford GT.

Wiring diagrams for the new model indicate a 5.2-litre V8 - apparently codenamed ‘Predator’ - with a specially developed 2.6-litre, belt-driven supercharger, running a traditional cross-plane crankshaft rather than the Euro-style flat-plane crank of the hard-revving, naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre GT350. Either way, insiders are quoting 500kW and 855Nm - hardly in Dodge Hellcat or Corvette ZR-1 territory, but way hotter than the 387kW and 583Nm of the GT350.

Most of the rumours so far have mentioned direct fuel-injection, but Ford cognoscenti have pointed out that the diagrams do not show the hardware - very similar to hat on a common-rail diesel set-up - necessary for direct injection.

10-speed automatic transmission

The wiring diagrams do however, show a torque-convertor mount, not a flywheel, indicating that the GT500 will be made available with an automatic transmission - probably the new 10-speeder jointly developed by Ford and GM for the F-150 Raptor and the Camaro ZL1.

Another bulletin warns that the sump of the 2019 GT500 - which is quite likely to be in American dealerships by the end of August 2018 - must be filled with 5W-50 oil, and yet another deals with the brake warning system for the carbon-ceramic discs (if that’s true, it’ll be a first for a Mustang).

The sad news is that there are only three VIN number codes for the 2019 Mustang - the 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbopetrol four, the naturally-aspirated five-litre GT and the new GT500. It would appear that the screamin-demon 5.2-litre GT350 has been dropped.

All of which, of course, is only one step ahead of pure speculation; as soon as we hear any official details from Ford, so will you.

IOL Motoring