Best Muscle Cars

No 2020 Shelby GT500 Ford Mustang For Europe

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By Dave Ashton

Ford fans across the world are getting quite excited about the upcoming release of the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. The most powerful GT500 yet, etc., but the Europeans aren’t going to get even a whiff of a supercharger whine, as the new car won’t meet current emissions and safety regulations.

Compounding the situation, sales of new gasoline and diesel vehicles after 2040 will be banned, with countries like Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands pushing that date forward to 2030. However, the irony is that the Mustang GT in native hand drive for Europe is selling extremely well, with its 5.0L V8 engine and 450bhp, being one of the bestselling performance cars in some EU countries. Mustang sales in Europe have been on a steady increase. Sales are up 27% compared to the same time last year in Europe, making the vehicle the bestselling sports coupe.

Anything more potent from now on won’t doodle do. There’s even legislation to fine idling vehicles if they are caught with their engines running when they are stationary for too long.

This situation hasn’t just affected the GT500 with a 5.2L supercharged V8, but also the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro with 6.2L LT1 V8s, which won’t be available in Europe after August 31 2019. This means that the GT500 will be sold only in North America, Mexico and the Middle East. The Bullitt version of the Mustang is currently the most powerful available in Europe. So, a certain level of V8 power is allowed, just not too much.

From an American point of view, who cares with everything still being freely available and there’s still the possibility of down tuned imports. But, in our global economy, there’s always a knock-on effect, legislation-wise and global sales. Muscle cars and high-performance vehicles are also an easy target. The common misconception of all those gas guzzlers which are responsible for polluting our roads.

The problem is that muscle cars are such a small sliver of the whole market. Banning them is less than a sticking plaster solution. Unfortunately, banning the obvious helps with the politician’s popularity stakes. Industrial pollution is the larger factor, but that doesn’t as clearly win votes. The majority of daily drivers turning electric makes sense, but banning the minority doesn’t.

One things for sure, muscle cars are used to a long history of emission regulations, hikes in insurance and general clampdowns. The Clean Air Act of 1970 and a fuel crisis, when muscle cars were at their zenith seemed apocalyptic at the time. But, the breed soldiered through. Skip to present day and the situation is far different with EVs becoming the norm., but it’s far from the end of the species, more a minor glitch in the long road for muscle cars.

As in the past, muscle cars will change and adapt to the times. Sorry, Europe for the limited muscle car inventory, but the story is far from over….

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