We don’t know what the 2019 Shelby GT500 looks like yet, but we can dream that its supercharged 5.2-liter engine will power something this aggressive. Will the car continue in the tradition of the GT350 and make greater use of carbon fiber to reduce weight? (Photo Credit: Nathan Brummer)

Excitement is building as we hurtle toward next month’s North American International Auto Show in the motor city. While rumors and spied test cars have long hinted at the existence of a 2019 Shelby GT500, some new leaked images all but confirm the next evolution of the halo ’Stang is on the way.

This recent rash of leaked images not only confirm its existence, but give us our first look at some of its key components. A photo of a document titled “2020 MY North American Vehicle Programs — Engine Oil Requirements” shows that a car described as the “5.2L Supercharged Mustang GT500” will require 5W50 oil, so something supercharged this way comes.

This is our first glimpse of the 2019 Shelby GT500’s supercharged Predator 5.2-liter engine.

More recently, an image of the Predator engine’s cast-aluminum intercooled intake manifold leaked on social media. Though we can see the whole engine, it lets us know that the supercharger — most likely based on Eaton’s vaunted R2650 rotor pack — is mounted in the valley below the intercooler the way many aftermarket systems are arranged.

Since nothing about this car has been officially announced, we can only make educated guesses about its details. We expect that the now-confirmed 5.2-liter engine will feature the more traditional cross-plane crankshaft. It will also likely take the lessons learned in the Voodoo program and push them even further with an emphasis on making the most of that intercooled TVS boost.

Some other recent leaks show brakes even larger than those found on the Shelby GT350, which will surely mandate 20-inch wheels. The engineering part number seen here confirms this is a 2019-model-year part. Also, a leaked oil-specifications document reveals the car is, indeed, a GT500 and that we might just see the Shelby GT350 live on alongside its supercharged big brother.

These latest revelations are certainly exciting, but the more we learn, the more questions we have. What transmission will deliver the undoubtedly huge power produced by the Predator 5.2? Will a more robust six-speed manual be required? Could Ford’s adoption of the vaunted 10R80 10-speed automatic mean we will finally have the option of an automatic Shelby?

The questions are endless, but with any luck more will be revealed next month at NAIAS…