• Oct 29, 2006


BTCC hot shoe and Fifth Gear presenter, Jason Plato put his abilities to good use, testing the Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang on a barren track in the UK. In typical TV presenter style, Plato unremittingly flogs the Shelby around the track to get those glorious powerslides that make viewers coo.

As a warning to those of you who might consider yourself fundamentalists when it comes to your bestest, favoritest pony car, Plato comes away unimpressed with the GT500. Specifically, he was less than thrilled with the handling characteristics and the interior build quality, but was thoroughly smitten with the power. No surprise.

It must be noted that his perspective is a little askew, as the cost of importing a GT500 to the UK would put it into the £40,000 ($70-80k) realm. For that kind of money, there are more sophisticated, better handling options available across the pond. But that's not what the GT500 is about and thankfully, he gets that.


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  • 21 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      re.17. SilverAero- yes I agree but that would require Americans to actually travel outside the country, something of a very rare feat compared to virtually every other Western country. You can't beat a great bit of blind ignorance from the majority of a population.

      This review by 5th Gear is intended for British audiences, as is Top Gear which so many people seem to forget. Its baffling why Autoblog posts so much about UK car shows when it knows it has a UK slant on it and is inevitably going to offend every over-sensitive, car-loving American who's yeah, never traveled outside their own borders and cannot tolerate someone from another nation having a differing view to theirs. From the perspective from someone outside the U.S. why doesn't Autoblog report whats on their own national car shows, I mean you've got at least American Chopper & Overhaulin, two really relevant programmes on contemporary car culture!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think a lot of americans travel to other countries. While they dont do it as frequently as someone in europe, its understandable considering it involves $1000 plane ticket, not filling up the tank and driving an hour from france to germany. Hell thats like driving from NY to canada. I picture roads in Europe to be more winding than roads here in the states for some reason, I really dont know why. If they are maybe thats why the cars there are expected to be outstanding handlers. Look at most roads in the states though. Straight and boring. Having a sweet handling car is like driving a truck around a go cart track. I think thats why the typical american car buyer doesnt expect a car that can carve up a mountain road with ease. Everyone is used to an easy freeway commute. On a road you can enjoy a nice handling car you cant because of lame speed limits and slow or high traffic.(I live off the PCH and am thinking of that specifically) On the PCH you cant even get enough speed in a truck to make it interesting, always some jackoff in a convertible driving 40 enjoying the view and it seems like every 3rd car is a CHP. Way overratted road. But anyway, about the car. I think the Cobra represents Ford giving up on trying to make the Stang a well rounded car. They went all out making it a straight away king and a clown in the corners. I was really disapointed when it became a 4000lbs car. Then they went back to the solid axle and that really did me in on them. They had a real nice progression going with the cobra from the '93 to the 351 powered 95' R, the 96 DOHC, IRS in '99, the 5.4 '00 Cobra R, the '03/'04 terminator. I think the 03/04 was the SVT sendoff. I dont think we'll see anymore SVT products. After a year or 2 the SVT badges on the GT500 will be gone and SVT will be like SVO and people will say 'remember when?' I guess we'll have to wait a few years for a Boss or something to be lighter with around 400hp (NA?) to be the true spiritual successor to the SVT. This car is about looking cool and shaving 2 minutes off the commute to go mop the floor at the local high school.
      • 8 Years Ago
      ["And wait, was he faulting the car for NOT wanting to oversteer and drift?"]

      That's half the reason anyone buys a RWD car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The engine in this thing is awesome. It can handle 800+hp on bonestock internals easily. Joes twin turbo ford gt is pushing 1000 at the wheels on stock internals. Evolution performances gt500 just ran into the 10s with less than a 100 miles on the clock. Roush brought out a supercharger that bumps the HP over 700.

      I dont care what anyone says, This motor is legendary. And yes the 60k-70k dollar euro coupes will out handle this but in a straight line the shelby will leave them like they are going backwards. Plus it sounds a million times better than any 60k car out of europe.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Has anyone ever tasted British food? Ugh. You know the kinds of things they put into their pies?
      • 8 Years Ago
      To those you commenting on british food, real british food today is thai food, japanese food, chinese food indian and a bunch of others. No one who lives there eats the food we in the states think that they do, that stuff is for tourists. Have nothing to say about the car though, self explanitory, it is what it is.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "As much as people knock GM, when you spend twice as much on a STS-v vs. a STS v-6, you get a far nicer interior; one that is not shared with the base model."

      The V caddy's have nice interiors? LOL!! Now THAT is funny!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Be nice, our food isn't that bad! I think the point Jason Plato was making about your food is that's quantity not quality? Maybe a stereotype us brits have but hey, you've got plenty about us! As for the GT500, I agree, it's an awesome looking beast with what is no doubt a belting motor. Fact is we'd have to pay almost twice as much for it and have you seen our gas prices? :)
      Ben Beauvais
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pat, you may in fact be the reason that people think America is stupid.

      BUT this is about the car. Good clip, but not Top Gear good. To me he body look dated and seats look like the ones in base car. Some Alcantara, maybe some carbon fiber and it might be "there". But as of now, it is nowhere near where it should be for a car of this price.

      Compare the interior to what you can get else ware for 60k, and the Ford looks down right cheap. It has the interior of a car 1/3 its price, oh wait, it does. I don’t see a ton of difference between the base car’s interior and the GT500.

      As much as people knock GM, when you spend twice as much on a STS-v vs. a STS v-6, you get a far nicer interior; one that is not shared with the base model.

      I have not driven it, nor do I want to, but from what I can see, the only things that make it worth the crazy sums dealers are charging are the engine and the badges, and the car around it is just an after thought.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Heh. A Brit criticizing American food. This from a country where the culinary tradition is to boil everything until it's tasteless and the current national food had to be imported from one of its former colonies (curry).
      • 8 Years Ago
      yes, because you want a GT500 for its interior...
      • 8 Years Ago
      but he did look like he was having tons of fun though, and maybe some people (not me) just want to have fun and don't care if they are the fastest at the fastest on track days
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