If 2019 taught us anything, it’s that the rise of the electric vehicle has created a car market that has never been more vibrant, diverse, or creative. The fact that the challenge of shifting four people around our planet can deliver such diametrically opposed creations as the Tesla Model 3 and the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 makes Planet Car a truly captivating place to be.
To be clear from the outset, this isn’t a twin test—it’s a celebration of two award-winning cars. Lazy automotive stereotypes dictate that if you like one of them, you can’t possibly admire the other, so, on behalf of the whole Top Gear team, I’d like to call bullsh*t on that feudal mentality right now. You can drive a Tesla and love muscle cars; you can have a garage full of muscle cars and use and love your Tesla on a daily basis. The two are not mutually exclusive and, might I humbly suggest for the good of the EV revolution and speed of its adoption and the future of cars as a whole, it would be great if we could all get along and celebrate the engineering and creativity of our industry at a time when it has never been more dynamic. Rant over.
In one corner, we have the GT500, Top Gear’s Muscle Car of the Year, the latest—and maybe last—pure muscle car from the Blue Oval. With a 750hp, 846Nm 5.2-liter supercharged V8 paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch box, the GT500 will hit 60mph (97kph) in 3.3sec, smash a quarter-mile in 10.61sec at 214kph, and emit a noise that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Bold, brash, designed to get your attention and be unapologetic about it, the GT500 is an assault on the senses—an addictive and welcome one in current times.