When I saw the 2005 Stang yesterday, the engineer that was on hand at the show said the automatic performance was excellent. He said that they put a lot of time in getting the shift points and characteristics correct. He said that the AVERAGE driver, they will be faster in the auto, and they know this from experience among the various engineers that have been driving and testing the 05 prototypes. He said that it will take an excellent MTX driver to beat the auto. The auto has a very low 1st gear, so I'm sure it will respond great off the line. I've had esentially the same trannie in 2 different Lincoln LS's now and have had no problems with them. Ford has come out with software updates that improved shifting too. My 2005/6 GT will have a manual because like my 2001 GT it is a 3rd car not an every day driver. If it was my primary car and every day driver I would get the auto.