2015 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Premium
435 HP @ 6500 rpm
400 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm
14.7 / 9.4
$56,599 (As Tested)
Having a “50 years” edition is something very few vehicles can brag about. The Ford Mustang can brag about a lot more than just that, since it is an iconic car with rich heritage and consequently, it is fanatically followed by people all around the globe.
Haters beware; this latest generation “stallion” has dropped the solid axle rear suspension in favour of a very sophisticated multilink setup.
Ford took the redesign of their most desired product very seriously and during the development of the Mustang they even brought it head to head with vehicles way out of its league, just to set the benchmark as high as possible regarding driving dynamics and performance figures.
From the aesthetics point of view, they have succeeded to the umpteenth degree; the car is gorgeous and absolutely looks like a Mustang. The front end follows the latest Ford (or Aston-Martin!) family grille and the rear end is a fabulous remake of what was there before, with the upright three-column tail lights and the round “GT” emblem.
The improvement over the old one is striking once you look inside. It is not only a much better and more practical design, the materials used have been upgraded and the fit between the various bits is way better than before. There are virtually no rattles when hitting hard bumps and the stiffness of the chassis has also been improved to a point that it is immediately noticeable. The SYNC system is present with a generously sized touchscreen in the centre of the dash from where you can control most features including HVAC, audio and navigation. Bluetooth connectivity works great and the voice control system works well too, even with the top down in a crowded location generating a lot of ambient noise, the system is able to interpret voice commands correctly.
Getting the top down is a quick and relatively easy procedure. All you need to do is twist the latch handle to release the front part of the roof, then press and hold the button that activates the electromagnetic folding system that quickly pulls the roof back. The best news is that the roof folds in a separate compartment, leaving trunk space intact. All this happens very quickly and with no buzzing motor sound.
In terms of roominess and practicality, even though you shouldn’t be expecting much, you’ll be surprised how much the Mustang delivers. The trunk is a very usable 323 L and the only problem about it is the tight opening. The rear seats are actually usable if the driver and passenger are willing to pull their seats forwards a bit. Kids will have a blast sitting back there but if you are a grown-up, let me remind you that the last person that actually enjoyed being in the rear seat of a convertible had a very stupid looking moustache.
With the air in your hair and with the sky all yours to feast your eyes on, the ride becomes an experience that few can resist. The growl from the 5.0L V8 motor is music to your ears and the slight vibration it produces is directly connected to your adrenaline pump so that it keeps the flow to a minimum something. Put your foot down and the 435HP and 400 lb-ft of torque can launch the car to 100km/h in just 5.3 seconds. That is, if you fully let go of the brakes, cause if you partially let go, it will just create a spectacular amount of smoke in a vulgar burnout (not recommended). Performance is of course the main focus here and the muscle of the V8 should be enough to satisfy most buyers. I do however recommend you ditch the automatic gearbox in favour of the manual. It is OK if you don’t know how to drive with three pedals, but if you do know how, the stick is a must.
Fuel economy isn’t that bad according to the trip computer that measured 13 lt/100km on average. At the pump though, we measured 15.4 lt/100km so the truth must be somewhere in between. At least regular unleaded works just fine. The brakes are phenomenal and stop the car on a dime. Actually, the GT’s brakes are what used to be part of the Performance Package in the old car. From 100km/h, the car came to a complete stop in 40m, showing no signs of fade.
Taking the roof off a muscle car, or any car really, has a similar effect to taking spandex off a chubby lady; it goes all wobbly unless you properly reinforce the structure. In this attempt, Ford did a much better job than before, but is still nowhere near accomplishing this as well as rivals from across the Atlantic. This is not really off-putting when it comes to handling though, and with the new independent rear suspension, the Mustang does shine. Or bite. Depends on you. It is not the kind of car that you grab by the scuff and throw it brute force in the bends, expecting never ending power slides and lots of smoke. If you attempt to do that and you’ll probably add your name to the long list of people that wrapped one around a pole. This Mustang is built to handle with precision, it has been tuned to turn in with poise and hold the road as hard as it can. And here is where it gets tricky; once you brake the traction, the chassis reacts very abruptly, holding the correction window open only for a fraction of a second. Miss that and look out for poles near by. Of course, keeping the stability control simplifies all that and still keeps the drive enjoyable.
It is not the easiest car to drive quickly, but being a little intimidating is part of the thrill it offers. You can set the driving mode between normal, sport, sport+ and track, each mode setting the throttle response, gearbox and stability control to the appropriate level of aggression. The steering can also be set to three different effort levels; comfort, normal and sport. In all modes, feedback is limited and the steering is a little slower than what I’d like it to be.
It really makes me wonder, how ford improved their most desirable car by so much but managed to keep the prices almost as low as before. I am also very curious to see how well the Mustang philosophy goes with the new 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine (to be driven in July 2015). What I am very sure of though, is that this Mustang is the best one yet. At $56,599 as tested ($48,399 Premium base), the value is pretty decent as you’ll be getting a fully loaded topless beautiful beast that will generously put smiles on your face every time you get behind the wheel.
Slow Sequential Shifts