2015 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Convertible
Al fresco motoring in Ford’s newest pony.
We aren’t shy about unleashing a torrent of praise from the Carpages Garage whenever we have a Ford Mustang under our watchful eye. It doesn’t matter if you fancy yourself a hard-core enthusiast or simply a casual admirer (and there are many examples of both that no doubt help the Mustang earn the distinction of The Most Liked Car Ever on Facebook) there is a lot to be smitten with: bedroom wall poster styling, intoxicating sound effects and the performance chops to back it all up. With that in mind we embrace our first foray into the new generation known internally as the S550- we said a tearful goodbye to the S197 version several months ago, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new breed. While we hung on for the new model to hit the streets, a question began to fester in our minds- what if, despite the progress of an independent rear suspension and the re-introduction of an available four cylinder turbo would see the new ‘Stang became too tame a pony?
I’m happy to report that those fears were ridiculously unfounded. The Mustang has gotten steadily better since the wretched 2nd generation, where buyers were subjected to the horrors of the Mustang II chassis/styling combination and even lost the option of a V8 in 1974. Inflicting this kind of pain on pony car faithful is a heinous crime, and the Mustang has been steadily repaying its debt to the society comprised of legions of fans culminating in this eye-searing sunburst yellow GT convertible you see here now.
PROS: Glorious powertrain, super-fast convertible top, Line Lock feature!
CONS: Convertible doesn’t do much for handling, exhaust is far too muffled.
THE VERDICT: Ford’s newest Pony can still run with the best of ‘em. Actually, with Dodge not offering a convertible Challenger and Chevy replacing the Camaro means that right now, it is the best.
Known officially as Triple Yellow ($550), our drop-top tester garnered attention and its fair share of cellphone pics during it’s time with us. It’s unmistakably cool- they’ve kept going with the retro meets modern theme- but this generation has a slinky, sleek profile that makes the outgoing version look like it was styled using Duplo blocks. It’s the subtle details that particularly delight, amongst them the functional hood vents, the beautifully rendered sequential taillights and the tasteful rear diffuser. This ‘Stang certainly has the looks to back up its impressive performance.
But performance is the real reason folks step up to buy this car anyhow, and in GT trim, the Mustang has it in spades. Squeezed between the shock towers are 5.0 litres of V8 muscle, the only engine a Mustang purist would even consider, good as the V6 and EcoBoost flavours are. It makes all the right noises as it gnashes its teeth, seamlessly charging to its 7,000 redline, inexorably tied to a deliciously linear power output. The Coyote is one of the great naturally aspirated engines extant making it the piece d’ resistance of the Mustang experience- so much of the mystique comes from the trickle-down effect of this mighty motor. That, and the ability to harness all that snort with a delightful 6-speed manual gearbox as our tester was so equipped.
You can use all of that power in a delightfully delinquent manner with the Line Lock feature buried in the Track Apps menu between the speedo and tach. The fact that Ford even offers this (it’ll lock your front wheels for up to 15 seconds to aid you in barbequing the rear tires) is incredibly awesome in this age of extreme caution and hyper-litigiousness, but having a powerful V8 send a deluge of power to spin them into oblivion just feels right. When you’re not being a hooligan and sending a haze of rubber smoke into the atmosphere, the V8 is always at the ready, eager to respond to every minute twitch of your right foot no matter the rpm. It will even fade into the background when you want to relax a little. The only issues we have with this motor is that it can get a tad thirsty (I know, shock of shocks that a 5.0 eight cylinder engine making over 400 horsepower won’t return hybrid-challenging fuel mileage) and that it is simply too quiet- even with the top down, it feels like someone has installed overzealous mufflers on the exhaust. Note to Ford: turn up the volume please.
The rest of the performance metrics are just as promising. Now that the Mustang has shed its archaic live rear axle in favor of a significantly more modern independent setup, handling has taken a massive leap forward. The car takes a set in corners and is totally unperturbed by any surprise bumps or camber changes. It feels more responsive and more alive at the same time, but it’s just as happy to deliver a decent ride when it’s time to commute or run errands. The drag racing faithful will forever pine for the old setup, but this new way will please a lot more drivers.
Those drivers and their passengers will be pleased with the all-new interior. Not only does it more comfortable and functions light years better than the outgoing model, but it has levels equipment and overall build quality that makes it feel almost a luxury car-like. The ventilated leather seats are not only comfy, but their cooling effect can actually be felt- not like the piffling stream of air you feel on seats in cars that cost much more. The Shaker stereo system is incredibly loud while retaining tone clarity, enough that you can easily overpower the tunes coming from your traffic light neighbor. One of the best features has to be the ease of operation with the convertible top. Flip a latch, hold a switch, and the roof silently stows itself away. The top down/top up cycle happens so fast that you could lower the roof while waiting to for that light to turn, then change your mind and raise it again, all before the light turns green.
There are a few minor niggles that we noticed during out Road Test, and the most glaring of those has to be the reduced decibels in the exhaust department- this is a Mustang, after all. Being a convertible, you’ll feel some cowl shimmy over lumpy pavement and losing the roof dulls some of the sharpness the engineers tried so hard to integrate into the chassis. In drop-top guise, the Mustang is more adept as a Grand Tourer than an apex stormer. Still, on a beautiful day with the roof stowed and the Coyote V8 thumping out a mellifluous soundtrack there are few cars out there that can match the Mustang for pure fun.
2015 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Convertible
- Price as tested: $56,599
- Body Type: 2-door, 2+2 passenger convertible
- Powertrain Layout: Front engine/rear-wheel drive
- Engine: 5.0-litre V8, DOHC, 32 valves
- Horsepower: 435 @ 6,500 rpm
- Torque (lb-ft): 400 @ 4,250 rpm
- Transmission: 6-speed manual
- Curb weight, manual transmission: 1,791 kg (3,948 lb)
- Observed Fuel Consumption: 16.4L/100 km (14 mpg)