Although Ford has plans to radically alter, downsize and reinvent the Mustang in just a couple years, that didn't stop the folks at the Blue Oval from heavily updating their entire Mustang lineup - starting with the restyled V6 Coupe and V6 Convertible, and extending on to the mid-range GT Coupe and GT Convertible - both of which gained new styling and extra power.
Let's start with the face
There's no denying that the Shelby GT500 has had the most ferocious face of the Mustang bunch, so Ford has decided to take advantage of that and extend much of the Shelby's styling to the Mustang GT (and base V6 models). But the changes to the snout are more than cosmetic, with the refreshed Mustang gaining standard High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps across the product range, as well as two LED bars accentuating the front headlamps.
Moving up to the hood, one should notice new functional heat extractors that both add to the tough look of the car, and help to whisk away the excess heat generated by the upgraded 5.0-liter V8.
The cosmetic changes extend along the side of the Mustang GT Convertible as well, with the rocker panels now painted to match the body color (they were black plastic before). Before and after each of the aforementioned rocker panels one will find one of many new wheel designs. The standard 18-inch painted aluminum wheel found on both GT and GT Premium models has been updated, but is simply an evolution of the five-spoke design. The 19-inch optional GT wheel comes with a gloss-black finish with machined face for what Ford says is a more sinister look.
Continuing to the rear of the vehicle one will notice an overhaul as extensive as the front-end, if not more thorough. The three-bar basic format has been retained, but with a decidedly more upscale, modern and downright classy look.
The new taillamps are each surrounded by an LED rope, which then is separated from the main taillamp by a small section of black housing - creating a frame for each individual lamp.
Beneath the new taillamp design lies a reworked lower fascia from top to bottom, featuring newly added reflectors, a new lower diffuser section and a large, framed section for the rear license plate.
Let's talk tech and feature changes
For the latest Mustang GT Convertible, an all-new new 4.2-inch LCD screen that is navigated through a five-way control button located on the steering wheel has been added. The new screen gives access to Track Apps, which delivers performance metrics such as g forces, acceleration times, braking times and automatic and countdown starts.
Ford has also added Hill Start Assist to manual-equipped Mustangs, which automatically applies the brake for two seconds when drivers attempt to leave a stop on a hill - avoiding rollback.
The optional audio systems for the latest Mustang GT Convertible have also been updated. The Shaker system features eight speakers and 370 watts of power, while the Shaker Pro system has nine speakers and delivers 550 watts of power.
Ford says it has also borrowed the Recaro leather-trimmed seats from the Shelby GT500 and Boss 302, but they arrive only if the option box is ticked. The Recaro seats are quite involved, containing integrated head restraints that have room for drivers and passengers wearing helmets when at the track.
Enough about the nonsense already - let's talk performance
The Mustang GT Convertible continues utilizing the relatively newly added 5.0-liter V8 engine, although for the latest model year it receives a modest power bump from 412 to 420 horsepower, which Ford attributes to "several designs" borrowed from the 444 horsepower Boss 302 variation of the same five-point-o engine.
Ford has also replaced the previous six-speed automatic transmission (six-speed manual is still standard equipment) with the new six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission.
Ford says they have redesigned the automatic gear selector to make it more friendly to manual operation with easier access. Ford also assures us that SelectShift is the real-deal - the car will not override your inputs and shift without your consent.
The GT gains a Track Package
The package, officially called GT Track Package, is available only on GT Mustangs with a standard six-speed manual transmission and equipped with the 3.73-gearing rear-end. The package adds an engine cooler, upgraded radiator, everything from the current Brembo Brake Package, performance friction brake pads, ventilated 14-inch front rotors, unique 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in performance summer tires and the same Torsen limited slip differential found on the track-shredding Boss 302.
Other package changes include the availability of the Brembo Brake Package on both automatic and manual models.
The updated Mustang GT Convertible faces its most direct competition from the revived Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible - but buyers not set on an open air experience may also consider Dodge's Challenger R/T. The Nissan 370Z Roadster is also a worthy rival.