The Ford Mustang GT Convertible packs an updated look, an improved interior, a choice of three engines and a more advanced suspension. Budget-minded enthusiasts will likely opt for either the base V6 model or the efficient EcoBoost variant, but true, dyed-in the-wool pony car fans will select the V8-powered GT model.
Buyers looking to experience the V8-powered 'Stang without the soft top can opt for the less expensive fastback model.
Derived from Ford's Evos show car, the Mustang GT Convertible's style blends new with old. Up front, it adopts a version of the design language that debuted on the Ford Fusion, but the look is clearly more aggressive than before. From its tail, the Mustang is more evolutionary than revolutionary, continuing the vertical lamp arrangement of so many of its predecessors.
The topless 'Stang offers a multi-layer cloth soft top that automatically retracts at the push of a button. Ford promises the top opens and closes twice as fast as the outgoing pony car's soft top.
Under the Hood
The Mustang GT Convertible is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that sends over 420 horsepower and 390 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels. The GT comes standard with a Getrag-developed six-speed manual transmission, and a six-speed automatic unit controlled by shift paddles mounted behind the steering wheel is available at an extra cost.
The V8 returns 15 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway when bolted to the six-speed automatic.
Underneath, the Mustang's rear solid axle has been chucked for only the second time ever (the SVT Cobra model briefly offered an independent rear setup). Up front, Mustang gains a new MacPherson strut/double ball joint design that takes up less space and offers improved handling. The suspension tweaks also helps the Mustang GT weigh less than the outgoing model.
The Mustang GT Convertible's interior is highlighted by a sporty dual-cowl dashboard design, easy-to-read vintage-inspired gauges and an oversized three-spoke multi-function steering wheel. Aviation-inspired toggle switches mounted at the bottom of the center console let the driver turn the traction control system off and adjust the car's electric power steering, which can be adjusted between standard, sport and comfort modes.
All Mustang GT Convertibles come standard with SYNC, Ford's Bluetooth-based connectivity system that allows smartphone users to place calls and stream music by using voice commands or steering wheel-mounted buttons. SYNC can also read incoming texts aloud to help the driver keep his or her eyes on the road, and allows the use of Ford-approved apps like The Wall Street Journal news and Pandora radio.
The GT Convertible also comes standard with MyFord Touch, an infotainment system that builds on SYNC by letting users control everything from navigation to climate control to the sound system with voice commands. MyFord Touch also replaces conventional sound system knobs and buttons with a center-mounted eight-inch touch screen, dual 4.2-inch displays in the instrument cluster and touch-sensitive controls in the center stack. Many consumers report that the system is a "love it or hate it" item, so those interested in the Focus are advised to try before they buy.
When called upon to haul a full load of sun-worshippers and cargo rather than deliver impressive performance numbers, the Mustang GT Convertible functions fairly well - the rear seats can hold two small adults in a pinch (though long journeys aren't recommended), and the trunk offers a respectable 11.4 cubic feet of stowage space.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Mustang GT Convertible is offered in a single trim level called Premium.
The GT Convertible Premium is the most expensive member of the Mustang lineup. As expected, it comes with a long list of standard features that includes dual-zone automatic A/C, cloth bucket seats, six-way power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, a nine-speaker stereo system with an amplifier, keyless entry and go, an AUX input, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, SYNC with MyFord Touch, a rear-view camera, heated mirrors, HID headlights, a rear diffuser, fog lights and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The list of standalone options includes rear parking sensors, a spare tire, a wheel locking kit, different wheel designs ranging from 18- to 20-inches, Recaro bucket seats, a Shaker Pro audio system, adaptive cruise control, navigation with voice command and a Premier Trim with Color Accent package that adds two-tone upholstery and trim.
The topless Mustang can be further decked out by opting for the extra-cost 401A equipment group. The package adds a twelve-speaker audio system, HD Radio memory driver's seat and mirrors and a blind spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert.
All Mustang GT Convertibles are fitted as standard with dual front and side airbags and a driver knee airbag in addition to traction and stability control systems, a post-crash alert system and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
The Mustang GT Convertible faces its most direct competition from the Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible, but buyers not set on an open air experience can also consider the Dodge Challenger R/T. The Nissan 370Z Roadster is also a worthy rival.