When I first got my hands on the Ford Mustang 5.0L V8 GT Convertible 10SP Automatic in Triple Yellow I took it round the track at Millbrook to see how it performed in test conditions. It was impressive on the bowl track, comfortable, steady and very powerful. It was less impressive on the hill track, but it’s not built to tear up and down shoddy roads with inverse cambers and blind hill crescents. In real life conditions it is wonderful. The Mustang, as its name indicates, is bred for the wide open spaces and long roads, ideal for cruising in consummate style. That is where it excels and for the money it is one hell of a car, offering a mixture of luxury, performance and style at a terrific price.
As ever people are divided on the looks of the modern Mustang, some prefer the classic 60’s retro design so this modern interpretation is a big jump. Actually this new Mustang is a very perceptive and forward looking evolution, retaining many of the historic features and improving upon them with smart technology, materials and design.
The long bonnet is magnificent, with the front wheel still midway between the grill and the windscreen, presenting strong curves and distinct lines that are so quintessential to this magnificent muscle car. Everything is smoother and rounder, more organic, but still imposing and dramatic, or as my nephew put it when he first saw the car “wow someone is compensating for something.”
There are two recessed air vents on the bonnet with short sloped lines running back and a dark hexagonal patterned grill presenting the chrome horse logo. Add these to the downward swooping LED headlights and black twin pronged spoiler and you have a frowning face that is full of character, with more gravitas than menace.
The side view is just flipping glorious, with muscular lines that rise and flow up from the grill, straight back, parallel to the road, narrowing at the waist with two accentuating creases that run just a shade longer than the door. It is mesmerising and beautiful. There is even a streamlined minimal running board in black that contrasts so beautifully with the triple yellow sheen. The waist of this two door car is sculptural magnificence and makes this car stand out in an admirable and grandiose manner.
The stubby back has the distinctive Mustang triple brake lights with added wings and the circular GT badge, enough of a rear to be interesting whilst keeping the focus on the bonnet which is what a Mustang is all about. You immediately know from all angles that this is a Mustang!
With the roof up or down it looks equally dazzling and the roof folds away very neatly into the boot leaving resplendent clean lines and lots of boot space. Watch the floor when the doors are opened, the wing mirrors beam a Mustang made of light on the ground! The interior also glows with red light trim in the doors, compartments and cup holders, creating a gorgeous and unique ambiance.
At this price point the interior is an absolute marvel. The brushed stainless steel panel across the top of the dashboard is reassuringly robust with luxurious stout buttons, knobs and switches in silver and black.The gear stick is a pure retro tribute to manual driving, with a proper short stick topped by a ball and switch that simply moves up and down for the different gear settings between twin cup holders. The black leather seats with white stitching are seriously plush and supportive. I drove all over Devon for a luxury tour, surfing down in Bude with the UK champion Reubyn Ash, and felt no ill effects of the many miles undertaken! The back seats are well appointed and genuinely comfortable too, offering plenty of space, so a true four seater.
The steering wheel is reassuringly solid and sporty with the Mustang horse logo and triple columned silver struts. All the controls you need are there and the instrument panel is clearly visible at all times. The instrument dials added another clever touch, changing the display as you vary the drive modes, adding impressive rev counters for each mode, with appealing animations and effects. Track mode gives you a massive horizontal digital readout of the revolutions so you can maximise your gear changes.
The display screen is touch sensitive, easy to use, with bluetooth, mobile apps and a very decent sat nav that takes seconds to work out. Most of all the bits and bobs on the panel are large, thoughtfully designed and clearly made to last. The start stop button in silver and red is well placed on the right of the centre console and is satisfying to push every time as you are greeted by that vigorous V8 engine.
The folding roof has a glass window and the visibility is excellent. You have to be motionless to put the roof up or down, but it is super fast. A quick twist of the front handle and then the electric button puts it down in under 7 seconds. The Mustang looks brilliant even with the roof up, and absolutely eye catching with the roof down. Plenty of head space with the roof up too. Climate control is very good with heated seats and steering wheel.
The specs are really impressive, it has a 5.0 litre V8 10 Speed Auto engine with 444bhp and does 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds. As an extra it offers the MagneRide® adaptive suspension system to improve ride and stability, which I would recommend, and the new 10 speed gear box is a great improvement on the older 6 speed box. The ten speed not only retains the maximum performance at each step, it’s faster, smoother and can shift directly to the right gear, without going through each one, reaching the perfect torque quickly and smoothly.
The Mustang GT convertible glides along in glamorous comfort when you want it to, but put your foot down and that outstanding V8 snarls into life, a grumbling explosive gnarly roar that just brings a huge smile to your face. It really leaps forward, surprising considering its weight, like a Mustang that has just spotted a gap in the fence with the wild open spaces of the prairie just in reach. The adaptive suspension is smooth but still allows you to feel the acceleration, as you don’t want all the movement electronically removed, and you can adjust the mode for comfort or sport. The suspension is more luxury tuned than race car, relaxing even on winter battered UK roads as they have improved the rear suspension with magnetic dampening, employing a magnetic field to affect particles in the shock absorber oil which will increase or decrease the stiffness. It holds the road really well at all speeds and is actually surprisingly good at high speed. it inspires complete confidence with little shimmer or roll either accelerating or braking, performing way above its pay grade. Plus there is ample power in that V8 to spin the back wheels and slide around with glee, on private roads of course.
Now let’s get that old chestnut out the way. You know the one, everyone says it the moment you mention a Mustang as they’ve learned it by wrote and it sounds knowledgeable. “Great for the straight but it’s no good on corners”. Let’s put that to bed. Yes, it’s not really designed as a race car, but neither is it the Mustang of old that could not take corners. It is excellent in normal road conditions, the ones we will all actually use it for. In fact there is little roll on even tight corners at speed. The performance is confident and robust, with good traction, it is still a heavy car, but the adaptive suspension and electronics are effective and agile.
It has different performance settings, from normal to sport, track and even drag strip mode that not only alter the engine response but also the exhaust sound. Endless fun. The sound from that V8 engine may be artificially tuned for different settings, but the sheer operatic goodness will have you beaming every time you put your foot down. The forceful and dynamic engine may be a gas guzzler but it is wonderfully responsive and pleasurable. Sport mode is enough for normal day to day enjoyment, but if you are lucky enough to have a private mile long straight as I did down in Devon, then you can really blast your way through the speedometer in drag strip mode and the Stang holds steady as a rock all the way.
It does around 20 mpg with normal use, which isn’t great but it is a small price to pay to possess that explosive gargling as your own personal theme tune whoever you go. An automotive symphony that announces your arrival, like the gentle rumble of thunder in the distance on a Caribbean island.
The Mustang GT V8 10 speed convertible just gets everything right, a mighty and joyful car. The word that sums it up best is “fun”, an exciting and brilliant car on long journeys or even pootling about town. You could cruise from Lands End to John or Groats or from the East Coast to the West Coast of the USA in luxurious comfort and turn every eye with its strapping beauty. Anyone who has just bought this car will sit in its fine leather seats, admiring the dashboard and bonnet, whilst listening to the engine burbling away and realise they just got the bargain of a lifetime. As a car it balances all the right qualities, it’s a convertible that looks good either way, it has four proper seats, it’s luxurious enough to punch above its weight, more than sporty enough for anyone and looks absolutely fantastic. Plus you get a heritage and brand badge with some serious power and status.
Most of all it’s a car that just makes you happy to own and drive it which does not fade with time. Definitely the biggest bang for your buck in every way; performance, looks, interior luxury, drive and comfort. A splendid combination of luxury and sports car. Cannot recommend more highly.
Full Specs & Price
New Ford Mustang GT Convertible 5.0 V8 10 Speed Auto
5.0-litre V8 quad cam 32 valve engine with induction sound tube
Performance brake system featuring Brembo 6-piston front callipers and Electronic Brake Prefill
Active Exhaust system with quad tailpipes
Electronic Line Lock (track use only)
Launch Control (manual only/track use only)
19" multi-spoke alloy wheels
"GT" exterior badge on bootlid
"5.0" exterior badge on front wings
GT front grille featuring vertical power bars
Limited Slip Differential (LSD)
Selectable Driving Modes - Normal, MyMode, Snow/Wet, Sport+, Track and Drag mode
Track Apps with accelerometer technology (tack use only)
12" Digital LCD instrument cluster
Electronic Stability Control (ESP) with three settings
Adaptive Cruise Control
Pre-Collision Assist system
Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keeping Aid
SYNC 3 8" colour touchscreen with 9-speaker DAB radio, USB & Bluetooth connectivity, voice control and Ford Emergency Assistance
Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility
LED headlamps with day running lights and LED fog lamps
Auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and auto-dimming rear-view mirror
Power-folding door mirrors with Mustang logo projection puddle lamps
6-way power adjustable front seats, driver's seat with power lumbar adjust
Ford KeyFree system with Ford Power Starter Button and keyless entry
Rear view camera with parking sensors
Dual zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC)
Heated Steering Wheel
MyColour ambient interior lighting
Max Power PS: 450
Torque Nm: 527
Max Speed MPH: TBC
0-62 MPH (Secs): 4.5 secs
Horsepower: 444 bhp
CO2 g/km: 279
Urban MPG: 14.4
Extra Urban MPG: 33.2
Combined MPG: 22.5 Standard Vehicle – On The Road Price £46,665.00*
This vehicle features the following options at extra cost:
Exclusive paint – Triple Yellow £795.00
MagneRide® Adaptive Suspension System £1600.00
Custom Pack 4 - Shaker Pro 12-speaker premium audio system; Satellite Navigation; Climate controlled seats; Ebony partial leather wrapped centre-console; 19" Forged alloys wheels in silver £2295.00
Display Vehicle - On The Road Price £51,355.00