Ford Mustang

Convertible 5.0

Ford Mustang, front
Ford Mustang, front
Ford Mustang, front
Ford Mustang, side
Ford Mustang, rear
Ford Mustang, rear
Ford Mustang, interior, manual

LAST August I got behind the wheel of the new Ford Mustang convertible for the first time and wet weather denied me the opportunity to get the top down.

The manual gearbox version of the same car arrived last week and again our pathetic summer climate prevented me from getting the full experience and enjoying that superb V8 rumble to the max.

Instead I had to content myself with rolling the windows down when I fired it up to listen to the glorious soundtrack.

The Mustang is one of the most famous cars of all-time - a true American icon - and sales have been healthy since it finally became available in the UK last year with the steering wheel on the right.

One of the most recognised cars across the globe the Mustang enjoys cult status and is the world's best selling sports car. On sale for over 50 years it is now enjoying success in Europe as well as in its home market.

Available in coupe and convertible body styles and with a choice of two engines, the current Mustang was designed from the start as a global product.

Penned by a design team headed by Scot Moray Callum, brother of Jaguar's design director Ian, UK cars are available with Ford's impressive 5.0-litre V8 or a slightly more economical 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo EcoBoost engine and you can match both to six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.

The Mustang certainly looks stunning and is surprisingly affordable. You can tell just by looking at it that this car means business and its bulging bonnet seems to go on for ever while its muscular wheelarches, huge alloys and shark-like front end add to the drama.

If you want the car that handles best on our roads you should stick with the coupe. Both have fully independent front and rear suspension resulting in more European handling but the convertible naturally suffers from losing the roof and it is more of a cruiser.

You can feel more flex in its body on rough surfaces or tight corners but it is a price worth paying if you really want to pose.

This manual version with a six-speed gearbox costs £41,595 and nothing else on sale can match its power or dramatic looks for that kind of money. The smaller engine version can be had for about four grand less but you really should splash the cash and enjoy the V8.

It is good for 62mph in just 4.8 seconds before going on to a top speed of 155mph.

Running costs with emissions of 289g/km and an average 22mpg will not be cheap but that will not matter to most owners.

The Mustang features selectable drive modes operated via toggle switches in the centre console and these can be used to adjust the electronic stability control, throttle responses, and steering to match Normal, Sport+, Track or Snow/Wet settings. There are also options to adjust the weight and feel of the steering.

The acceleration is blistering and the steering light and precise while the Brembo brakes fitted to the 5.0-litre help you to slow it down quickly when you need to.

I have to admit I think the car is much better with automatic transmission as the manual offers no real advantage.

The Mustang was a bit of a handful in the wet and you had to be wise and not pour on the power too quickly.

Inside it offers lots of equipment coupled with some neat retro styling touches and all the latest technology including an eight-inch colour touchscreen with a nine-speaker sound system with SYNC 2 connectivity to multi-media devices. You also get Bluetooth, a rear view camera and lots of other toys.

Fork out an extra £795 and you add sat nav with a premium a 12-speaker Shaker Pro Premium audio system.

Some of the plastics are not up to top European standards but this car has so much going for it that you won't care.

With four seats and a decent sized boot, the Mustang convertible is surprisingly practical.

FAST FACTS

Ford Mustang Convertible 5.0

Price:£41,595

Mechanical:416ps, 4,951cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:155mph

0-62mph:4.8 seconds

Combined MPG:20.8

Insurance Group:46

C02 emissions:289g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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