Starting at $35,095 the Ford Mustang GT Convertible might be built for looks but it delivers more than superficial styling, ensuring buyers get the most of out their ride from fierce engine power, improved audio components, new ambient and external lighting as well as added available tech features.
|1. For 2013 the 5.0L V8-powered GT delivers 8 more horsepower for a total of 420 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque.
2. Styling updates include new front and rear designs as well as handy HID headlights and LED taillights.
3. Added features include a new Shaker Audio system and the fun Track Apps feature to measure your own performance numbers.
4. GT Convertible models start at $35,095 with the GT Premium (as tested) at $39,095.
READY FOR TOP PLACE IN A NEW ERA?
Known for its engine roar and meaty power under the hood, the new Mustang GT Convertible hits the road with a retuned 5.0-liter V8 with 420 horsepower, eight more horsepower than the previous engine. Torque remains unchanged at 390 lb-ft.
Power and handling on the 2013 Mustang are unforgettable and the embodiment of what drivers have come to expect from Ford’s winningest race pony. This iconic vehicle moves forward at the supreme pace you’d expect from a solid and powerful V8 engine while EPA estimates for the more powerful V8 are a decent 15 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway for acombined 20 mpg.
The GTs manual transmission, equipped with a short shifter on our test car, is fun to row but requires some work. The electronic power steering system has various modes including Normal, Sport and Comfort, with varying levels of input required so you can tailor the drive to your mood.
Of course with great power comes great responsibility, something you’ll have to be aware of, as the standard brake package doesn’t seem quite up to the job of slowing this weighty (3,735 lb) machine. Thankfully, Ford does offer a Brembo upgrade for those who feel the need.
Another issue we noted was the stiff ride, which can be jarring at times.
JUST ONE LOOK
In regards to exterior cosmetics, the new Mustang oozes confidence without going overboard. Ford has even fitted the Mustang convertible with attractive interior and exterior lighting details, including the “pony logo projectors” located with the side-view mirrors that make a driver feel red carpet ready.
With its already stylized shell, the new Mustang GT Convertible comes with a slew of external features that set it apart from past models and competing hot rods like the Camaro. Included is a new splitter and GT grille with dark chrome pony, HID headlights, those LED taillights and newly designed 18- or 19-inch aluminum wheels with performance tires.
Many modern machines may have moved to retractable hard tops but the Mustang retains its soft-top, which helps keep weight down, makes for easy and quick operation and maintains that classic look.
The Mustang isn’t all about the joy of impracticality, however, as is evidenced by the Easy Fuel capless fuel filler. No cap means no opportunity for driving away with a missing or dangling fuel cap. A bit of a novelty, it does actually make life easier. And really, isn’t a convertible all about de-stressing?
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INSIDE THE FIRE
Inside there’s little new about the 2013 model, although Ford has made some effort to detract from some of the more dated aspects with gimmicks, notably the color changing ambient lighting. Previously available only for the gauges, you can now choose between purple, blue, orange, red, soft blue, green and ice blue for the footwells, cupholders and doors.
A six-way power driver’s seat comes standard and the optional leather is surprisingly premium. Heated seats are also an option.
Also helping the look of the interior are aluminum accents on everything from the three-spoke steering wheel to the dash, pedals and scuff plates.
Drivers opting for the 6-speed manual transmission may find the raised center console doesn’t allow for easy access to the shifter, something that’s further complicated if you fill the cupholders with anything other than a cellphone. Storage space is also limited with the room on the door panels too small for anything other than a wallet.
MODERN INFOTAINMENT ON THE MOVE
Optional in the GT Convertible Premium package is Navigation,though SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link are standard features. Combined, all three features synchronize with GPS technology, along with 3-D mapping, to provide voice-guided turn-by-turn directions. Furthermore, the systems provide detailed traffic and weather information, gas station locations and prices, sports scores, movie listings and more. Audiophiles will be happy to know that the system also has a 10GB digital jukebox for music files and cinephiles will be happy that DVD movies are viewable on the navigation screen when in Park.
That screen can also double as a backup camera display, handy to help park this sizeable machine.
In addition to the new standard Shaker audio system is a Shaker Pro Audio System (standard on Premium package models) that offers six speakers plus three subwoofers: two door-mounted subwoofers and one additional subwoofer mounted in the trunk. With cloth cover down and the music soaring, it’s like the Hollywood Bowl on wheels. A special enclosure protects the subwoofer from obstructing or minimizing trunk space, which overall is poor but sufficient for daily use.
Connecting to your world of contacts through your mobile device is made easy with the assistance of Ford’s SYNC with AppLink. The in-car tech platform allows drivers to pair their phones via bluetooth to take advantage of features such as hands-free calling, text messages read aloud, voice-activated commands and music searches. The navigation component also offers a 411 business search, personalized sports scores, news, horoscopes and much more. The AppLink feature lets you voice-control some of your favorite mobile apps with without taking your attention away from the road.
TRACK APPS LETS YOU MEASURE YOUR OWN PERFORMANCE
Perhaps the most notable innovation for 2013 is the all-new Track Apps feature, standard on GT Premium models. With a 4.2-inch LCD screen located within every new Mustang’s dashboard, between the speedometer and tachometer, Ford wants you to let loose your new Mustang by measuring your own 0-60 and 1/4 mile times, G-forces and braking distances, but not on public roads, of course.
Making the experience more vivid is countdown screen, with a simulated drag racing Christmas tree start lamp, plus there’s also a Results panel to record your best results. Normally you would require expensive external equipment for this kind of experience but Ford has taken out the cost and labor to give you more out of your toy.
That latest addition is yet another example of Ford’s push to modernize the Mustang. Regarded with an old man stigma by younger car shoppers, it has an increasing level of in car technology, and while still quite large, it feels connected to the road while you feel connected to it, in a way that will surprise anyone who has preconceived notions about the ‘Stang.
Updates to the body, power and technology of the Mustang means Ford continues to deliver with its American automotive icon. The down side here of course is that with these changes the price has crept up and at nearly $40,000 for our test car, it’s not the affordable machine it once was.
Not designed for practicality, buyers seeking a chariot to suit their weekend road warrior personas, or a daily drive that has nothing to do with fuel numbers but mostly fun, this is a thunderous toy that will satisfy your eyes, ears and ego.