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Ford Mustang 2018 Convertible GT Review

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Ford Mustang 2018 Convertible GT Review

Here we are testing the all-new Ford Mustang 2018 convertible. See what we think about the UK version of this high-performance car.

What Is The Ford Mustang 2018 Convertible GT All About?

Here in the UK, we got very excited when the Mustang was released in Europe in right-hand drive. Now, the car has been updated for 2018 with new features, further enhancing the ownership experience of the iconic Ford Mustang.

This year, the vast range of updates include more power for both the V8 and Ecoboost engines, new styling, new exhaust, new safety features and also new colours and options for the vehicle.

The European version of the car certainly looks the part. It now includes new bumpers at the front and rear, full LED lights as standard and bonnet vents. The lower front grille has also been raised slightly so it looks sleek, more aggressive and has better aerodynamics than the previous model. However, it is still true to the 50+ years’ heritage of the American muscle car.

At the rear on the 5.0-litre V8, there are now four large active exhaust pipes that sound amazing. This allows the car to have a ‘Good Neighbour’ mode. It can be programmed to automatically limit the exhaust’s noise output at pre-arranged times of day to avoid disturbing your neighbours.

The latest generation Mustang is available in three new colours: Kona Blue, Orange Fury and Royal Crimson. It also features a set of  19-inch forged alloy wheels in silver that are offered in multiple finishes including: Nickel, Ebony Black and Polished Aluminium.

The Ford Mustang 2018 convertible also features a series of technological enhancements that bring it bang up to date. It now includes Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and Lane Keeping Aid and for the first time, the Mustang will also offer Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert technologies.

The instrument panel has also been completely digitised, giving the dashboard a modern feel and the driver is able to customise information according to their needs.

Our Mustang GT test model is finished in Triple Yellow. It is a stunning colour, especially when reflected in sunlight. The vehicle sits on 19″ forged alloy wheels and hiding behind those are 6-pot Brembos.

Under the bonnet, there is a 5.0-litre quad cam naturally-aspirated V8 engine that generates 450PS and 527 Nm of torque. The power is delivered through the new 10-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels. The previous Mustang GT accelerates from 0-62 mph in 4.8 seconds, but Ford hasn’t released their official figures for this version yet. Rumour has it that it’s under 4.0 seconds. The car is still limited to a top speed of 155mph, though. The new model achieves 22.5 mpg combined and emits 279 g/km of CO2.

 

How Does It Drive?

From the moment you hit the start button in the Ford Mustang GT V8, it generates a brutish American muscle car feel. The exhaust note is incredibly deep and the volume of air that it shifts at idle is just phenomenal. The 5.0-litre V8 engines shakes the car a little as it idles, sending a much-appreciated vibration through the interior, exciting the driver and passenger. Very few UK cars offer this sensation, especially at idle.

When you get moving, the engine is very strong with 450PS at your disposal. Being a naturally-aspirated high capacity V8 means that it drives very smoothly. The car has inherently high torque and pulls hard through the rev range. The new 10-speed automatic gearbox leads to lightning fast gearshifts and the car feels a lot faster compared to the manual version.

Another benefit of the 10-speed gearbox is the handling of the economy and emissions of this massive 5.0-litre V8 engine. When you are not looking to accelerate, the car will upshift and ensure that you are getting the best miles per gallon performance.

 

It’s a thirsty engine, yes, but you’ll forget that minor detail once you hear it. This is the only way we will get to hear an authentic American V8 right now. There is a very distinct tone that only they make, and the Mustang GT provides bucket loads of it. It’s rougher and raspier than most European V8s, making it very desirable. The best way I can describe the sound of the V8 engine to you, is that it sounds like a car chase from one of your favourite movies.

The latest generation Ford Mustang convertible comes with two new drive modes. In addition to Normal, Sport, Track and Snow/Wet modes, there is now a Drag Strip mode and My Mode. Drag Strip mode is optimised for standing starts and focuses on maximum acceleration. My Mode lets you choose the best of the other modes to suit your own driving style. I just wanted the exhaust in Race all the time, so even if I wasn’t going fast, I could still hear the car burbling away.

 

The test model came with the £1,600 optional MagneRide Adaptive Suspension system. This uses a bespoke fluid in the all-around dampers that can be influenced electronically to adjust the damping resistance. Ford say the system monitors the suspension one thousand times per second to ensure optimum handling performance. The influence that this has on the car is incredible. Many people will think that the Mustang won’t handle UK roads well but this is the most capable version we have ever seen.

I drove the car on a selection of British roads and I was very impressed with its level of grip. I felt sure about the vehicle’s balance in dry weather and this inspired me to open up the engine a little more.

The steering is well-weighted and responsive to driver input. It is worth noting that you can adjust the weighting of the steering wheel independently of the driver modes to optimise the car to your needs.

The brakes are solid. They are 6-pot Brembos at the front and 4-pot at the rear, paired to sticky Michelin tyres after all. The steel discs will get a proper workout on the racetrack, but from my experience, I think they will stand the test of time.

What Is It Like Inside?

Expectations of muscle car interiors have always been low. You are paying for the performance after all, not the luxuries.

Our Ford Mustang 2018 convertible GT includes ebony leather seats which look great with the top down. Touch points like the door linings and door handles are finished in aluminium. Around the centre console, there is a hand-stitched, soft-touch wrap, completed with stitching in a contrast colour. Also, the instrument panel surround has a stylish aluminium finish and the Mustang plaque on the dashboard makes it clear what car you’re driving!

Our test model also includes the Shaker Pro premium audio system with 12 speakers. This sound system suits a convertible as it’s a bit louder than the standard system so it can be heard over the wind noise.

It is worth noting that the convertible makes the boot space a little smaller, but it is still ample. The roof can be taken down quickly and once down, it leaves two large openings on either side. Ford supply large plastic inserts, but you will need to put them in manually, but this is no real issue.

The Experience

The driving experience is incredible. You will feel like a star in your favourite American movie when behind the wheel of this car. That V8 burble is worth every penny and stirs up emotion in the driver.

In Triple Yellow and with the roof down, the Mustang will soon attract attention. A muscle car is all about looking good while cruising, and the Mustang GT with its stylish presence accomplishes that mission.

The Verdict

The facelift and extra technology have really taken the Ford Mustang into the modern era. They’ve put the muscle back into the muscle car. It’ll even catch European sports cars off guard now with its 450PS and 10-speed gearbox.

I think the Ford Mustang is a great buy, for what you get. However, the convertible, with its new features including the auto box puts the price up significantly. The base model manual V8 would be my best tip for a bargain.

Overall, the Ford Mustang 2018 convertible is a really cool car with a globally recognised and long-running pedigree. Comparing it against its rivals might not make sense on paper, but this is one model you need to test drive as there is no question that it’s up there in terms of X-Factor.

Specification

Ford Mustang 2018 Convertible GT Specs

  • Price: £51,355
  • Engine: 5.0-litre 32-valve naturally-aspirated V8
  • Power: 450 PS
  • Torque:  527 Nm
  • Transmission: 10-speed Auto
  • 0-62mph: TBC seconds
  • Top speed: 155 mph
  • Weight: 1,720 kg
  • Economy combined: 22.5 mpg
Gallery

Author: Paul Hadley

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