2018 FORD MUSTANG GT CONVERTIBLE - READY TO CONVERT?
WHILE MOST WOULDN’T AGREE, MY
While most wouldn’t agree, my pick of the Mustang line-up is this one, the GT Convertible. A bit of nostalgia helps, the first example of this long-lived car line was a convertible, and if there’s one droptop you can get away with, it’s the Mustang. In its current form, this Mustang GT also delivers a decent drive.
Like the rest of the 2018 models, the converts receive a tune up in the handling department delivering better roll control, steering response and, when fitted with the optional MagneRide dampers, a well administered ride.
These are an extra $3000 you should factor into any Mustang purchase as they are bloody good. MagneRide, now in its third generation, is constantly reacting to just what is being asked by the driver and it adjusts the damping just so every poofteenth of a moment.
The damper behaviour is linked to the drive mode, so they work to cool the sting of the somewhat busy low speed ride we found in the GT Fastback, while in Sport, they have a better command over body movements. Bolted on to the GT Convertible, they make for a more complete drive experience.
The previous model exhibited some wobble and waft over the bumps, which caused the steering to be less responsive than desirable. That was okay given it was the convertible, the rush of air through your hair always helps alleviate such worries. But neither of these gremlins is an issue with the 2018 Orange Fury model we drove. We had a blast in this as it delivered a polished rear-driver experience, with no need to add the usual qualifying remark of ‘for a convertible’.
While Mustang is no lightweight, and even porkier in droptop form, it’s balanced and wide and the Michelin rubber ensures good stick. The steering is meaty and, while not overly talkative, it gets the GT turning. Front end determination is a big improvement on that of the previous model. With the MagneRide suspension on duty, the Convertible is able to filter the troubling bumps yet maintain a level stance.
Where a few of the testing lumps on our usual drive loop ruffled the feathers of the conventionally sprung Fastback, this GT smoothed them more effectively. It may be heavier than the Fastback, but the free spinning V8 with its sharp response helps haul the headless horse in smart fashion, and the long travel throttle pedal helps with feeding the gas in smoothly out of the turns.
There’s a mess of drive modes to fumble through with the 2018 Mustang, so it’s a pity the switch doesn’t toggle both ways, but Sport and Sport Plus both prove useful on road while the ten-speed auto, the only transmission offered on the convertible (also available with the 2.3 four) can be left in Drive to sort itself.
It does love swapping cogs, and the shifts are smooth and fast so they don’t upset the flow of power. For ultimate control you can use the paddles, with changes effected quickly. The brakes are reassuring too, with a firm pedal. Top down, windows up, the turbulence isn’t intolerable, while the rushing wind adds to the experience but can’t drown out the roar of exhausted hydrocarbons flowing readily from the quartet of pipes.
It’s definitely the best sounding of the GT models. We like the spruce up of the cabin with fewer hard plastics and better finishing on the console and door tops. Another option for Mustang is the Recaro seat, except you can’t get them on the convertible. However, we actually preferred these regular pews, and you’ll appreciate the heaters in winter, the blower in summer, neither of which features as an extra cost item.
The hood still requires the central latch to be manually unlocked before the electrics retract the top, requiring about 15 seconds all up. The otherwise useless rear seats are a tad more usable in the covert with the roof removed.
For one, there’s a lot more headroom, and they are more easily accessed. However there’s still no legroom and the rear view when the roof is in place is restricted, though the backing camera helps. The other concession to convertible life is a smaller boot.
But otherwise, retract the hood and enjoy.
Words: Kyle Cassidy | Photos: Tom Gasnier
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