2010 Ford Mustang GT Convertible: Much Improved

2010 Ford Mustang

2010 Ford Mustang

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The Ford Mustang is all-new for 2010. The 2004-2009 version of America's pony car was good, but now it is improved. Over 9 million Mustangs having been built and sold during Mustangs continuous production over the past 45 years. That gives the Mustang the longest production run of any single model in Ford history. I test drove the GT V-8 convertible ($35,995) for the week. Unfortunately Denver experienced a late-winter cold snap last week and I didn't get to drive it with the top down.

The 2010 Mustang GT carries an upgraded 4.6-liter 3-valve V-8 engine rated at 315 horsepower (up from 300 on the 2009 version) and 325 foot-pounds of torque (up from 2009's 320 lb-ft). The redline has been raised 250 rpm to 6500 rpm for 2010. One of the cool things about the new engine is that there are two built-in calibrations for regular or premium fuel. So the driver can use regular or premium depending on how much additional performance is desired. Ford says the use of premium fuel adds up to 10 foot-pounds of torque between 1000 and 3000 rpm.

The new engine gets its cold intake air from a system built into the grille, not under the hood, the lowest-restriction air intake system ever on a Mustang. Ford even incorporated an air induction sound pipe which brings the sound at full throttle right into the cockpit. It took me back to the 60s and 70s when you could hear the roar of the engine because the new sound deadening materials were not used yet. Ford says the fresh air system alone is worth three tenths of a second in 0-60 mph acceleration improvement because the engine makes much more power with cold air.

On the exhaust side, the V-8 version gets 3.5-inch exhaust pipes versus 3.0-inch pipes on the 2005-2009 Mustang. The standard axle ratio is 3.31:1, with two optional ratios, 3.55:1 or 3.73:1, which then comes with larger brakes. The GT chassis has also been upgraded and stiffened using borrowed parts from the 2009 Bullitt Mustang. This gives the GT a tighter ride, and less body roll than any previous Mustang.

The GT gets 235/50R18 tires, with a choice of the optional ($1,095) 245/45R19 tires. If the 19-inch tires and wheels are selected, the car will come with a strut tower brace under the hood to connect the two front struts which gives the car more strength and improved handling. The 2010 Mustang GT is a blast to drive, quick at take-off, and has a great sound to go with all the power. The handling and suspension, along with the brakes, seem to be better in the newest version Mustang.

Ford's Sync electronics, navigation with Sirius Travel Link and a rear-facing camera are among the newest options never before available on the Mustang. A premium package ($3000) upgrades with leather six-way power driver seat with power lumbar and two-way adjustable head restraint, bright shift knob, door trim panel inserts, leather wrapped steering wheel w/aluminum spokes, six-gauge cluster w/MyColor, gloss paint center stack and console, satin door speaker surrounds, Ambient lighting, Bright aluminum accent dash appliques, pedal covers, scuff plates and shifter knob, special wheels, Shaker 500 AM/FM/6CD MP3 audio system, eight speakers, Sirius Satellite Radio, Sync communications system, and split-folding rear seats.

The 2010 Mustang has a completely new interior design from the previous generation, with throwback instrument design, softer surfaces throughout, and new aluminum plates on the fascias, pedal covers, scuff plates and shifter knob. Interior ambient lighting in the door pockets, cupholders and footwells is another new interior feature, along with 125 different customizable lighting colors that can be changed with the flip of a switch with the new MyColor system.

The 2010 Ford Mustang GT has the performance, sound, and the newest upgrades to make it a desirable car to own. The GT is quicker, faster, quieter and more refined than any V-8 Mustang ever. It doesn't have the 425 horsepower of the new Chevy Camaro SS or the Dodge Challenger SRT-8, but it's also not as big as the SRT8 or as expensive as the SS. The new Mustang has more features, more comfort, and more performance than any previous production Mustang.

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