The Ford Mustang was originally named so because John Najjar, an executive stylist with Ford during the 1960’s had suggested it, due to his affinity for the WWII fighter plane, the P-51 Mustang. At that time, Najjar hardly knew that the “˜Mustang’ name would one day come to embody the epitome of American muscle. As of late, the retro styled Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro have been all the rage of the muscle-car market, but both owe their very existence today to the Mustang, as it was that car that gave rise to the entire segment.
Unlike the Camaro and the Challenger, which saw pauses and breaks in production, the Mustang is the only muscle car that has consistently been in production since its inception. And now, the release of the 2010 Mustang marked the model’s 45th Anniversary.
At first glance, the ’10 Mustang does not look markedly different from its predecessors, but upon closer inspection, one will notice a much leaner, meaner, and more muscular stance than previous models, making for more refined look inside the vehicle and out. FoMoCo was generous enough to let the staff at egmCarTech test a 2010 Mustang GT Convertible for a week; our review is focused accordingly.
Note: The base 2010 Mustang carries the same 210-hp 4.0L V6 engine as last year’s model.
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Reviewed: 2010 Ford Mustang GT Convertible:
Despite exterior styling that indicates a slight fear of pushing the envelope of last year’s model, Ford says that the exterior sheet metal is all new, save for the fast-back roofline. The front end brings much muscular appeal to the car with its redesigned fascia, grille, headlamps, fenders, and power dome hood. That appeal is enhanced with new front-rear fenders and sculptured wheel flares. Though not as extensive as the front end, the rear end saw some slight changes in design with its angled rear corners, sculpted deck lid, and most notably, the retro styled sequential turn signal taillights. An optional, spoiler embedded rear-view camera is also available. The wheel-and-tire combinations on the 2010 family of Mustangs also measure 1″ larger than previous years, as they range between 17″ and 19″.
Of course, let’s not forget the more refined and sharp looking pony badge that graces the front grille.
The interior design shows the same subtle degree of change as the exterior. Fortunately though, Ford took some time to improve the quality of the interior. The squeaking and creaking noises that were a result of the poorly built, multi-piece, hard plastic interior, are a thing of the past due to the much sleeker designed one-piece, aluminum finish trimmed instrument panel.
The center instrument panel now features refined controls for the dual-climate control system, stereo controls, heated seats and other options. The same ergonomic placement of the controls are carried over to the steering-wheel and the display between the odometer allowing you to control most of the frequently used options without taking your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road.
Seating on the 2010 Ford Mustang GT is quite comfortable. The bucket seats keep your body from swinging side-to-side when you take sharp turns while providing relaxed support during performance-driving. Speaking of performance-driving, muscle-car fans will love the engine sound that is tossed into the interior when you step on the gas-pedal. For those that like to carry a nice conversation with the passenger or their significant other via Bluetooth connectivity, you might find the 2010 Mustang GT’s roar a little inconvenient.
Excited by bells and whistles? The ’10 Mustang is sure to please, with its flawless Microsoft Sync option, and MyColor feature; which gives the driver 125 colors (which we feel is excessive) from which to choose to set the mood of the interior lighting. The aforementioned rear-view camera option was our personal favorite, with its disappearing screen seamlessly embedded into the rear-view mirror.
As mentioned above, the base model is offered with the same 210-hp 4.0L V6 engine from last year. Even the GT carries the same 4.6L V8 from last year; however, the power has been increased to 315-hp with a maximum 325 lb-ft of torque, reminiscent of the 2008 Mustang Bullitt. That extra power is achieved by the addition of a cold-air induction system pioneered through Ford Racing Technology. The redline on the V8 has also been moved to 6.500 rpm, a 250 rpm increase from last year, allowing a little more room for excitement. Last years transmission options remain untouched, allowing for a choice between a 5-speed manual and 5-speed automatic.
The 2010 Mustang provides for a much tighter and more solid ride than any previous Mustang, mainly due to Reverse-L independent MacPherson struts, and 34-mm tubular stabilizer bar on the front end, a 3-link solid axle with coil springs, Panhard rod, and a 20-mm solid stabilizer bar on the rear end. Handling has also been significantly improved due to the rack and pinion with power assist.
We were a bit disappointed however, by the car’s soft braking. On the GT, braking power comes courtesy of 4-wheel power disc brakes with 4-sensor, 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS). Though an improvement over the ’09, we were definitely looking for a much quicker and stronger response when traveling at high-speeds – perhaps in 2011.
Nonetheless, pounce on the gas-pedal and you’ll see your 2010 Mustang GT snort and roar as you scare those looking at you in their rear-view mirror. 0 to 60 comes in 5 seconds, almost a tenth quicker than the previous-generation GT. We’ve heard that the 210-hp V6 Mustang takes about 6.5 seconds to reach 60.
Fuel-economy for the 2010 Mustang GT is rated at 17/23 mpg (city/highway) when mated to a 5-speed automatic and 16/24 mpg when mated to a 5-speed manual. However, Ford recommends using 87 octane for the 4.6L V8 in the owner’s manual so you should be able to save some cash at the pump.
So how much does it cost? Go for the V6 210-hp base-model and you can still say that the Mustang is an affordable muscle car with prices starting at $20,995 for the coupe, and $25,995 for the convertible. Go for the GT and get ready to cash out $28,000 for the coupe and $33,000 for the convertible. Our fully loaded (without navigation) 2010 Mustang GT Premium convertible was priced just under $40,000.
The Camaro and Challenger are indeed outstanding looking cars, but the Mustang offers three things that its competitors do not:
1. The Camaro convertible is not expected to debut until 2011, while a Challenger convertible is as of yet unconfirmed by Chrysler.
2. The Camaro Z28 is also not expected to hit until 2011, and the 2010 Shelby GT 500’s 540-hp puts the Challenger SRT8’s 425-hp to shame.
3. Ford is the only American automaker that has yet to seek government assistance, and is far from doing so. When we hear rumors of the 315-hp V8 in the GT being replaced by a new 420-hp Coyote 5.0L V8 in 2011, we can put some stock in them.
The 2010 Ford Mustang is more refined and has more muscle than its predecessors, and as the most affordable American muscle-car, it remains the most iconic.
Reviewed: 2010 Ford Mustang GT Convertible:
– By: Omar Rana