2012 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Road Test Review

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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When I first looked at the Mustang GT Convertible in my driveway I wasn't sure what to make of its Grabber Blue paint. It lived up to its name by grabbing my eyeballs right out of their sockets so it won attention points, but it's racier than the classy metallic red paint that coated last year's Mustang convertible tester. And I mean racy as in loud, not fast.

A quick spin up the mountain painted a new picture. Yes, I already knew it would be fast as I enjoyed virtually the same GT model in coupe form last year, but somehow the blue blur infused its message into my sometimes too conservative soul – it's ok to be a bit loud when you've got something to be proud about.

Some bright orange paint across the nose along with an orange stripe or two could almost make my Grabber Blue GT tester pass for a Gulf Oil sponsored Ford racer from the past. For that reason the retro look grew on me as the week went on, as did the car during a bright, warm, sunny break.

Top down motoring is special anytime, but the GT's gurgling twin pipes make stoplight idling particularly enjoyable. A quick blip of the throttle and the gurgle transforms into a growl and then a roar as the right foot goes horizontal, 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque at my backside plus a smooth left foot and traction control managing grip. Six forward speeds seems like overkill in a car with enough torque to start out from standstill in sixth without even a hiccup, but half the fun is just rowing it through the gears, especially second, third, and fourth, the surge of power so breathtaking it'll blow you away.

You won't get blown to bits with the top down, however, such a good job has Ford done engineering air travel overtop and around the passenger compartment. It's a bit worse for those in back, but the grins on my kids' faces confirmed they didn't care.

They did care about the stereo though, and fortunately for all of us the GT comes standard with a Shaker 500 audio system featuring Sirius satellite radio. A virtual light show shines from the dash, with the GT's six-gauge instrument cluster boasting Ford's MyColor illumination complemented by ambient lighting that sparkles off bright aluminum interior accents throughout. It's quite the display at night, highlighted by nice touches like its aluminum-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum ball shift knob, leather seats with body-colour matching blue stripes and leatherette door trim with contrasting blue stitching. Lights coming up from behind won't dazzle you into blindness either thanks to an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and blind spot detection integrated into the mirrors helps to keep passing cars in check while you're in laid back cruise mode (they won't be passing you otherwise). The six-way powered driver's seat aids the comfort quotient, while all the usual powered convenience features combine for a premium experience overall.

Surprising was the GT's fuel economy, rated at just 7.6 L/100km on the highway for the 6-speed manual and 7.7 for the 6-speed automatic, while city estimates are 12.2 and 11.7 respectively. It'll make do with regular fuel, but Ford recommends premium if you want to extract all of its performance. Personally, I'd save 10-percent at the pump and happily live with 402 horsepower on regular, but just the same I filled it up with the good stuff for the next journalist to enjoy.

So what's the price for all of this open-top goodness? Freight included a 2012 Mustang GT Convertible will set you back $44,499, but keep in mind that if you'd be happy with a brilliantly fun 305 horsepower drop-top, Ford will sell you a V6-powered Mustang Convertible for a mere $32,899, complete with Premium trim and the Pony package.

Whichever way you decide to go, 550 horsepower Shelby GT500 Convertible included, Ford has an open-top Mustang that'll make your morning commute and weekends to the cottage all that more enjoyable. And it doesn't have to be in loud and proud Grabber Blue paint either. Deep, rich Kona Blue metallic might be more to your liking.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, Ford, 2012, Mustang GT Convertible, $40,000 - $49,999,

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