Ford chose to once again offer a 5.0-liter V8 to power its iconic 2011 GT model lineup – a motor which had not been available since 1995. It was included in both a Coupe and Convertible model. The 5.0-liter continues with a vengeance, while joining two other Mustang engine choices: a 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder; and a 3.7-liter V6.
This latest iteration 5.0 Mustang V8 is a DOHC, 32-valve engine that now delivers 435 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm while also generating 400 pound feet of torque @ 4,250 rpm. Advanced engineering utilizes features such as Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing and all-aluminum construction to achieve these output figures.
The newest Ford Mustang GT is a power to be reckoned with in the current “pony-car” wars considering its performance capability. Some examples: the new Electronic Power Assist Steering eliminates the drag of an engine-operated hydraulic power steering pump; and combined with the new six-speed transmissions, the standard 33.1(manual) and 3.15 (automatic) rear axle ratios offer the ideal blend of mellow cruising rpm and flat-out, tire-smoking acceleration. Convertible models provide enhanced structural rigidity with a 12 percent improvement in lateral stiffness. A tower-to-tower front strut cross brace is now standard and the V brace has been strengthened by adding gussets. The secondary crossmember has also been stiffened while a front Z brace has been added, connecting the primary and secondary crossmembers. Stiffening foam was also added to the A-pillars for increased strength as well.
Aerodynamic enhancements include a new front fascia, tire spats on the rear wheels, modified underbody shields, an elevated (taller) air dam along with an added rear decklid seal.
In terms of design and styling, while the 2016 Mustang GT is not dramatically changed, the following appearance modifications have been implemented: New fender badges and side trim join a new engine cover, and the speedometer display goes up to 160 mph, while the tachometer redline increases from 6, 500 to 7,000 rpm.
My Mustang 5.0 GT test car was a Convertible equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox and featured a Competition Orange exterior with a Charcoal top and Ebony interior trimmed with machine finished metal trim accents. It was also equipped with the California Special Package which included: distinct badging, unique wheels and Miko® sueded inserts with Red accent stitching and a commemorative dash plaque labeled California Special.. The base sticker read $41,895, while the addition of the following options: Equipment Group 401A; Voice activated Navigation Package and Destination and Delivery charge bumped the final total up to $47,380 before tax and license fees.
SUMMARY: The 2016 Mustang GT Convertible is ideal for drivers with the need for speed and fresh air motoring. The 5.0-liter V8 emits an incredibly sweet rumble from its exhaust in any gear, across the entire broad torque range. Acceleration comes swiftly and pleasingly with either the manual or automatic transmission. The manual gearbox delivers short throws smoothly and precisely, with a little attention needed for sixth gear due to the spring loading. The skip shift feature required from first to fourth is an annoyance, should the engine rpms be too low when tooling around town, but it adds to the governmental fuel economy equation.
The ride quality is firm and stable, yet complaint and comfortable, with handing characteristics totally civilized, even when pushed to the edge. Interior ergonomics optimally place switchgear and controls for ease of use and functionality. There’s a power outlet positioned high on the dash, between the air vents that is ideal for plugging in a radar detector, while another resides in the center console for other accessories such as phone, iPod or MP3 player which may all be SYNCed through Ford’s connectivity system.
The top requires manually releasing a header latch , activating a switch and manually inserting plastic filler panels to cover part of the top’s operations hardware when lowered.
The return of the 5.0-liter V8, powering the 2016 Mustang GT from Ford continues as a most welcome addition. It delivers not only admirable power and performance levels, but also great driving FUN while enjoying a heightened level of efficiency. It’s a wild horse that’s indeed tamable. Oh, and there are option packages available for personalization.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
|Price as Tested:||$47,380.|
|Engine Type and Size:||5.0-liter , DOHC, 32-valve, Ti-VCT V8 with electronic sequential multiport fuel injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||435 @ 6,500 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||400 @ 4,250 rpm|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear-Wheel Drive with limited slip differential.|
|Suspension:||Front – Double-ball-joint independent MacPherson strut and tubular stabilizer bar.
Rear – Integral link independent with coilsprings, solid stabilizer bar and twin- or mono- tube dampers (applic ation-specific).
|Brakes:||Power-assisted Four-wheel power disc brakes with four-sensor, four-channel ABS and AdvanceTrac electronic stability control.|
|Tires:||Pirelli P-Zero Nero 255/40 ZR19 mounted on black 5-spoke alloy wheels with silver top insert.|
|Length Overall:||188.3 inches|
|Curb Weight:||3,705 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||16.0 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||15-mpg city / 25-mpg highway|
|Drag Coefficient:||Not listed|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.