6.23.2010

2011 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible Review



Front 3/4 view of 2011 Ford Mustang Convertible

Blue was, for most of my life, my favorite color. Three of my cars were blue. But there is something about Ford's Grabber Blue that really doesn't work for me. It's hard to explain...it photographs better (see above) than it looks in person. At least to me. And, apparently, to several other people who've mentioned "that hideous, cheap shade of blue they're painting Mustangs in now" to me.

That's probably sacrilege in Dearborn, where Ford is headquartered. In fact, I understand what it is they like about Grabber Blue. They identify it with this:


                         Front 3/4 view of 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429

That is the 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429. Built solely for the purpose of making its monster 429 cubic inch, 375 horsepower (a deceptively low number quoted by Ford...reality was more like 500hp) engine eligible for NASCAR racing in the midsize Torino, it was very likely the hairiest, most brutal muscle car of its time...and given that the era was ending...it would stand as the ultimate example of brute power until the arrival of the Dodge Viper more than 20 years later.

They built them in 1969 and 1970....but in 1970, one of the new colors available was Grabber Blue. And it seemed like any Boss 429 in the buff books of the day was a Grabber Blue model. At age 14, that seemed like a lot of cars. Now I know it was probably one or two getting shipped around to the fortunate few journalists allowed to test it.

In 1970, only 500 Boss 429s were built and only some of those were Grabber Blue. I never saw one in person until decades later at Barrett-Jackson.  But I saw plenty of these:


                        Front 3/4 view of 1972 Ford Maverick Grabber

And these:


                       1974-1977 Ford Pinto

So many, in fact, that when I see Grabber Blue, I think of Mavericks and Pintos, not Boss 429s. And that's probably true of most of us old enough to remember the 70s.

So do this: Get your new 2011 Mustang V6 convertible in a color other than Grabber Blue.

My God, these guys at Ford have found the afterburners. They've updated and refined the existing Mustang, and fixed the biggest problem with the six...power...while delivering epic gas mileage.

The 2011 V6 has 305 horsepower....one more than the '10 Chevy Camaro V6.  And they've won the mileage wars, too...EPA estimates 19 city/31 highway to the Camaro's 17/29.



                      Instrument panel view of 2011 Ford Mustang

And the best part comes when you get behind the wheel.  The tweaked interior is better put together and made of better materials than last year's. It's smoother and more contemporary, while still giving you that little flash of '60s era Mustang.

Driving? Well, 305 horsepower was Mustang GT territory before....so this gets up and runs...and Mustang has a major edge on the Camaro and Dodge Challenger because it's smaller and lighter...it simply handles better.

The convertible? You can intellectualize all day long about how the fixed-roof Mustang is the way to go in terms of structural rigidity and blah, blah, blah....

It's gorgeous. Pretty women turn and smile. Drive it two blocks on a sunny day and you'll want one. And now, no one will bust you for cheaping or wimping out and going with the V6.

Base price for the V6 convertible: $30,845. As tested (Mustang Club of America Package, 6-speed automatic transmission, 3:31 ratio axle, security package and HID headlamps), $35,000 including delivery.

Chevy intends to fix the power deficit in its 2011 Camaro, but they're stuck with the excess weight. Hands down, the Mustang is the better drive among the new-gen six-cylinder pony cars.

Can't wait to drive the 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 (hint to Ford PR).

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