- The convertible version of Ford's coming 2015 Mustang pony car was designed to drop and raise faster, look sleeker and make for a roomier trunk.
- When retracted, the roof "stack" for the new 2015 Mustang convertible sits nearly 7 inches lower than the folded stack for today's Mustang drop-top.
- The fabric roof's all-new design features a single central latch and a lighter, more compact electromechanical mechanism that eliminates hydraulics.
ALLEN PARK, Michigan — If you're firming up your finances in anticipation of the showroom appearance of Ford's all-new 2015 Mustang later this year, the company this week released details of its design improvements for the convertible version of the venerable pony car that might make it a more tempting choice even for hardcore hard-top types.
In addition to engineering the 2015 Mustang convertible separately from the start to create a more rigid foundation, the all-new electromechanically driven top — no more bulky hydraulics &mdash drops in just 7 seconds, half the time required to lower the top on the current Mustang convertible.
Even more important to those who like convertibles for their styling statement, the 2015 Mustang convertible's all-new fabric top folds into a "stack" behind the rear seats that sits a full 6.7 inches lower than before, making it close to flush with the trunk lid. When the top is raised, the new triple-layer fabric and five-bow structure makes for a smoother and sleeker appearance. A thick pad of sound-deadening insulation makes the new Mustang convertible nearly as quiet inside as the hardtop, Ford engineers said.
"A great deal of effort went into details such as the shape of the rear quarter windows so that they could drop completely out of sight when the top is down," said Joel Piaskowski, exterior design director. "The top system was carefully refined to prevent unsightly folds or 'ears' at the rear corners of the roof when it's up."
The 2015 Mustang convertible now also has a single central twist handle to secure the top to the windshield header, eliminating the current dual-latch design that necessitates a reach across the passenger seat. Yes, many convertibles now feature tops that don't require any manual latching, but engineers from Ford and top supplier Webasto said an automatic-latching design was considered but eventually discarded in order to maintain the affordability of the 2015 Mustang convertible.
If you're fond of dropping or raising the top while on the run, the new Mustang convertible isn't as obliging as you might want, however: the new top won't activate at speeds higher than just 3 mph. In return, the new top's more compact design &mdash combined with the packaging advantages of the 2015 Mustang's first-ever independent rear suspension &mdash means you get a spacious 19 percent more trunk capacity, 11.4 cubic feet in total, which Ford claims leads the class.
Meanwhile, Ford also said the sixth-generation Mustang's new sheet metal and other wind-cheating components bring about a 3 percent aerodynamic improvement. Three percent may not sound like it's worth the bother, but less total wind drag helps stabilize the car at speed and will improve fuel economy something on the order of 1 percent.
Edmunds says: About 18 percent of Mustang buyers choose the convertible, but the sleeker look of the coming 2015 Mustang drop-top just might raise that number.