2005 Mustang Convertible Begins Production

The Most Affordable 300-Horsepower Convertible in America

The 2005 Ford Mustang convertible has begun its production and will be seen in the showrooms in the spring of 2005. Car and Driver named this pony car "one of the ten best cars for 2005". It is the most solid, best handling and most refined open-air version yet of this American legend.

And because the convertible was designed alongside the coupe and not as an afterthought, it is much more solid than coupe-derived convertibles of the past. Better still, it retains all of the personality that has made the Ford Mustang one of the most-loved automotive nameplates in history.

There are more than 250 Mustang clubs from around the world with the largest - The Mustang Club of America - with 11,000 members alone. And when you consider that of the more than 8 million Mustangs sold since 1965, almost 1 million of them have been convertibles. It’s clear that the convertible is a key part of Mustang’s success story.

Avoiding Extreme Makeovers

The 2005 Mustang convertible was designed from the ground up to deliver a more rigid body structure without adding burdensome weight. This was accomplished by engineering it in tandem with the coupe. An added benefit of this process - one that helped meet a goal set for the convertible's exterior design - was that it provided the car with a cohesive, integrated look. It does not look like a coupe that has undergone reconstructive surgery to become a convertible.

The fabric top also seals better than did those of previous models and it affords superior rearward visibility. Ford engineers designed an innovative z-fold top that gives the Mustang convertible a finished appearance even with the top down.

The 2005 Mustang convertible shares the coupe’s bold, aggressive look with the signature long hood, short deck and classic design cues. There’s an unmistakable hint of Mustang notchbacks of yesteryear in the convertible’s profile and stance - with the same athletic proportions, save for today’s bigger, wider wheels and tires - that make it look as good at rest as it does at speed.

The Inside Story

Just as it does with its exterior design and engineering, the 2005 Mustang convertible makes a statement with its interior. The smartly engineered convertible platform has more than twice the torsional stiffness of the previous version, helping make it the most quiet and solid drop-top Mustang ever produced. The squeaks, shakes and rattles - common on cars without fixed metal roofs - are startlingly missing from the 2005 Mustang convertible.

Rearward visibility, a common issue with fabric tops, also is improved. The 2005 Mustang convertible comes with a wide glass backlite (including a defroster), full quarter windows and slim C-pillars, all of which offer the driver a better look out the back.

Passengers will appreciate the lack of wind-related buffeting and noise when the top is down. With a windshield header panel more steeply raked than on the coupe and modified rear seatbacks, the 2005 Mustang convertible has no need for add-on devices to block the wind.

Aside from these touches, the 2005 Mustang convertible shares the coupe’s look of a much more expensive car. Mustang’s past is honored by the twin-pod instrument panel, and the present is addressed via modern materials and Ford’s much-praised attention to interior design and details. The color-configurable instrument panel gives the driver 125 different color backgrounds to illuminate the gauges and controls.

Done right because it's done light

Numerous benefits are derived from engineering both models of the 2005 Mustang at the same time, including increased torsional stiffness and a stiff, yet light chassis. The typical convertible "conversion" can add as much as 300 pounds, mostly from metal added to brace the top-less structure.

Mustang engineers added strength into both models by designing body joints and rocker panels, for instance, which help solidify the convertible without excessive bracing. The payoff from this "adding lightness" is that engineers could borrow virtually all suspension geometry and tuning from the coupe. As a result, never before have the coupe and convertible ridden and handled so much alike.

The convertible’s sensibly managed weight program also improves acceleration. The Mustang convertible should shave significant time off its predecessors' straight-line performance times much like the coupe, which Motor Trend Magazine recently tested at 5.1 seconds in 0-60-mph straight-line drag runs.

Like the coupe, the Mustang convertible uses a MacPherson strut front suspension and a rigid rear axle rear design that has surprised the automotive press with its composure and handling prowess. The secret for its success is a three-link setup with a Panhard rod that maintains precise control over the axle.
Steering is via a power-assisted rack-and-pinion system.

Disc brakes are fitted at all four corners. The Mustang GT rotors are the biggest ever used on a regular production Mustang and the calipers are the stiffest. The four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) comes with an all-speed traction control system, which can be switched off when the driver chooses to "hang it out" or drop the clutch for a smoky burnout.

The convertible’s muscular stance is enhanced by beefy tires. Standard tires on the GT are W-rated P235/55ZR-17 all-season performance radials mounted on 17 by 8-inch alloy wheels. The V-6 convertible comes with 16 by 7-inch wheels with T-rated P215/65R-16 all-season tires.

Power Personified and Personalized

Mustang is the very symbol of American muscle, and the 2005 Mustang convertible is no exception.

The base engine is a 4.0-liter SOHC V-6. Producing 210 horsepower and 240 foot-pounds of torque, it is more powerful than the 260-cubic-inch displacement V-8 that was an option when Mustang was first introduced.

For those who want something more, the V-8-powered GT convertible boasts the same 300-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 as its coupe counterpart. The GT's new three-valve V-8 has variable cam timing and thus generates 40 more horsepower than the previous-generation Mustang GT V-8. Automotive historians also will note that this new 281-cubic-inch engine produces 50 percent more power with less displacement than the legendary small-block 289 V-8 of 1964.

While they are responsive, both Mustang engines are respectful of the environment. Both meet Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle II (ULEV II) standards. On average, the 2005 fleet for Ford Mustangs will emit 57 percent less smog-forming pollution than the 2004-model-year fleet.

Five Speeds, two choices

For the first time, the Mustang convertible is available with a five-speed automatic transmission. The 5R55S automatic is optional with either the base V-6 or the V-8 GT and has closely spaced gears to keep the engine running in its power band. This assists acceleration as well as fuel efficiency.

Standard on both V-8 and V-6 models of the 2005 Mustang convertible, is a Tremec five-speed manual.

To protect and serve

While the agility and acceleration of the 2005 Mustang convertible can help a driver avoid an accident, not all bad situations can be escaped. That's the point at which passive safety systems take over.

Here again a smartly structured body comes into play. The rigid core of the 2005 Mustang convertible creates a safety cage that helps protect the cabin from deformation and intrusion during an impact. The front of the car is designed to help channel the violent energy of a collision away from vehicle occupants.

The Ford Personal Safety System is also there to serve with dual-stage driver and front-passenger air bags as well as safety belt pretensioners and energy management retractors. Side-impact air bags for the driver and front passenger are optional.

And to help you keep a Mustang convertible in your stable, an optional active anti-theft package provides an increased level of protection, including a separate alarm sounder, new anti-tow sensor, ultrasonic interior motion sensor, perimeter anti-theft protection and even a high-capacity battery to keep sounding the alarm longer.

Joint development adds to value, quality

The Mustang convertible V-6 (still the most affordable V-6 in the industry) comes well equipped in Deluxe trim with a base manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $24,495. The Ford Mustang GT convertible Deluxe is the industry’s most affordable 300-horsepower drop-top sports car with a base MSRP of $29,995.

New home for the range

With the 2005 model year, Mustang has moved to a new plant from its long-time home at the Dearborn Assembly Plant at the Ford Rouge Complex. All Mustangs are now made at the AutoAlliance International assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The 2005 Mustang convertible will go on sale in the spring.

Flat Roch, Mich., Feb. 17, 2005
Source: Ford Mustang news from the Ford Motor Company

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