Ford Mustang Convertible Improved in 50th YearBy: Brian Powell - April 10, 2014
April 17 marks the 50 year anniversary of the first sale of a Ford Mustang. Over those fifty years, Ford has sold over 9 million models of the iconic sports car, many of those being convertibles. While the convertible Mustang has been a staple in the United States for half a century, many complaints have been made about its construction and engineering throughout the decades. Ford hopes to halt those complaints with its newly minted 2015 Ford Mustang convertible.
The majority of the complaints surrounding the design of the Ford Mustang center around two issues – the Mustang’s “choppy” ride and its inefficient and noisy top. Both of those issues have been heavily improved upon in the 50th anniversary edition of the Mustang.
In order to improve the ride of the 2015 Mustang, Ford increased the torsional rigidity of the chasis by 13 percent. (In layman’s term, Ford made the body of the car stiffer.) How does this smooth out the ride, you ask? By adding increased stability to the chasis, Ford is able to take advantage of its newly implemented independent suspension system. The increased overall strength of the chasis also means that less of the bump and grind of the road will be transmitted to the cabin of the car, resulting in a more pleasant drive both in terms of smoothness and road grip.
Aside from simply improving upon the ride of the 2015 Mustang, Ford also sought to improve the most important aspect of the convertible – the top. For years, buyers of a Ford Mustang convertible have complained about the lack of noise insulation presented by the vinyl top. With new, state-of-the-art enhancements, Ford has settled those complaints.
Instead of the flimsy vinyl top once featured on the Mustang convertible, every 2015 Mustang will see two layers of top fabric – a full outer layer along with a full inner liner. Sandwiched between these two layers of durable canvassing is a ten-millimeter thick layer of insulation, giving the 2015 convertible a cabin ride almost as quiet as its fellow fastback coupe.
Along with improving the cabin acoustics of the 2015 Mustang, Ford also sought to improve the ability of its consumers to “drop the top”. A redesigned hatch lock moves the fixture to the center of the car, allowing the driver one-handed, easy access to either lock or unlock the convertible top. More importantly, though, Ford replaced the hydraulic top drive with a new electromechanical drive, one which raises or lowers the top in half the time as the previous model and is also quieter in its operation.
“When you’re sitting in the driveway or at a traffic light and you decide you want to enjoy some sunshine, you shouldn’t have to wait around for the top to lower. Our team worked to engineer a retractable roof that gets out of the way or closes up quickly and quietly,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer.
Pericak would go on to add that “Convertible tops and iconic sports cars like Mustang have always been a great pairing. This is the best convertible we’ve ever built with a one-of-a-kind design that is instantly recognizable as Mustang and an outstanding all-around driving experience.”
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Ford is hosting several marquee events with the 2015 Mustang. Today, Ford will start allowing patrons to view the 2015 Mustang on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, a publicity stunt Ford has achieved once before.
Ford will also be sponsoring multiple driving parties across the United States, and is also attempting to set a Guinness World Record for the most eCard signatures, hoping to garner 50,000 signatures wishing the Ford Mustang a happy birthday.
Image via Twitter