Ford has been very successful at keeping the Mustang popular, despite decades of change in fashion, by continuing to upgrade and expand its appeal. And this time, the sky is the limit with the new Ford Mustang Glass Roof. Sure, this is nothing new for the likes of Ferrari and Porsche, but can this humble steed gallop off with the same exclusive view?
The Ford Mustang is one of the most recognizable American cars ever, but adding the 2009 Glass Roof package gives this iconic pony car a touch of pure Euro style. The glass roof is optional on both V6 and GT models and offers Mustang owners a panoramic view without giving away any of the coupe’s all-weather protection. A sliding sun shade keeps the UV rays at bay and slips easily out of the way when you want to enjoy the view. Cutting into a top to create a large sunroof or conventional convertible usually results in a loss of chassis rigidity. We’re happy to report that the Mustang Glass Roof suffers no such ill effects.
Out Premium-grade GT feels as good as any recent pony car we’ve driven. Its tight chassis with a MacPherson strut front, and 3-link solid axle rear suspension, along with optional 18-inch alloy wheels, delivers the firm but not harsh ride typical of current generation Mustangs.
And when you do push it a bit harder, the Glass Roof equipped GT responds with mild front push and solid grip. It feels softer than pure sports cars like the Nissan Z, but very predictable. The steering is among the quickest in Mustang history, but still a little short on feel, while body roll is very well controlled.
Even when thrown in hard, the Mustang platform maintains its balance and keeps the rear-end planted, unless you get seriously overenthusiastic with the throttle. That throttle controls the Mustang GT’s 4.6-liter single-cam V8. It pumps out 300 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque.
Transmission choices are our car’s Tremec 5-speed manual, or an optional 5-speed automatic. Traction control is standard on the GT. Our V8/manual drivetrain earns Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 15 city/23 highway. Our car averaged 21 miles-per-gallon of regular grade gas. The Energy Impact Score is a hefty 19 barrels of oil per year, while the carbon footprint is 10.2 tons of CO2 per year.
With an optional 3.55 limited slip rear axle and a clutch that delivers plenty of feel for a clean launch, 60 takes just 5.3 seconds. The quarter-mile races by in 13.8 seconds at 103 miles-per-hour. Despite the added weight of the glass toupee, times are essentially the same as a steel roof GT we tested three years ago.
The 4.6 revs quickly for a big V8, pulling hard from down low and picking up steam all the way down the track. The short throw manual shifter delivers positive gear changes, with ratios that make excellent use of the V8’s copious output.
GT braking is by 4-wheel discs with ABS. They bring the Mustang down from 60 in a stable, acceptable average of 129 feet. But, pedal feel is a bit on the soft side for a performance car.
The Mustang Glass Roof may offer a lot more sunshine than a standard Mustang, but other than the extra rays, the cabin is 100% Dearborn pony car.
The twin hood dash and 3-spoke wheel are classic retro, as are the gauges, though our Premium-grade car features the MyColor display that offers a choice of backlighting hues and multicolor ambient lighting that includes the cup holders.
The classically molded leather sport seats are very supportive, and the Shaker audio system is very loud! It also features an MP3 interface and Sirius satellite radio.
Ford says the top’s deep tint also reduces the air conditioner load by 20%.
As before the rear seat is a tight fit for any adult. But the back splits and folds to expand the already reasonable 13.1 cubic foot trunk.
Pricing for the Mustang Glass Roof is as simple as it gets. Just add $1,995 to the price of the V6 or GT model. In the case of our Premium-grade GT test car, that means $29,520 to start.
Given that almost two-thirds of all enthusiast car buyers also have their hearts set on a sunroof or convertible, the 2009
Mustang Glass Roof is right on the mark. So, after nearly 45 years, the Ford Mustang still manages to transcend time and fashion to capture our hearts, and with a new Mustang waiting in the wings, Ford’s formula of constant pony car upgrades is proving smarter everyday.
Engine: 4.6-Liter Single-cam V8
Torque: 320 Lb Feet
0-60 MPH: 5.3 Seconds
1/4 Mile: 13.8 Seconds @ 103 MPH
60-0 MPH: 129 Feet
EPA: 15 MPG City/ 23 MPG Highway
Mixed Loop: 21 MPG
Energy Impact: 19.0 Barrels Oil/Yr
CO2 Emissions: 10.2 Tons/Yr