On the launch of the 2018 Ford Mustang, some idle chat among the assembled journalists revolved around whether the Mustang convertible was a viable example of a mid-life crisis car. We eventually settled that it depended on the length of the ponytail worn by the driver.
And here we have the very epitome of a mid-life crisis car, a Mustang convertible with the 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine. The only things that hold the from being a true sign of the fabled middle age male mental problem is that this car is black, rather than an eye searing orange, and that I don’t have a ponytail.
Normally a car with a 224kW engine wouldn’t be seen as a weak performing car, but when it is shadowed by the V8 GT with 339kW there’s obviously going to be a problem.
That’s a shame, because the Ecoboost does have a fair bit going for it. As stated above, 224kW (and an increase in this model year to 441Nm) is a pretty handy amount of power to utilise, and since the smaller engine means less weight in the nose of the car the Ecoboost handles much better than the GT on extremely winding roads.
The Ecoboost has the same ten-speed automatic as the GT and it’s a very good gearbox, shifting quickly and acting like a racing gearbox in sport mode, changing down aggressively under braking for corners and flinging the car out the other side.
Other than the engine this Mustang convertible is pretty much identical to the GT convertible, with the same specification with regards to the interior and instruments that includes the configurable TFT instrument panel, heated and cooled front seats, dual zone climate control and Ford Sync system.
One way the Ecoboost Convertible differs from the GT is fuel consumption. The claimed fuel consumption figure for the Ecoboost is 9.5L/100km, while the figure for the GT is 12.7L/100km. In the real world the difference is a touch more extreme – when I picked up the Ecoboost the distance to empty readout was 532km. When I picked up the GT it was 365km…
Anyway, the Mustang’s power operated convertible roof folds open and shut quickly, although unlike many other convertibles in the market you still have to manually lock and unlock the roof via a handle. There’s also no beep or light to tell you when the roof operation is complete, leaving you to wonder whether it is fully finished.
All mid life crisis jokes aside, there’s a clear division between the GT and the Ecoboost – the Ecoboost is best suited to driving extremely quickly point to point on the open road while the GT is perfectly suited to cruising around town and rumbling along on V8 power.