DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 11, 2007 - Hot on the heels of the new Ford Bullitt Mustang and the new Shelby GT500KR, America's favorite muscle car drives into its 45th anniversary year sporting a new factory-installed glass roof.
The 2009 Ford Glass Roof Mustang provides a third roof option for customers and responds to their growing desire for more natural light. Production of large sunroofs has increased nearly 200 percent in North America since 2003, according to Just-auto. The growth is driven, in part, by consumers' daily commute time. The number of consumers with commutes lasting more than 60 minutes grew by almost 50 percent between 1990 and 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The new glass roof will be available as an option on both the V-6 Mustang and Mustang GT beginning next summer.
At $1,995, the new roof provides customers a less expensive option than a convertible, without compromising the coupe's versatility, headroom or climate-controlled environment.
"Mustang is an icon in our product lineup, and we are committed to keeping Mustang news fresh every year," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president, Global Product Development. "As the automotive landscape becomes increasingly competitive, features such as a panoramic glass roof will help differentiate our products from the competition."
Nearly one out of every two sports cars sold in America is a Mustang, and it remains the best- selling convertible. The new glass roof addresses the fact that 62 percent of buyers in the sports car segment are interested in a sunroof or moonroof on their next vehicle, according to J.D. Power and Associates research.
Mustang's Glass Roof is made of tinted privacy glass, which reduces both infrared rays and vehicle cool-down time by 50 percent. A manual roller blind is built in, allowing owners to further control exposure on sunny days.
The specially formulated glass also protects interior fabric material from solar radiation deterioration and discoloration by reducing solar light transmittance. To help improve acoustics and Mustang's interior quietness, the glass also features a layer of vinyl that reduces noise, vibration and harshness.
The glass roof Mustang is built like a coupe and has been developed to maintain the structural integrity of Mustang. The glass itself is safety glass, meaning that it shatters without sharp or jagged edges, like other automotive glass.
Glass Roof Mustangs will be assembled at the Automotive Alliance International plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The unique glass is installed at Ford's adjacent vehicle personalization facility.
Like its coupe and convertible counterparts, the Glass Roof Mustang has endured a battery of tests measuring quality and craftsmanship.
During the development phase, production-level prototypes ran through a rigorous prove-out, including various water, air leakage, durability, squeak and rattle and vehicle dynamics tests. Top quality drives the development team - as evidenced by Mustang's first-in-its segment ranking in the 2007 J.D. Power and Associates IQS, VDS and APEAL studies.
"Quality is a continuous process. The whole team is passionate about it, which results in our paying attention to the smallest details," says Paul Randle, chief nameplate engineer. "Our owners have high expectations, and we always want to meet them - with strong features like this new roof option, quality and performance."