the highs Mellifluous V-8 muscle, an evergreen envy generator, the lows > Structural quivers, headrests designed by MTV's Jackass crew.
by Tom Swan short TAKE
IN THE STRUGGLE to keep weight down, the sheetmetal on some cars today is just thick enough to hold stampings, and no thicker. Walk on the metallic roof membrane that stretches over a contemporary coupe, and you'll wind up with a top whose contours resemble the South Dakota Badlands.
But when that same thin roof span is removed from the structural equation, rigidity is likely to suffer. The latest Mustang convertible provides, sorry to say, a good illustration of this phenomenon. Ford claims a gain in torsional rigidity of 12 percent for the 2011 model—via a standard strut-tower brace, an extra brace connecting chassis crossmembers, crossmcmbcr brace gusseting, and stiffened A-pillars— but the first pavement ripples we encountered provoked a festival of wiggles and shakes in the cowl and the steering column. The GT coupe is impressively stiff; the topless version is disappointingly flexible.
Mustang GT convertibles have the same spring rates as the coupes, but the shock
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