NEW FOR 2009:

– Available glass roof on V6 and GT models, upgrade package of ambient lighting, satin aluminum instrument panel trim and interior upgrades, Security Package of anti-theft system and wheel locking kit
– Limited-edition Shelby GT500KR model
– Exterior colours: Brilliant Silver added

For 2009, the Ford Mustang is mostly unchanged, pending a redesign for 2010. A new panoramic glass roof can be optioned on both V6 and GT models for an additional $2,200; it includes reflective glass to protect the interior from fading, along with a manually-operated roller blind.

The big news is a Shelby GT500KR, for "King of the Road", the company’s most powerful Mustang to date, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the original Shelby Cobra GT500KR. It builds on the GT500 and uses a supercharged 5.4-litre V8 with Ford Racing Power Upgrade Pack for an estimated 540 horsepower, along with specific suspension, braking and body modifications; 100 will be available for Canada and the U.S.

Available as a coupe or convertible, the Mustang is available with a choice of three engines: a 4.0-litre V6 with five-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed automatic; a 4.6-litre V8 with heavier-duty five-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic in the GT; and a 5.4-litre supercharged V8 in the Shelby GT500, with six-speed manual transmission.

Features on the V6 include 16-inch alloy wheels with chrome spinners, air conditioning, keyless entry, tire pressure monitoring system, cruise control, six-way power driver’s seat, six-CD/MP3 Shaker 500 audio system, Sirius satellite radio and auxiliary input, floor mats, auto up/down windows, power mirrors and variable intermittent wipers. The coupe includes a 50/50 split-folding rear seat, while the convertible features a vinyl top.

The GT adds 17-inch alloy wheels, limited-slip differential, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and fog lamps.

The Shelby GT500 adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, SVT-tuned suspension, aluminum hood, unique front and rear fascias, unique grille, leather seats, and unique steering wheel and shifter knob.

Available packages include a V6 Appearance Package (on the coupe only) of 9-inch over-the-top racing stripes, metal fuel filler cap and 18-inch wheels; a V6 Pony Package of pony grille with integrated fog lamps, 17-inch wheels, lower body side stripe, chrome-badged floor mats and handling package; a V6 Warriors In Pink breast cancer awareness package that builds on the Pony Package with pink stripes, billet-style grille, and charcoal leather-trimmed seats; a GT Appearance Package of hood scoop, bright rolled exhaust tips and pony emblem engine cover; and a GT California Special Package of black leather-trimmed seats with inserts, Comfort Package, unique fascias, side scoops, 18-inch wheels and mid-body stripes. Other available option packages add such features as anti-lock brakes and traction control to the V6 model, heated seats, ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror and anti-theft system.

Throaty and powerful, the Mustang is justifiably popular with fans of Detroit muscle. The V8 has a wonderful sound and strong acceleration, but the V6 also sounds and performs as well as many V8 models, but it costs less, gets better mileage, and looks as good as its larger-engined sibling.

The convertible models need their latches manually unbuckled, but then a button puts the top down electrically. The included soft boot is time-consuming to install, but the top’s hard header panel forms a good-looking tonneau when the roof is down and it isn’t always necessary to add the boot.

The GT500 is great fun to drive, but fans will be lining up for the GT500KR, which will undoubtedly be sold out long before they actually get into the dealerships.

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