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2009 Ford Glass Roof Mustang Preview
New Glass Roof Mustang protects passengers from sun's harmful rays
The 2009 Ford Glass Roof Mustang, which is shipping to dealerships now, offers convertible-like sunbathed driving enjoyment without the need for sunscreen. That's because the car's panoramic glass roof filters 90% of the sun's heat-generating infrared (IR) rays and 96% of burn-causing ultraviolet (UV) rays.
The UV-filtering capability of the new Mustang's fixed glass roof is comparable to sunscreen lotion with a sun protection factor (SPF) of approximately 50, which exceeds the dermatologist-recommended sunscreen strength of at least SPF 15.
In addition, the glass roof's ability to filter IR rays reduces heat load in the cabin so that occupants remain comfortable while enjoying the sun. The reflective glass also reduces energy used by the vehicle's air conditioner system while protecting the interior fabric from fading and deteriorating.
"The Mustang's glass roof gives customers more of what they want, sunshine, while protecting them against the sun's harmful rays," said Chester Walawender, Ford's glass technical expert. "But if an occupant wants less sun or additional privacy, the Glass Roof Mustang comes standard with a retractable mesh sun shade."
To ensure a comfortable driving experience, the panoramic roof is made of tinted privacy glass that reduces both vehicle cool-down time and infrared energy. Measuring more than one square metre in total size, the glass roof consists of two layers of glass with a layer of transparent vinyl in between.
The outer ply of glass is clear while the inner side is treated with a silver pyrolytic coating to reflect some of the sunlight. A thick polyvinyl butyral layer filters harmful rays and has acoustic properties that muffle wind and traffic noise by as much as five decibels. The inner glass layer further limits light transmission by 20%, and the manually retractable mesh sun shade decreases it even further.
Sun-soaked cruising is the Glass Roof Mustang's top appeal factor. Scientific studies show that increased exposure to sunshine or bright light is therapeutic because it regulates the body's synthesis of melatonin, a mood-regulating hormone that modulates the circadian cycle of sleep and wakefulness. Sunshine also triggers the body's conversion to active vitamin D, considered to be an effective natural remedy for 'the blues'.
The 2008 Mustang convertible became the first sports car and the first convertible ever to earn the highest possible safety ratings in new car crash tests performed by the U.S. government, including five stars for both frontal and side for driver and passenger, as well as for roll-over performance. Nearly one out of two sports cars sold in America is a Mustang and it remains the best-selling convertible. Mustang also earned first place ratings in the 2007 J.D. Power and Associates' studies on Initial Quality, Vehicle Dependability and Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL).
The idea of offering a glass roof was researched with Mustang customers beginning in 2005 to determine interest and pricing. Of those polled, 51% said the styling appealed to them and 42% said it would help make their car more unique. Ford dealer and marketing research indicate that about 20% of Mustang shoppers are likely to order the glass roof version, said Allison Revier, product marketing manager for Mustang. According to J.D. Power feature content research, 62% of buyers in the sports car segment wanted a sunroof/moon roof on their next vehicle.
The Glass Roof Mustang is available as an option on both the V-6 model and the GT, is just one Ford model that features ample sunlight and generous views.
Posted June 18, 2008