When you drive a car for a while, it’s easy to forget it’s special. Until, that is, someone reminds you…

“I am sorry to tell you that is a nice color on your car,” the cashier said sheepishly. “No need to be sorry, it is pretty cool,” I replied. After all, this is a 2019 Mustang GT sprayed in Need For Green. This car stands out from a mile away, and the color just collected compliments everywhere I went with it, just as Ford promised.

Need For Green is vibrant and jumps out at you, giving Mustang owners a look that definitely stands out in a crowd. — Barb Whalen, Ford Motor Company

Still an impressive powerplant, the Gen 3 Coyote 5.0-liter engine’s 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque gives the modern drop-top Mustang legitimate performance despite the extra heft of the necessary bracing and mechanism of the convertible top.

“This is a color Mustang fans will celebrate because of its confident and youthful attitude,” Barbara Whalen, Ford color and materials manager, said when the color debuted. “Need For Green is vibrant and jumps out at you, giving Mustang owners a look that definitely stands out in a crowd.”

Like choosing such a standout color, the choice to buy a convertible was far more deliberate in the old days. There were trade-offs in performance and driveability that had to be outweighed by the feeling of dropping the top and collecting those compliments. No matter the color, a Mustang convertible still makes people green with envy, but no longer does it mean that you have completely given up on performance.

Paired with its companion stripe and the black Performance Pack wheels, the Need For Green hue really jumps out whether the top is up or down. No matter where we drove the 2019 Mustang GT convertible, the color elicited compliments.

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This particular model was nicely optioned with the 401A toys, the Performance Pack upgrade, and even MagneRide dampers. Paired with the Active Valve Performance Exhaust, this drop-top had all the attributes to allow deftly changing from daily to performance to cruiser all in the same car.

In the everyday situations with the top up and the mode in Normal it feels most like a coupe. No longer are soft-top ’Stangs a lot noiser. Engineers have dampened wind noise and such, but the car does seem a bit tamer when the exhaust is quiet and the car’s extra weight seems more obvious when accelerating.

With the top up it was easy to fall into the feeling of driving any other modern Mustang. However, with the top down, the cockpit-inspired S550 interior lives up to its design. With the wind rushing by and the active exhaust growling, it is so much fun to bang through the gears leading up to a rev-matched downshift into a corner.

Moving from around town to a sweeping onramp, the mode goes into Sport. The dampeners tighten and the exhaust growls as the Coyote howls toward redline. It might not be as fast as a hard top, but in the moment it is plenty fast for a little fun on the street before quickly returning to more mundane duty.

Originally I picked it up for a little in-state Florida road trip, but I ended up doing several other longer commutes away from the home office and it was easy to get into a daily groove and forget this was a convertible.

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Sadly, during my week in the car, the Florida weather was a bit spotty, but the sun came out on the weekend, offering the appropriate opportunity to grab the release handle, unlock the latches, and press the button to drop the top. The operation happens in under 20 seconds, and then the sun and breeze are all around. The sound of the exhaust takes center stage, and it becomes difficult not to appreciate life’s precious moments.

I’ve always preferred the function of a hard top over the form of a convertible. However, in the right situation, it is hard to argue against a convertible, especially when you can quickly put the top up and get back to a more controlled environment.

Born with a convertible top in mind, the S550 platform has matured and its powertrain has improved since its debut in 2015, and the current version is a respectable performer and quite the looker.

It was definitely fun to have the top-down choice and the performance offered by the options, but the only mitigating factor of this combination is the price. Our example clocked in with a $55,100 sticker price, which exceeds driver’s machines like the Bullitt and PPL2 and approaches the base price of a Shelby GT350.

The latest convertibles are wonderfully capable, and when optioned in a color like this, they will always turn heads. But as potent as the current GT is, it still comes down to choosing style over performance, because Ford offers a robust selection of hotted-up Mustangs.

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