April 2012

Vehicle Preview: The 2013 Ford Mustang

Almost 50 years after its inception, the Ford Mustang – the founding nameplate of the “pony-car” segment – continues to evolve in exciting ways. The 2013 Ford Mustang undergoes a refresh that honors the model’s heritage while delivering what Ford calls “a sleek representation of modern raw power.” The Mustang team held fast to a design philosophy summed up in the phrase: “Build on excellence.” The result is the 2013 Ford Mustang, a synthesis of fresh styling enhancements, powertrain upgrades and technology advancements that raise this performance icon to new heights.
 
Ford offers a variety of 2013 Mustang versions, five of which are convertibles. Starting at an MSRP of $22,200 is the Mustang V6, followed by the V6 Premium and V6 Convertible, GT, V6 Premium Convertible, GT Premium, GT Convertible and the GT Premium Convertible. Next comes the Boss 302, the Shelby GT500 and the top-of-the-line Shelby GT500 Convertible.
 
The Mustang continues to offer the groundbreaking Duratec 3.7-liter engine – the first V6 ever to produce 305 hp and return 31 highway mpg, an exceptional rating for a performance car capable of racing from zero-to-60 mph in less than six seconds. 
 
For 2013, the 5.0-liter V8 in the Mustang GT models receives a boost in output from 412 hp to 420 hp, thanks in part to the application of lessons learned by engineers in developing the high-output, 444-hp version of the same engine, which powers the Boss 302 and special edition Boss 302 Laguna Seca. 
 
True sports car enthusiasts will marvel at the new 5.8-liter supercharged V8 lying in wait under the hood of the extensively revised Shelby GT500 – the jewel in the crown of the Mustang hierarchy. Cranking out 650 hp and 600 lb/ft of torque, it’s the most powerful mass-production V8 in the world. It’s also capable of rocketing the GT500 beyond the 200 mph barrier…and straight into supercar territory.
 
A short-throw six-speed manual transmission remains standard throughout the lineup, but the available automatic is now a SelectShift unit, which lets the driver shift gears manually via a button mounted on the side of the shifter.
 
Hill-Start Assist, which briefly maintains brake pressure when you launch the car on a slope to prevent rollback, is now standard on models equipped with the six-speed manual.
 
Previously a manual-gearbox-only option, the V6 Performance Package – a selection of go-fast upgrades including beefier suspension and brake components, a 3.31 rear axle and 19-inch alloys – is now also available on V6 cars equipped with the automatic transmission. The same goes for the Brembo Brake Package, which is now available on both manual- and automatic-outfitted cars throughout the lineup.
 
The all new GT Track Package (available only with the 3.73 rear axle) includes the Brembo Brake Package and adds track-friendly components like an engine cooler, an upgraded radiator and the Torsen limited-slip differential from the Boss 302.
 
For drivers looking to stake their claims to outright track day dominance, the Shelby GT500 offers the new Performance Package, which feature the Torsen differential and Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers. Controlled via a simple dash-mounted button, the Bilstein active suspension features two modes: “Normal” and “Sport.” “Normal” mode smoothes out pavement bumps and pits for a relaxing ride; “Sport” mode keeps the Shelby flat and fast after the starter’s flag drops.
 
If you mean to turn hot laps from sunrise to sunset, you’ll want to add the new Track Package, which delivers a transmission cooler, an external engine cooler and a rear differential cooler.
 
Wielding the eyes and hands of true artisans, designers bestowed a host of new styling cues on the 2013 Mustang, the most obvious among them being a more pronounced grille, with body-colored trim and side splitters and heat extractors mounted in the hood to help draw hot air out of the engine bay.
 
Rocker panels are now body-colored. The HID headlights are available with LED accent bars. Three LED bars make up the taillights, which are now connected by a high-gloss black panel. The coolest new cue? The available heated side mirrors with pony projection lights that cast the signature Mustang pony icon on the ground when you unlock the doors using the remote.
 
New colors for 2013 include one unique to the Boss 302: School Bus Yellow. A body-colored roof and wheels in gray and silver replace last year’s color-accented top and red rims on the 302. The front end of the Shelby GT500 gains a new splitter and strakes to help improve cooling and downforce at high triple-digit speeds. Across the board, a slate of new wheel designs is available, ranging from 17-inch to 19-inch alloys.
 
You’ll find an impressive gathering of new equipment inside as well where the Recaro seats used in the Boss 302 are now available on all models. Infotainment technology is increased with the addition of two new Shaker sound systems and an available 4.2-inch LCD screen mounted in the gauge cluster between the tach and speedometer. With Track Apps, you can use the new screen to check a variety of performance measurements including G-forces, braking time and distance and acceleration runs. In the coming months, each Mustang version will get a closer look and more details will be offered, so check back frequently for more reports.
 
In their preview of the new Mustang, the editors at Car and Driver magazine declared that the refurbishment for 2013 would “only strengthen what is already the best car” in Ford’s stable. Come in and experience the best pony car on the planet by contacting us to schedule a test drive of the 2013 Ford Mustang.


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