First Look: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 and 2013 Mustang Lineup

The rest of the visual changes to the 2013 Mustang are strictly cosmetic. The Mustang and Mustang GT get an optional "pony projection light" that projects the Mustang's signature prancing pony emblem on the ground when the doors are unlocked at night. Talk about showing off. Base Mustangs and Mustang GTs get two new colors, Deep Impact Blue and Gotta Have It Green, while the Boss 302 gets a unique new color too, called School Bus Yellow.

The other cosmetic changes are Boss-specific. In addition to the new paint, the 2013 Boss 302 also gets a new, reflective hockey stick graphic that pays homage to its 1970 Boss 302 predecessor. Black or School Bus Yellow Boss 302s also gets Sterling Grey accents this year on the grille, mirror, and spoiler. The new Boss also loses the love-it or-hate-it, color-accented roof and loud red wheels for a body-colored roof and gray and silver wheels.

The visual changes aren't just limited to the 2013 Mustang's exterior, as the inside gets a modest update as well. Newly optional on all Mustangs are the fantastically snug Recaro seats from the Boss 302, now available in cloth or trimmed in leather. The Mustang's instrument panel gets a light retouching, with new easier-to-read graphics, a new 4.2-inch screen located between the speedo and tach, and a gas gauge and oil temp gauge relocated to the tach's display.

Speaking of that new 4.2-inch screen, Track Apps are now available on the 2013 Mustang. Similar to the F-150's Truck Apps, the Mustang's Track Apps allow drivers to monitor performance metrics that they'd otherwise need specialized equipment for. An on-board accelerometer allows Track apps to measure the car's g force as it pulls from left to right while turning, or fore and aft while accelerating and braking. Track apps can also measure 0-30 mph, 0-60 mph, and 0-100 mph times, and for drag racers, eighth-mile and quarter-mile times. All five of those metrics can be initiated with a virtual drag racing start light, so Mustang drivers can hone their skills off the track. There's also a Brake Performance screen, where 60-0 mph and 100-0 mph stopping distances can be measured.

What good are Track Apps without added performance? For 2013, the Mustang GT's 5.0-liter V-8 gets a power boost from 412 hp to 420 hp, thanks to lessons Ford engineers learned while developing the Boss 302's 444-hp engine. The Mustang GT also gets a new option, the GT Track Pack. Available only with a 3.73 axle, the GT Track Pack builds on the Brembo Brake Package and further upgrades the GT for track use, adding such goodies as an engine cooler, upgraded radiator, performance brake pads, and the Torsen differential from the Boss 302. Think Boss on a budget.

Previously only available on manual-equipped Mustangs, the Brembo Brake Package and the V-6 Performance Package are both now available on automatic-equipped Mustangs. Speaking of which, Ford has decided to include SelectShift with the Mustang's six-speed automatic transmission. Controlled by a button on the side of the new shifter, SelectShift will allow drivers of those Mustangs to manually control what gear the car is in, without the ECU attempting to override the driver's wishes. Manual-equipped Mustangs get a new toy too, as hill-start assist is now standard for 2013.

The best part about the 2013 Ford Mustang lineup though is that you don't have to wait until the end of next year to see it, as Ford will be rolling it out this coming spring. With an all-new Mustang arriving just in time for its 50th anniversary in 2015, this update will likely be the last we'll see for the current pony.

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