The Mustang team never rests,” said Ford Mustang leader engineer David Pericak, “And in fact the Mustang engineers never sleep.” As a result, Pericak and his team are ready to unveil the 2013 Ford Mustang at the Los Angeles auto show. In addition to trim and visual updates across the line, the new Mustang range brings some serious performance news: the 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 will boast 650 hp and a top speed of 200 mph.
The new GT500 receives an aluminum, supercharged 5.8-liter V-8 engine that produces 650 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. According to Ford, the new car will hit “at least” 200 mph and will offer over 1.0 g of cornering grip.
“With the GT500 we really aimed for a completely different place than we have in the past,” said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president for marketing.
In addition to the engine modifications, the GT500 has a new carbon-fiber driveshaft, stronger clutch, and new transmission. To keep that power in check, the car has enlarged Brembo brakes with six-piston front calipers, as well as an electronic launch control function. A redesigned front fascia and splitter help cope with the rush of air at 200 mph, and also improve overall downforce by as much as 47 percent.
There are also two new options packages for 2013. The Performance package includes a Torsen limited-slip differential, as well as Bilstein adaptive dampers that let drivers choose between normal and aport suspension modes. That package can be supplemented with the Track package, which includes additional coolers for engine oil, the rear differential, and the transmission oil.
Nose Job and Equipment Updates
All models of the 2013 Mustang benefit from a mild facelift, comprising a new grille, narrower headlights, and a revised front splitter. All Mustangs get HID lights as standard, with small LED running lights resembling a small equals sign in each headlight housing. The car’s trademark three-block taillight design has been upgraded to LED illumination, along with a slightly smoked appearance. Two new colors, called Deep Impact Blue and Gotta Have It Green, join the options list.
GT models receive functional hood vents, and the 5.0-liter V-8 engine now produces 420 hp, up from 412 hp, thanks to minor engine tweaks.
Among the new options for all Mustang trims are the Recaro bucket seats, upholstered in leather or cloth, that were previously exclusive to the Shelby GT500 and Boss 302. Some models will receive the so-called “pony projection light,” which shines a Mustang logo down from the exterior mirrors when the Mustang is unlocked at night. The Brembo Brake and V6 Performance packages will be made available on cars with automatic transmissions, whereas previously they were exclusive to Mustangs with manual gearboxes.
Speaking of which, there are mild upgrades for the Mustang transmissions. Manual-equipped cars will receive hill-start assist for 2013, which helps prevent the car rolling backward on hills. Cars with automatics will receive Ford’s SelectShift, a small toggle switch on the shifter that lets drivers manually select gears.
Retro-Inspired Boss 302
While mechanical changes for the 2013 Mustang Boss 302 are mild, several visual tweaks are meant to pay homage to the Trans-Am-winning Boss 302 of 1970 (fitting, seeing as the 2012 model drew its inspiration from the 1969 Boss 302). The Boss will be offered with a new School Bus Yellow paint designed to recall Panelli Jones’ winning Boss race car, and wear reflective “hockey stick” stripes much like the 1970 car.
“Everything we did for 2013 is consistent with and links directly back to our 1970 heritage,” said Pericak. “We proved the car had what it takes to perform, and this year we focused on enhancing its eye-catching looks and celebrating its history.”
Like other models, the Boss receives a new front end treatment with standard HID headlights and LED taillights. The plastic foglight covers in the car’s grille can be removed to permit more cooling air into the engine bay while on the track. The Boss also can finally be had with a body-colored roof, rather than the contrast color available for 2012. Also, Ford’s Sync voice-recognition system finally becomes standard on the Boss.
New Track Apps
As had been rumored, the 2013 Mustang also will be offered with Track Apps. Displayed in a 4.2-inch screen in the instrument cluster, Track Apps allow drivers to monitor their car’s performance in a variety of ways. The system can show ordinary information like vehicle service intervals, fuel economy, and so on, but can also show technical gauges for the car’s oil temperature, air-fuel mixture, and transmission temperature. Another screen shows an accelerometer, while others allow owners to measure their acceleration (0-30 mph, 0-60 mph, 0-100 mph, eighth-mile, and quarter-mile times) and braking performance (60-0 mph or 100-0 mph).
The 2013 Ford Mustang range goes on sale in spring 2012.