Adding a bit more visual flash and a bit more functional firepower, the 2013 Ford Mustang took to the stands in Los Angeles. This well-measured mid-cycle refresh was intended to celebrate the total performance of the original pony car. According to Darrell Behmer, the Mustang's chief designer, the makeover was done in a manner that respected the car's heritage while endowing it with "a more powerful and modern look."
Highlighting the exterior changes are a bolder front fascia that features a more prominent grille treatment reminiscent of the Shelby GT500 matched with a deeper splitter. Both V6 and the V8-powered Mustang GT also get standard HID headlamps set off by new LED accents while the GT adds new functional heat extractors on its hood. Body-color rocker panels and revamped alloy wheels give the 2013 Mustangs a cleaner profile while rear changes bring smoked lenses that house new tri-element LED lamps tied together by a gloss-black central valence trim panel.
The 2013 Mustang's interior also benefits from the makeover regimen, with the addition of a new 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen that provides information regarding both performance and fuel economy. Accessible via a five-way control button on the steering wheel, the system also includes new Track Apps software that measures g forces, shows acceleration times in quarter-mile and 0-60 increments and displays braking times while offering automatic and countdown standing-start capabilities. On the option front, both the V6 and GT offer new cloth or leather-trimmed Recaro sport buckets from the Shelby GT500/Boss 302 as well as a pair of new audio systems, the 370-watt Shaker and 550-watt Shaker Pro.
While the base 305-horsepower/3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 carries over unchanged for 2013, the 5.0-liter V8 in the Mustang GT gets a mild output boost that takes it from 412 to 420 horses. Hill Start Assist has been added to the standard six-speed manual transmission and the optional six-speed SelectShift automatic gets tweaks that improve its appearance and its ability to give the driver full manual control of the gear changes.
Other enthusiast-oriented options for the 2013 Mustang include a new GT Track Package that offers an engine cooler, high-capacity radiator, performance friction brake pads and the same Torsen differential used on the Mustang Boss 302. Available only on manual GT Mustangs with a 3.73 axle, it includes everything in the current Brembo Brake Package, with 14-inch vented front discs, special 19-inch alloy wheels and performance tires. GT buyers can now opt to add the Brembo Brake Package on cars with the automatic as well as the manual transmission. Ford also will offer a V6 Performance Package on autoshifted 2013 Mustangs for the first time.
"The new Mustang is the perfect example of continuing to build on excellence. It takes the greatness of the 5.0-liter and V6 and pushes the refinement to the next level," said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. "The car has been spot-on functionally and now we're adding more features and technology to further improve the driver's experience." The 2013 Ford Mustang will go on sale in spring 2012.