Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
July 6, 2012
Photos By: Ford Motor Company

Performance Packed

We were excited to make a short drive in a V-6 Mustang with the Performance Pack option, but we'll admit our impression was somewhat mixed. After a steady diet of GTs, the V-6 revs OK but lacks the Coyote's low-rpm hit, of course, and we suppose we've become addicted to that hit.

We also noticed the 3.7-liter annoyingly hangs on to its rpm between shifts, and when pushed, the V-6 is thrashier sounding. However, the power is actually entertaining as long as you keep the rpm up. If twisting back roads or open-track duty is part of your fun, the V-6 will hold your interest there. If quick squirts on the street or dragstrip are your style, not so much.

Handling was quite good; had we been on more challenging roads, we might have thought it excellent. Still, the perceived reduction in front axle weight wasn't as strong as we'd hoped, and if we had a V-6 in our garage we'd be eyeballing Boss 302 chassis parts as bolt-ons.

All said, the V-6 has all the refinement inherent in a '13 Mustang and would make a great second car in a Mustang household. Clearly the pricing, insurance costs, and fuel savings are significant incentives, and with some electronic help to rid it of the hanging rpm during high-engine-speed shifts, it would be a great platform to play with or simply put a touch of pizzazz into the daily commute.--Tom Wilson

Feeling Special

There was a time in Mustang history, from the later '90s through the early '00s, that we had only a few Mustang models from which to choose. Ford built loads of trick show cars, but few if any made it to the production stage. My how things have changed.

We all know about the Boss and GT500, but now there are so many models available that even we have a hard time keeping track of them all--and that's a great thing.Perhaps even more impressive is that even the base Mustang is available in a number of configurations that exceed the base car.

A long-running option for the sixer is the Pony Package (202A), which delivers a unique grille, striping, badging, and polished wheels. It's that little extra.

For hardcore Mustangphiles, there's the Mustang Club of America Special Edition (203A). This ride gets the requisite MCA logos as well as a billet grille, Sterling Gray Metallic Painted aluminum wheels, a unique fascia with foglights, and more.

Atop any V-6 coupe--save the Pony Package or, curiously, one with white stripes--you can add the highly desirable V-6 Performance Package (67B). We've long wanted this on the order sheet and it's here. It gets you all the brakes and suspension of a GT on a V-6. You also get 19-inch Foundry Black wheels, Performance Friction brake pads, 3.31 gears, and even a unique stability control calibration. For more on that package, check out Tom Wilson's thoughts in our Performance Packed sidebar.

On the V-8 side of things, there is an even more aggressive performance package called the Track Pack (55R), which gets you Brembo brakes, additional cooling, and a Torsen diff. And you can add this to most coupes, however it's not all go on the V-8 side. You can also still order the California Special (402A) and this year it retains the vaunted 5.0 badge. If you select the fetching Cal Special, you'll gain unique badging, stripes, seats, sidescoops, and much more. You also get special Black Painted/Machined-Aluminum Wheels.

In short, we're only scratching the surface of the available options. This is a wonderful Mustang era; you really can order a Mustang to suit your own unique personality.

5.0 Tech Specs

2013 Mustang GT

Engine and Drivetrain
Block Low-pressure-cast, 319 aluminum; pressed-in, thin-wall iron liners
Crankshaft Forged steel, fully counterweighted, induction-hardened
Rods Powered metal forging, I-beam, no balance pad
Pistons Cast aluminum
Camshafts DOHC, four camshafts, independently adjustable timing
Cylinder Heads Aluminum, four valves per cylinder
Intake Manifold Composite shell-welded with runner pack
Fuel System Port fuel injection, returnless
Exhaust Stainless steel tubular headers w/ 2.75- to 3-in exhaust
Transmission Getrag MT-82 six-speed manual w/ Hill Assist Start
Rearend 8.8-in w/ limited-slip differential and 3.73 gears

Engine management Copperhead
Ignition Coil-on-plug
Gauges MyColor w/ 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen

Suspension and Chassis
Front suspension
K-member Stamped steel
A-Arms Reverse-L
Struts Independent MacPherson strut
Springs Coil
Brakes 13.2-in vented discs w/ twin-piston, 43mm, floating aluminum calipers
Wheels 19x9-in Dark-stainless, Premium painted- aluminum wheels
Tires Pirelli P Zero 255/40-R19
Rear suspension
Shocks Independent MacPherson strut
Springs Coil
Control Arms Three-link
Brakes 11.8-in vented discs w/ single-piston, 43mm, floating iron calipers
Wheels 19x9-in Dark-stainless, Premium painted- aluminum wheels
Tires Pirelli P Zero 255/40-R19

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