Pete Epple Technical Editor
November 15, 2011
Photos By: Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company listens to its consumer--now more than ever. The likes and dislikes of mass majority directly affect the path FoMoCo takes when designing a new vehicle or updating any of the many cars, trucks, or SUVs in its consumer fleet. When the redesigned Mustang was released for the 2010 model year, it was a love/hate situation for the Mustang world. While some felt the sleek, yet aggressive, new bodylines were just what Mustang needed, other saw it as a step in the wrong direction. For 2013, Ford has made a few subtle (and not so subtle) changes that will be unveiled at the LA Auto Show.

With a lineup as strong as the Mustang has, there is truly something for everyone. From the base V-6 to the most power Mustang ever built, the GT500, Mustang enthusiasts will undoubtedly be impressed with the newest stable of Mustangs.

"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."

There are a number of changes that have been made across the board. The front fascia has been redesigned with larger, more aggressive grill openings, and a splitter, which adds to the aggressive look. The rocker panels now come in body color, and the rear fascia has been redesigned with a high-gloss black panel connecting the taillights. The new taillights feature a smoked lens, with LED rings for each stoplight. The sequential brake lights remain, with recessed center lights, acting as brake lights and reverse lights.

The headlights have also been updated, with high-intensity discharge (HID) lights standard on all models. The 2013 Mustang will have a distinctive look with two individual light-emitting diode (LED) bars accentuating the front headlamps.

"We are delivering a more distinctive and emotional design presence that celebrates the total performance of Mustang," said Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer. "This latest Mustang design is very respectful of its heritage while continuing to look forward with a more powerful and modern look."

Under the hood, the DOHC 5.0L Coyote will return, this time with a few more horses. Power output has increased from 412 to 420 horsepower, thanks to what the design team learned from the 444hp Boss 302. The Mustang GT can also be purchased with the new six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission. This gives drivers the choice between fully automatic shifting, and full manual operation. The transmission will keep the transmission in each gear until the driver makes the gear change, even if this means hitting the rev limiter.

"This lets owners take an automatic out on a track day or whenever they want to drive sportier, and lets them have the convenience of switching to manual control," said Tom Barnes, Mustang vehicle engineering manager. "It's a significant improvement to our powertrain offerings that lets the driver take control."

Another new for 2013 option is the GT Track Pack. Designed for customers who want to push their Mustang even further at the track, the Track Pack (available only on manual GT Mustangs with a 3.73 axle) gives track enthusiasts an engine cooler, upgraded radiator, Performance Friction brake pads, and the same Torsen differential that's in the Boss 302. The package includes everything in the current Brembo Brake Package, with 14-inch vented front discs, unique 19-inch alloy wheels, and summer performance tires.

Improvements to the dash include a new 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen that lets customers access information related to fuel economy and vehicle performance. Drivers can navigate through the new screens via a five-way control button located on the steering wheel. Track Apps, which delivers performance metrics for drivers right from the factory, is also another first for Mustang. The app measures g forces, shows acceleration times in quarter-mile and 0-60 increments, and displays braking times, complete with automatic and countdown starts. This is a cool feature for anyone who's ever been to the drag strip.

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