When you talk about muscle cars, the name "Mustang" comes up a lot. And when you’re a car guy, you either love the Mustang or you hate it. Camaro fans almost always despise the Mustang, and likewise, Mustang fans curse the day the Camaro was born. I am one of the few, though, that is a fan of American cars in general. I love Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge. America would be a very boring place for gearheads if these three brands did not create the muscle cars that they did. This is especially true for the Mustang.
On March 9, 1964, Ford’s assembly line in Dearborn, Michigan started production on a car that would change the entire industry. Just over a month later, people at the New York World’s Fair laid eyes on the very first pony car ever built. This new class of car spawned the birth basically every American muscle car from that point on. And now, 48 years later, the 2013 Ford Mustang GT is a work of art.
The legend continues...
New Exterior Styling
New for the 2013 Mustang GT is a significantly more prominent grille and a dominant splitter giving it the look of it’s sibling, the GT500. Functional heat extractors on the hood suck out the excess heat, helping to keep things cool under the hood. The rocker panels are body-color instead of the tacky black plastic look. Two new colors have been added to the paint roster - Deep Impact Blue and "Gotta Have It Green" Metallic Tri-Coat.
Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer, has said of the 2013 Mustang, “We are delivering a more distinctive and emotional design presence that celebrates the total performance of Mustang. This latest Mustang design is very respectful of its heritage while continuing to look forward with a more powerful and modern look.”
A more powerful and modern look is exactly what they have achieved. The new optional 19-inch gloss-black painted wheels with a machined face finish off the look making the new Mustang GT look better and meaner than ever. It is available in coupe or topless form, with the convertible option costing an extra five grand. Also new for 2013, the heated side mirrors cast the shape of the Mustang emblem onto the ground whenever keyless entry is used to unlock the doors.
A black, high-gloss painted panel now connects the smoked-lens taillights, which have dramatic LED lighting that makes up the iconic three-bar design. The GT comes standard with HID headlights and two individual LED bars in the headlamp assembly illuminate the road, while LED fog lights in the grill help you see your way through those less than desirable driving conditions.
Inside the ’Stang
There are no major changes with the Mustang GT’s interior beside the fact that you can opt for the Recaro sport seats usually found in the GT500 and the Boss 302. Of course, you get the amazing Sync technology that Ford drivers have come to love. Perhaps the most notable interior improvement is the new 4.2-inch color LCD productivity screen located in the instrument cluster between the speedometer and tachometer.
This screen allows drivers to access vehicle performance related information. Navigation through the menu is done with a five-way button on the steering wheel. Here, you can check fuel economy and trip meter, or switch to gauge mode to check on vehicle functions like oil temperature, air to fuel ratio, and cylinder head temperature. Accessing Track Apps from the menu allows for instant measuring of g-forces, braking performance, 0-60 mph, and the drag racer’s dream - 60 ft, 1/8th mile, and 1/4 mile times. I might just buy this car tomorrow!
Two new audio systems also debut in the 2013 model. The optional Shaker system pumps out 370 watts of power through eight speakers. The upgraded Shaker Pro system delivers 550 watts through nine speakers, including a subwoofer.
The Mustang GT again gets the 5.0L V8 known simply as the five-o. But this time, the 5.0 is packing 420 horsepower - eight more than the previous 5.0 - and 390 lb-ft of torque. This powerplant features twin independent variable camshaft timing, an aluminum engine block, and cold air induction. The 5.0 has a compression ratio of 11:1. Paired with the exhaust system, this engine will have that distinctive roar that Mustang fans can distinguish from a mile away.
The 2013 Ford Mustang GT will start rolling out of AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan in Spring 2012. The prices will be as follows:
| 2013 Mustang GT coupe base || $31,095 |
| 2013 Mustang GT coupe Premium || $35,095 |
| 2013 Mustang GT convertible base || $36,095 |
| 2013 Mustang GT convertible Premium || $40,095 |
All prices include the $795 destination/delivery charge.
As always with Ford, the 2013 Mustang GT has a whole slew of optional equipment. The options known so far are as follows:
| 6-Speed Automatic Transmission || $1,195 |
| 3.31, 3.55 and 3.73 Ratio Axles || $395 |
| Glass Roof || $1,995 |
| Reverse Sensing System & Security Package || $695 |
| Comfort Group for Premium model only || $650 |
| Electronics Package (NAV & DZATC) || $2,340 |
| Rear Video Camera with Electronics Package || $240 |
| Powercode Remote Starter (Automatic only) || $475 |
| Engine Block Heater || $35 |
| Red Candy Specialty Paint || $395 |
| "Gotta Have It Green" Metallic Tri-Coat Paint || $495 |
| Brembo Brake Package || $1,695 |
| Mustang GT Track Package || $2,495 |
| All Weather Floor Mats || $85 |
| Recaro Sport Seats in Leather or Cloth || $1,595|
| Shaker Pro Audio System || $1,295|
Now let’s talk about the Mustang GT’s competition, or should I say lack of competition? Ford has not yet talked about performance for the 2013 Mustang GT, but it does have more horsepower than the 2012 model: The same 2012 Mustang GT that beat the Camaro SS and the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 in the quarter mile and the 0-60 mph sprint.
Sure, the Challenger SRT packs 50 more horsepower and the Camaro SS has a slightly higher top speed, but the Mustang GT is cheaper and outperforms both of them! The Challenger SRT8 392 is the Mustang GT’s closest competitor with pretty similar performance specs, but it costs around $13k more. The Mustang GT car just works better than the competition. The combination of suspension, weight, gearing, and power put this car on top at the track.
While this Mustang would feel so much better with independent rear suspension, it’s still the leader of the pack. The backseat is better suited for two children than two adults, but I drive from the front seat anyway. I also feel like the convertible is overpriced, but the Glass Roof option is a great alternative.
The people at Ford haven’t forgotten the company’s heritage, and they continue to pump out awe-inspiring muscle cars. As a racer myself, I think the new Track Apps and the Track Package are the highlights of this car. The Track Package option gives track enthusiasts an engine oil cooler, upgraded radiator, performance friction brake pads, and the Torsen differential that’s on the Mustang Boss 302.
This is, by far, the best Mustang GT ever built. I could see myself easily spending $10,000 on options if I bought this car, but it would be money well spent. Overall, the 2013 Ford Mustang GT does its namesake justice and really lives up to and surpasses the expectations one would have of a muscle car.
More horsepower for 2013
Track Apps are awesome
Looks great with new exterior details
$5000 extra for convertible