The modern evolution of the Mustang continues with the new 2013 model, with a Mustang that delivers on style, substance, a new exterior design, updated technology and new driver tools.
"The new Mustang is the perfect example of continuing to build on excellence," said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. "It takes the greatness of the 5.0-liter and V6 and pushes refinement to the next level. The car has been spot-on functionally, and now we're adding more features and technology to further improve the driver's experience."
More aggressive design
For the 2013 model, which goes on sale this spring, the front end of the car offers a more aggressive design with a significantly more prominent grille. A more powerful splitter adds to the appearance. Functional heat extractors on the hood of the GT are specifically placed and designed to help move hot air out of the engine compartment and cool the engine.
"With this new Mustang, 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."
Rocker panels running along the car are now body-color, adding a more premium look. The rear of the car has been updated with a high-gloss black panel that connects the taillamps. Keeping the sequential turn signal Mustang is known for, the taillamps have a smoked appearance that matches the more purposeful look up front.
New design elements include standard high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps on both V6 and GT cars. Three high-tech LED bars form the iconic rear lights. Signature lighting plays into the technology upgrades, with two individual light-emitting diode bars accentuating the headlamps.
The new Mustang offers a revamped wheel lineup, ranging from standard 17-inch wheels for the V6 all the way up to 19-inch optional wheels on the GT and V6 Performance Package. With updated designs, the wheels also offer new finishes and touches for a more powerful appearance.
There are two different finishes on the 17-inch wheel – machined-aluminum and painted-machined. Three optional V6 wheels include an updated 18-inch polished-aluminum set, an 18-inch painted-aluminum and a 19-inch painted design, with a new theme for V6 Performance Package.
The standard 18-inch painted-aluminum wheel on both GT and premium GT is an evolution of the five-spoke design. The 19-inch optional GT wheel comes with a gloss-black finish with machined face for a more sinister look, while the wheel for Brembo and Track Packages offers an updated 10-spoke dark stainless-painted aluminum.
The new car offers optional heated mirrors with a pony projection light, which casts the image of Mustang's famous pony emblem on the ground when the unlock button is activated. New colors, Deep Impact Blue and Gotta Have It Green, join the existing sporty colors for 2013.
Also new on V6 and GT coupes are optional leather-trimmed or cloth Recaro seats that are currently available on the Shelby GT500 and Boss 302. Designed to enhance the high-performance driving experience, lateral bolsters in the cushion and seat back are used to ensure drivers have the support needed on the track during hard cornering and to deliver a comfortable ride.
The seats come complete with integrated head restraints with ample room for drivers and passengers wearing helmets on the track. Openings on the seat back are designed for customers looking to create performance setups for track days. The Recaro seats are the result of a global team effort led by SVT along with the Mustang engineering group in North America, Team RS in Europe and Recaro.
New driving technologies
The 2013 Mustang maintains the outstanding balance and driving behavior Mustang owners expect, but with new technologies and packages for enhancement. The 5.0-liter engine will now deliver 420 horsepower. Based on learnings from developing the high-output 444-horsepower Mustang Boss 302, the team was able to adapt several of the designs to the 5.0-liter.
The new Mustang can be specified with a six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission. This advanced control strategy offers the driver a choice between fully automatic operation and manual control. The system is controlled with a selector button on the side of the shifter. The shifter has been upgraded for 2013 with a more modern style and improved accessibility.
"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, vehicle engineering manager for Mustang. "This is an improvement in our powertrain offerings that delivers a sporty yet smooth experience."
Unlike some competitive transmissions, SelectShift won't second-guess the driver with an override shift. With SelectShift, manual control is truly manually controlled, allowing the driver to hold a gear right up to redline if desired.
A new option, the GT Track Package, debuts for the 2013 model for customers who want to push their Mustang even further on the track. Available only on manual GT Mustangs with a 3.73 axle, the package gives track enthusiasts an engine cooler, upgraded radiator, performance friction brake pads and the same Torsen differential that's on the Mustang 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.
Other optional package updates for 2013 include offering the Brembo Brake Package on both manual and automatic transmissions on Mustang GT. For the first time, the V6 Performance Package is now available on automatic Mustangs.
Hill Start Assist makes its debut on manually equipped Mustangs. The feature helps keep the car from rolling backward, making it easier to pull away when on a slope or hill. With the brake pedal pressed, if sensors detect the car is on a slope, the system is automatically activated. Brake pressure is held in the braking system and the car remains stationary on the slope for up to two seconds after the driver releases the brake pedal.
Mustang also offers customers selectable steering that tailors the driving experience to fit their needs. With a choice of three settings, the feature allows the customer to select the steering effort, depending on his or her style of driving.
Sport mode provides the most road force felt through the steering wheel and requires the highest level of steering effort, allowing the driver to be more in tune with how the vehicle reacts to the road. Comfort mode provides the least amount of road force felt through the steering wheel and requires the least amount of steering effort, which is ideal for long, relaxing drives.
A standard mode also is available and is a balance between the comfort and sport settings. The settings are accessed and programmed through the message center.
A new available 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen that lets customers access information related to fuel economy and vehicle performance also makes its debut on Mustang. The screen is navigated through a five-way control button located on the steering wheel and offers Track Apps, which delivers performance metrics for drivers right from the factory. 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.
Two new audio systems delivering incredible clarity and sound crispness for even better sound quality are now available for Mustang. The Shaker system offers eight speakers while the Shaker Pro offers nine speakers for a premium, stage-like listening experience.
Customers can use SYNC® AppLink, which is a factory-installed feature on Mustang. AppLink is the free software program that gives SYNC users voice control of apps stored on their smartphone.
The 2013 Ford Mustang will be built at AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.