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2013 Ford Mustang Overview
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Although the new version is not scheduled to be released until the second quarter of 2012, fans of the Ford Mustang are already chomping at the bit over the expected changes being made to their favorite sports/muscle car. From the inside out, Ford has added several touches to the Pony that should have aficionados lining up at their local dealership when the 2013 Mustang begins rolling off the assembly line at the AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, later this spring.
Starting on the exterior, the 2013 Ford Mustang, which will be available in the same nine trims (GT, GT Premium, V6, and V6 Premium, each of which can be configured with a hard or convertible top, as well as the Boss 302) that were available for 2012, receives a more prominent front grille, front splitter, high-intensity headlights (with outboard LED light pipes) and taillights (which are ringed in LED light ropes to create the signature Mustang taillight look). Wheel designs for the 2013 Mustang have been upgraded as well.
Wheels continue to be available in 17-, 18- and 19-inch sizes, but additional styles and a sharp-looking gloss black 19-inch wheel will be available for GTs. Two additional paint schemes—“Deep Impact” Blue and “Gotta Have It” Green—will also be available. For true Mustang fans, optional “Pony Projection Lights” can be added, which will project the iconic Mustang logo on the ground next to the car when the doors are unlocked.
Inside, changes have been made as well. Recaro seats, cloth in less-expensive trims or leather in Premium trims (and optional for lower trims), are now standard in all Mustangs. Ford's “Productivity Screen” is now available for all Mustang trims as well. This 4.2-inch LCD screen gives drivers a mother lode of performance information, such as acceleration and braking performance, as well as fuel economy numbers, through a program known as Track Apps. New as available options for the 2013 Mustang will be two additional audio system upgrades, the Shaker and Shaker Pro systems. The Shaker system puts out 370 watts of power through 8 speakers, while the Shaker Pro ups the ante by producing 550 watts through 9 speakers.
The powertrain gets a tweaking as well in the 2013 Ford Mustang. The engineers at Ford have been able to squeeze 8 additional horsepower out of the standard Mustang’s 5.0-liter V8 engine—adapting several design principles used on the Boss 302 Mustang’s engine—raising the horsepower to 420 (the 3.7-liter V6 engine still reaches a maximum of 305 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque). Also new for 2013 is a revision of the SelectShift 6-speed automatic transmission. While all trims can be configured with a manual transmission, those equipped with an automatic transmission now offer the option of automatic or manual shifting via a control button attached to the shifter knob. Manual-equipped Mustangs will also now come standard with hill start assist as well.
The Boss 302 Mustang gets several upgrades for 2013 as well. The Boss 302 trim gets the new grille, splitter, headlights and taillights the other trims are receiving as well as hood extractors to keep the engine running cooler. The Boss 302 trim also gets the Ford Sync voice-activated in-car connectivity system as a standard feature. Ford Sync includes such features as Bluetooth HandsFree connectivity, 911 Assist and an on-board diagnostic reporting system known as the Vehicle Health Report.
As a common track car, fans will be happy to know that the 2013 Boss 302 will produce 444 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque and feature a race-inspired clutch tied to a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission. Additional track modifications include adding carbon fiber plating to the rear axle's limited-slip differential, higher-rate coil springs, stiffer suspension bushings and a larger rear stabilizer bar. Lightweight 19-inch black alloy racing wheels will also be standard for the 2013 Boss 302 Mustang, with Pirelli PZero summer tires.
While the Mustang faces potent competition from both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger, the upgrades in place for 2013 should help Ford maintain its position as the best-selling U.S. automaker and appease Mustang fans as they wait for the debut of the next-generation Mustang sometime in 2014.
by Mark S. Baker
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