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2013 Mustang: Keeping an American Icon Moving

By Arv Voss, June 16th, 2012

Mustang, the iconic American pony-car from Ford, marches forward with a "don't mess with perfection" approach. The goal of the 2013 Mustang team was to improve everything and to compromise nothing.

Manufacturer photo: For the 2013 model, the front end of the Mustang offers a more aggressive design with a significantly more prominent grille
Manufacturer photo: For the 2013 model, the front end of the Mustang offers a more aggressive design with a significantly more prominent grille

The exterior design of the 2013 Mustang evolves with a more muscular, sculpted look featuring new front and rear fascias. The enhanced, bolder appearance begins up front with the aggressive grille and prominent pony logo. There's even a glass roof version of the 2013 Mustang, along with several specialized options and features that provide the opportunity for owners to customize their Mustang to a more personal level.

The rear-end styling has aggressively angled corners, a sculptured decklid and prominent badge, with an available rear-view camera incorporated into the spoiler on some models. Dual exhaust is standard on the V-6 with other improvements including one-touch start, cold-air induction, better clutch and pedal feel, and increased torsional rigidity. Performance enhancements include larger wheels, retuned suspension componentry and additional horsepower gleaned from race track engineering experience.

Mustang V-6 models in coupe and convertible versions are powered by a 3.7-liter V-6 that makes 305 horsepower along with 280 lb.-ft. of torque. It connects to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard with an optionally available five-speed automatic transmission. The V-8 Mustangs come in 420-hp GT; 444-hp Boss 302; and the 650-hp Shelby GT500 coupe and convertible models.

My tester was the 2013 Mustang Coupe in the Premium trim powered by the V-6 coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. There were no steering wheel paddle shifters or manual shift mode, but it was possible to select lower gears through the gated shifter.

Manufacturer photo: For the 2013 model, the front end of the Mustang offers a more aggressive design with a significantly more prominent grille

The exterior was done in extremely bright Gotta Have it Green metallic finish with a Charcoal Black leather interior. The base sticker price was set at $26,200, while adding the automatic transmission, glass roof, Electronics Package with navigation, Comfort Package, V6 Performance Package and destination charge, bumped the final sticker price to $35,665.

Piloting the 2013 Mustang Coupe is a joy ride. The transmission and engine are perfectly matched, as gear steps allow near perfect rev limits. The 3.7-liter V-6 serves up healthy doses of power in economical fashion with EPA-rated fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

The ride quality is firm, yet compliant and comfortable, providing adequate stability with precise handling quality, with the steering delivering a positive feedback with good on-center feel. The coupe stays flat and balanced in challenging twists and turns.

Interior fit-and-finish continues to improve with unique and aesthetically pleasing touches adding to the interior ambience. Noise, vibration and harshness on the 2013 Mustang have been minimized for a more pleasant driving experience.

The 2013 Mustang offers an available innovative app, providing drivers with instant fuel economy and vehicle performance statistics. "Track Apps" is a unique productivity screen delivering performance metrics via an available 4.2-inch LCD screen that measures g-forces, acceleration times in quarter mile and 0-60 mph increments, displays braking times, complete with automatic and count down starts through a drag strip-style "Christmas Tree" light display.

Manufacturer photo: For the 2013 model, the front end of the Mustang offers a more aggressive design with a significantly more prominent grille

Ford's iconic pony car continues to grow into a more refined, capable and fun ride. While V-8 model Mustangs deliver a higher level of power and performance, Ford's V-6 models are likely to be the top sellers.

Specifications

Base price $26,200 (as tested: $35,665)
Curb weight 3,523 lbs.
Displacement 3.7-liter
Engine type 24-valve DOHC V6 w/SMPFI
Epa mileage rating 19 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 16.0 gal.
Horsepower (net) 305 at 6500 rpm
Overall length 188.5 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 280 at 4250 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Vehicle type 4-passenger RWD coupe
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