2013 Ford Mustang: First Drive Page 3

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Inside, graphics in the instrument panel are new, and there’s a 4.2-inch ‘productivity screen’ that taps into auxiliary gauges. And enthusiasts should get a kick out of the new Track Apps functions. With it, which you can access through the five-way controller on the steering wheel, you get a set of performance-metric functions, to let you time your own acceleration (0-30, 0-60, and 0-100 mph) and drag-race runs (eighth-mile and quarter-mile), or measure lateral g forces.

Aside from thumbing through the Track Apps screens briefly, we didn’t get a chance to test any of the Track Apps functions; when we get a follow-up drive or track time, we look forward to reporting on how they work.

Recaros available for all

The Mustang’s cabin remains surprisingly comfortable, with a design that nods to the past yet a set of surprisingly modern materials and plenty of soft-touch surfaces on the dash. Only the door panels remain a harder plastic. And we appreciate how the most supportive Recaro seats are no longer the exclusive domain of the Boss 302; those snug perches are now available throughout the lineup, as an option, and upholstered in leather or cloth. On our curvy drive, taking advantage of all the grip the Mustang could give us, we appreciated these seats’ even back support and deceptively robust side support to hold hips in place.

There are a few other new Mustang builds for 2013. For instance, the V-6 Performance Package is offered on automatic models in addition to those with a manual transmission. And finally, those who really do want to take the Mustang out on the track, there’s a new GT Track Package that’s new for 2013, and only offered on manual GT Mustangs. It includes a 3.73 axle, an upgraded radiator, performance brake pads, and the Boss 302’s Torsen differential—in addition to the larger front discs, 19-inch alloy wheels, and summer performance tires that are already a part of the Brembo Brake Package.

The Mustang starts as low as $22,995 for the V-6 or $31,095 for the GT. For less than $30k for the V-6 or just over $35k for the GT, you can get a very well equipped Coupe.

Freshened look, better-detailed yet, goodness intact

So the 2013 Mustang looks fresher and better-detailed, and has a few new and noteworthy features (like user-configurable steering boost), but drives mostly the same as before—and that’s a good thing.

And the Mustang family has a bigger enthusiasts’ story yet to come later this year—when Ford introduces the new 2013 Shelby GT500, with a 650-hp (or more) V-8 and an astonishing 200-mph top speed, and costing just $54,200.

In the meantime, look for those revised 2013 Mustang V-6 and GT models to reach dealerships later this spring.


 
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