2013 Ford Mustang Preview

Jeff Youngs | Mar 26, 2012
  • Subtle exterior restyling, new wheel designs, fresh color choices
  • Performance upgrades for Mustang V-6 and GT models
  • Shelby GT500 equipped with the most powerful production V-8 engine in the world, good for what Ford claims is a 200-mph top speed



The original pony car, the Ford Mustang, is a 4-seat coupe or convertible that blends powerful engines with rear-wheel drive and styling that recalls popular Mustangs of the 1960s.

Exterior Features

Ford restyled the 2013 Mustang, adding HID headlights with LED running lights and smoked-lens LED taillights. Deep Impact Blue and Gotta Have It Green are new colors for 2013, and both the Mustang GT and Mustang Boss 302 get functional air extractors punched into their hoods. The Boss 302 receives reflective hockey stick graphics this year, and is available in a new School Bus Yellow paint job to recall the 1970 Boss 302 model.

Interior Features

A new 4.2-inch information display screen is nestled between the 2013 Mustang's tachometer and speedometer. Equipped with Track Apps technology, this screen displays statistics associated with acceleration, braking, and cornering. Sync hands-free connectivity is added as standard equipment to the Mustang Boss 302 for 2013.

Optional Features

New Shaker and Shaker Plus premium audio systems debut for all 2013 Mustangs. A Recaro seat option is now offered on the Mustang V-6 in addition to other models, and includes seatback holes for installing a 5-point racing harness.

Under the Hood

Four different engines are available in the 2013 Ford Mustang. The Mustang V-6 features a 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 bolted to a 6-speed manual gearbox with new hill-start assist technology. A 6-speed SelectShift automatic is optional, and allows the driver to manually select gears if desired.

The 2013 Mustang GT gets a power bump this year. When operated on premium fuel, the 5.0-liter V-8 makes 420 horsepower. Choose to pump regular unleaded into the tank, and you'll still extract more than 400 horsepower. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with a 6-speed SelectShift automatic optional.

A 444-horsepower version of the GT's 5.0-liter V-8 is installed in the Mustang Boss 302. This engine is paired only with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and it requires premium fuel.

Ford calls the Mustang Shelby GT500's supercharged 5.8-liter V-8 the most powerful production V-8 engine in the world. It makes 650 horsepower, 600 lb.-ft. of torque, and Ford says it allows the Shelby GT500 Coupe to reach a 200-mph top speed. A 6-speed manual transmission and a carbon fiber driveshaft are standard, and this engine requires premium fuel. Ford has also upgraded all drivetrain, suspension, steering, braking, and engine cooling components to handle the Shelby GT500's power output.

Fuel Economy

As this preview is written, the EPA has not established official fuel-economy ratings for the Boss 302 or the Shelby GT500:
  • Mustang V-6: Ranges from 19 mpg city to 31 highway, depending on transmission
  • Mustang GT: Ranges from 15 mpg city to 26 highway, depending on transmission


The refreshed 2013 Ford Mustang is equipped with all of the standard safety features you might expect, except for side curtain air bags. Those are not available.

MyKey is standard, however, and allows the owner to program speed warnings and limits, seat-belt usage warnings, and stereo volume limits, among others. Sync hands-free connectivity is standard on all models except the base Mustang V-6, and when paired to a phone during air bag deployment, offers 911 Assist. This feature puts a live emergency operator in touch with the car's occupants and can send rescue personnel to the Mustang's exact location.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the Mustang Coupe received an overall rating of 4 (out of 5) stars. View the 2012 Ford Mustang and Ratings
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