How do you make a dynamic car even better? Sure, it might seem fairly impossible, but Ford managed to do just that with the 2013 Mustang, Mustang Boss 302 and Shelby GT500!
In the power department, the Mustang’s 5.0-liter got kicked up a notch, thanks to the 444-horsepower Mustang Boss 302. You see, engineers were able to adapt multiple designs and bring those to the 5.0-liter, realizing a whopping 420 horses! The six-speed SelectShift Automatic® transmission can be had for fully automatic operation or manual control.
You know motorsports is an important aspect of the Ford heritage, be it past, present or future, so building track-friendly production models and special packages is nothing new. Therefore, meet the new GT Track package, available for the stick-shift–equipped GT Mustang with a 3.73 axle, which provides an engine cooler, upgraded radiator, performance friction brake pads, the Torsen differential found in the Mustang Boss 302, the same ingredients as the Brembo Brake Package with 14-inch vented front discs, special 19-inch alloy wheels and summer performance tires. That Brembo Brake Package, by the way, is available on both the manual and automatic GT. And the V6 Performance Package can now be had on the automatic Mustang.
There’s also a new 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen, enabling you to access info related to fuel economy and vehicle performance. The screen is navigated through a five-way control button located on the steering wheel and offers Track Apps, which measures g forces, shows acceleration times in quarter-mile and 0-60 increments and displays braking times, complete with automatic and countdown starts.
As you can see, the Mustang’s innards are now even more robust, which could only mean the exterior needed some tweaking in order to match the new potency. The grille is more prominent, and functional heat extractors on the hood of the GT help more hot air out of the engine compartment and cool the engine. The rocker panels are now body-colored (can you say stealth?), and the rear now has a high-gloss black panel that connects to the taillights, which have a more smoked appearance.
Now, onto the most powerful production V8 on the planet: the 2013 Shelby GT500! Point to the 5.8-liter supercharged engine that makes 650 horsepower (650!) and 600 lb-ft of torque (600!) and you understand the world title.
Nearly every part of the powertrain has been optimized for producing the additional horsepower, including a new supercharger, new cross-drilled block and heads, updated camshaft profiles, new carbon-fiber driveshaft and upgraded clutch, transmission and axle. A larger, more-efficient supercharger flowing more air through the engine is key to helping produce the massive 650 horsepower. The new TVS series 2300 creates 2.3 liters of displacement and is a unique design to the 5.8-liter engine. And the entire cooling system has been significantly updated, including a larger cooling fan, fan shroud with high-speed pressure-relief doors, a more efficient charge air cooler, a higher-flow intercooler pump and an intercooler heat exchanger with volume increased 36 percent.
Additionally, almost every gear on the GT500 was revised to manage the torque and use more of the power in a way that makes it more driver-friendly. Engineers considered more than 35 gearing combinations, finally deciding on one that delivers less torque all the way through the wheels to the ground and still enables the car to achieve fuel economy targets. A key piece of the driveline, the six-speed manual transmission, offers upgraded gears, bearings and housing so it can properly manage the torque. The final drive ratio is now 3.31:1 for optimized overall vehicle gearing to complement the massive torque. Every gear besides fourth was optimized for competing performance metrics. The clutch has increased torque and rpm capacity and uses a dual-disc design.
Other changes include the front fascia and splitters being modified to handle the extreme loads at 200 mph, resulting in a car that tracks more securely and feels more planted to the road at higher speeds. It offers 33 percent more effective aero loading at 160 mph compared to the 2011 model.
And even the Mustang Boss 302 is seeing some changes for 2013. A new hockey stick graphic with reflective stripes has been added – indeed, a throwback to the 1970 Boss 302. Also a throwback? The Boss 302 and Boss Laguna Seca models will now be available in School Bus Yellow paint, like the Parnelli Jones 1970 Trans-Am championship car.
The Boss 302 also has a redone front end (removable covers where the fog lamps would be help out with cooling at the track) as well as new lighting. And SYNC is now standard.
Visit ford.com to learn more about the Shelby GT500 and all of the 2013 Ford Mustang models.