Review: 2013 Ford Mustang GT — Track Tested

Posted on 12. Jun, 2012 by in Auto News

Two years ago, we made the five-liter Mustang at Summit Point Shenandoah course and declared it an excellent track car with perhaps too emphatic a nod of the head to be aesthetic to the bare bones. This year we have. One 2013-model five-liter with the same performance equipment, but in a different eight thousand dollars in options and product enhancements Is a loaded Mustang GT worth consideration as trackday toy, or should you jump to Boss 302?

The drive from the sunny Powell, Ohio back to Shenandoah means putting 410 Freeway miles each way, on our "Gotta Have It Green" tester. This car has almost every important option, but the glass roof, and although the roof is only a treat for late-night cruises with your favorite girl in your favorite stars, it's really is too much of a huge weight on the top of the car seriously by part-time track rats are considered.

Depending on the region and incentives, it could auto run over as much as $ 42,747. That's a full ten grand on our 2011-model tester, and it brings the Mustang in some pretty exotic places, brimming charged Infiniti G Coupé and BMW 3 Series. On the street, but all additional equipment is welcome. Even the "track-focused" Recaros are a surprisingly good choice for six or seven hours worth of continuous hum at 75-85 mph, reported by the on-board computer, a solid 22.8mpg.

During the 2013 update adds some pretty nasty outside cosmetics, including a black-out tail panel and some functional retro-ish looking balls and vents, the best news is found between the round gauges. The Mustang is not a complete MyFordTouch car, but, like the Super Duty trucks it has a good, solid SYNC system which reliably detects my squeaky voice, as I expect everything from the location of the nearest Pizza Hut to an eleventh-numbing repetition of Corrine Bailey Rae "Call Me When You Get This". The center LCD screen is informative, readable, and even includes a nice g-meter that shown above and maxed-out, from your humble author.

Grind at the end of our highway, I am convinced that the Mustang really is the best, makes the most thoroughly realized Ford product, it has no real competition: The Camaro and Chally are pigs in contrast, even if they handsome Pigs like Wilbur. Such a situation is a recipe for stagnation, but it is hard to argue that the current Mustang was not getting anywhere, it was necessary to improve. Any positive tradition associated with the Mustang name is replicated faithfully in this class …

… Except, perhaps, value. It depends on how you look at it. The car just did not have $ 42,000 worth superslab-cruising or child seat carrying value. The Audi A5 is a much more comfortable vehicle to travel in the long or short distances. It's a difficult choice: to buy the $ 32,000 GT and have the fastest car, buy a lot of money that can, or buy the $ 42,000 GT and, well, okay, you're going more the fastest car you can buy that much money, but not that sexy little student who lives next door more impressed by some four-cylinder BMW?

After we arrive at the Shenandoah, is everything. Social impact crap out of the window Time to take a lap time, so feel free to open, follow your route and map.

Join me as we start / finish line and handed preparation for Turn One. Was our input for switching 22/Turn 1 combo, which should be taken as a single corner, appropriate? Who cares? The five-liter turns the car at the will of the most beautiful and controllable manner possible. The throttle programming on this engine is sublime, so that you 100-minute increments precise add as you at one-gee and cornering light cranked. We are at full throttle from exit 1 on the input of 5 and here the GT shows its inferiority compared to the Boss 302, both in the pesky P Zero Nero all-season tires and roly-poly kind of non-adjustable suspension. The transition requires commitment, even if it is not required, thanks to power steering muscles that never runs out juice, even after several back and forth swings. For most of us who were raised on small, sporty cars, the mental attitude will need to ignore the Mustang long hood look at the track a few laps. The steering is trustworthy nature helps to ensure that, after a while we no longer fear that the nose "off".

Five requires a fairly vicious stab on the brakes. The GT does not like curbs the kind of boss likes them, especially because the adjustable suspension is boss-exclusive, but it's okay, the curb as some bouncers use the "Stone House Straight". The five-liter heroic character asserts itself here, and it is a perfect partner for the 3.73 rear. GT has never feel out of breath or starving for torque. If, say, the VQ / FM Nissans are used, this will blow the cobwebs out of your head and calibrate your idea of what means "fast".

Perhaps our mind is wandering during this short Stonehouse straight. We may think for a moment about how the 5.0 "Coyote" is only soooo more satisfying than the GM LS motors. Why? It's simple. The damn thing Number of revolutions without complaining. He loves to rev. It's like two Honda fours together. The Chevy small-block trim was never an avid revver in LS6 and LS7. Yes, it is will rev, but the Coyote jumps to redline where the GM loafs.

What a shame, then, that the GT is not a beautiful Tremec transmission through to get all this power taken. I do not want to place the item on the Chinese-assembled six-speed ride around, but it has to be said. The Mustang deserves better. Ford in the habit of premium pricing their vehicles, so why not install a premium transfer and charge the difference

Alright. This car is so fast, we do not have time not to navel-gaze longer. Time for the large brake stomp in six and seven, which we needed as a single "V"-shaped curve, with adaptation as throttle. This Mustang, as well as the 2011 model, just like the boss requires brake management. If you do not know what that is, I can give you in a 2012 TrackDAZE event (conversation SPONSORED MESSAGE!) Teachings, or you can contact a teacher and Peter Krause. (Unsponsored conversation MESSAGE!)

The 8-9-10 complex we take in a wide arc before throttling to 11 This is where the infamous live axle should sabotage the car. It does not work. It simply requires respect when you come to the curbs. If your front wheels are not straight when a curb speed bump, the car will not be straight when he lands. Fair enough? Last week we talked about how the Hyundai Genesis does not suffer from this problem. This is not to suffer a Mustang GT ever existed from the problem of a Hyundai Genesis on a racetrack.

The cursed P-Zeros require patience to 11, and I mean Patience. Wants to run the five liter. Make it wait. Yes, the 5.0 set the output curve with throttle, but that means you have to be hot rear tires for the rest of the round. Best to wait and then let the engine pull the bridge straight. We are well over 110 miles per hour, when all four wheels leave the ground, the "bump jump." How well does jump an almost-two-ton car, and land? Just fine, thanks. The unibody only feels solid. Then it's time to hit the ABS and dive into the replica carousel. Now we are happy that we are in a Mustang, because unlike many delicate cars, we can enter 55 mph or so without breaking the nose. Are not you glad that you do not buy a Boss Laguna Seca? The splitter would be the grass, his son.

Again, the fundamental soundness of the Mustang structure. It rattles less than 997 or a new Corvette through the concrete bowl, and it's pretty Jumps with a large side step from the comparative Torsen rear. Make sure you buy the limited slip rear diff. Without it can not do to do the rear tire, which is required to manage understeer.

Turns 14, 15 and 16 are simply walk straight through the curb-chomping Mustang. Also here is the car big and solid as a Panther and accelerates like a NASA American Iron racer. Better to keep the car a little, the management of the brakes, turn 17th

This, dear reader, is where you miss your Civic. More accurately, you will not miss the Fox Mustang, and maybe even the SN95 Mustang. Need Why oh, why, exactly, is this vehicle soooo big? The P Zeros are part of the eternal wait in this very slow to blame right-hander, but most of it is really just due to the fact that the Mustang is 105% the correct size. Blame the Lincoln LS and donated his platform, but a ride in a Camaro will show you that it. Worse platforms from which to build a Ponycar

What is left behind? A dynamometer in a long curve and a straight back. With the right tires, the GT would not even have to slow down for "Big Bend". With the Pirellis you have a little cautious. The steering is your ally faithfully report here the amount of handle in a manner that can not be achieved Corvettes forever. Then we are on the brakes difficult for 20 and then again for 21 … brings us to the start / finish line.

You have questions. I have some answers.

  • Should I buy this over the Camaro or Challenger? Yes, if you like ever track it. If not, you should have increased the Challenger, the road presence and more space.
  • Should I buy these charged GT or a Boss? A Boss. If you can afford it. The actual transaction price difference between $ 42K and $ 45K GT Boss with Recaros and Torsens probably on the high side of six thousand dollars. If on the other hand, you just want a nice street car, the boss is a waste. Get a GT, and buy the glass roof is also available.
  • Is there a relatively inexpensive car that can compete with this on the track? Almost certainly not.
  • How much faster than a G37, 328i, A5, or just CTS Coupe? Much, much faster.
  • What is the best thing about this Mustang? The engine.
  • And the worst? The transfer, for track rats. For everyone else, probably the ordinary, bordering on parody.

Time to head back home to Ohio. With a somewhat larger group of brakes and a Tremec transmission, this would be the must-buy car of the year 2013, especially for people who are worried about what will the next Mustang. Even with these faults, this is still a beautiful, big-hearted, extremely fast car that did not rattle, squeak or show any quality problems during the 900 road miles and about 80 rounds of racing. It is the best all-Ponycar in history, and the head of its class.

Photography – Julie Hyde and Ed Gately

Ford provided the vehicle and insurance for this test. TrackDAZE if the place on the track and a pretty decent lunch for two days. The author is a TrackDAZE trainers and can be requested by novice and intermediate level drivers TrackDAZE in many 2012-season events.