By Jeff Gilbert

LOS ANGELES — (WWJ) With the “pony car” competition heating up, Ford is updating its Mustang for 2013, in advance of a total overhaul in another year or so.

This comes as the Mustang has been losing ground to Chevy’s new Camaro in the sales race, and the top of the line Shelby GT 500 Mustang is about to face new competition in a ZL-1 Camaro.

The 2013 Mustang will have a fresher look and more technology.

“The new Mustang is the perfect example of continuing to build on excellence. It takes the greatness of the 5.0-liter and V6 and pushes the refinement to the next level,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer, in a statement released by the company.  “The car has been spot-on functionally and now we’re adding more features and technology to further improve the driver’s experience.”

The updated model goes on sael in the spring. A press release from Ford describes it this way says it “offers a more aggressive design with a significantly more prominent grille. A more powerful splitter adds to that appearance. Functional heat extractors on the hood of the GT were specifically placed and designed to help move hot air out of the engine compartment and cool the engine.”

The design changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary.

“We are delivering a more distinctive and emotional design presence that celebrates the total performance of Mustang,” said Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer,” in a statement. “This latest Mustang design is very respectful of its heritage while continuing to look forward with a more powerful and modern look.”

The five-liter engine will now put out 420 horsepower. Ford also updated the manual transmission, has new wheel choices and improved the audio system.

Ford’s upgraded its Shelby GT500 Mustang to 650 horsepower, with a top speed of 200 plus miles per hour.

“SVT keeps the Shelby GT500 on the cutting edge of technology and takes muscle car performance to new heights,” said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development. “We encapsulated every aspect of performance in this car – whether it’s 0-60, top speed, racetrack or quarter-mile times. Beyond that, the daily driver also will find this car perfectly fits his or her needs.”

The Ford Mustang and the Shelby GT500 are built at the AutoAlliance plant in Flat Rock.

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Twitter: @jefferygilbert


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