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March 30, 2012

Ford Launches Three New Models in Portland, Oregon (Part II)

(See yesterday's blog for part one! -ed.)

2013 Ford MustangFinally we came to the best part of the journey, driving one of my favorite cars, the Ford Mustang. While we weren’t able to get the keys to the convertible (probably a good thing since it was still fairly cold and raining) we did manage to jump into a beautiful and sporty looking bright red Mustang. While I would have preferred my favorite manual transmission, that might have gotten a little tiresome with the constant shifting necessary on the winding mountain roads. Our group got behind a school bus for the first 20 minutes of the trip out of Portland, and you could hear the horses snorting and raring to go that were stuck behind us. I resolved to pull over and let them all charge by once the bus turned off, not wanting a repeat performance from the Flex driver of the day before.

The 2013 Mustang has a new design with new front and rear fascias, a more prominent grille and splitter, standard HID headlamps, signature lighting, painted body-side rockers, dramatic LED tail lamps, mirrors with pony projection light and a new wheel lineup.

Performance updates include more power in the GT (420 HP), the addition of SelectShift™ to automatic transmissions, new GT Track Package, Hill Start Assist on manual transmission cars (one of my favorite new features), and hood heat extractors on the GT.

Technology updates include 4.2 inch LCD screens with Track Apps, enabling a driver to monitor such performance measures as g-forces, acceleration times, braking times, plus other information that may be important to some people who have nothing else to do but try to improve their personal best record. I’m afraid that won’t include me!

Oh yes, there is also a New Shaker audio system to provide a complete acoustic experience that simulates being at a live performance. This is a must-have feature for someone who doesn’t ever want to leave the car behind.

The Mustang’s chief engineer Dave Pericak calls the new Mustang “the perfect example of continuing to build on excellence, taking the greatness of the 5.0 Liter and V6 and pushing refinement to the next level.”

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

The revamped wheel lineup ranges from standard 17-inch wheels for the V6 up to 19-inch optional wheels on the GT and V6 performance package. The standard 18-inch painted aluminum wheel on the GT and premium GT evolved from the five-spoke design and the 19 inch GT wheel comes in a gloss-black finish for a more sinister look, while the Brembo and Track packs have an updated 10-spoke dark stainless-painted aluminum. These choices make it even easier for new Mustang owners to customize their look.

One very cool new design element caught my eye. The heated mirrors have a pony projection light which casts the Mustang’s famous emblem on the ground when the unlock button is activated. What a great way to announce you’ve arrived!

Yummy new colors like Deep Impact Blue and Gotta Have It Green (my favorite) joined the 2013 lineup.

For serious drivers who want the full-track experience, optional leather-trimmed or cloth Recaro seats (currently available on the Shelby GT500 and Boss 302) are now available for the V6 and GT coupes, ensuring drivers have the support needed during hard cornering.

The 5.0 Liter engine delivers 420 HP, and comes with a six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission that offers a choice between fully automatic or manual controls. There’s also a GT Track Package available only on manual GT Mustangs with a 3.73 axle that has many features found on the Boss 302. And for the first time, the V6 performance package is available on automatic Mustangs.

As I mentioned earlier, the Hill Start Assist for manual transmission Mustangs is a great new feature, keeping the car from rolling backward on a slope or hill. Drivers can select from three steering style settings (sport mode, comfort mode, and standard mode).

The 2013 Ford Mustang is available this spring, built at AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. The starting price is $22,200 ranging up to the $42,200 for the top of the line V-8 engine. Mileage ranges from 17-19 on the highway to 25-31 on the highway.   

JoAnn Holt



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