With a lightweight, all-aluminum 3.7L V6 cranking out 305 hp, the standard Mustang is all the pony car you need. Gone are the days where the V6 was the soft option: the standard car is light, sweetly balanced and probably the sportiest option in the range.
On the other hand, you want the V8. Trust me.
Stomping into town with 420 all-American horsepower made the old-fashioned way – a big ol’ 5-litre V8 engine – the Mustang GT is here to kick ass.
The 2013 model boasts 16 more ponies, a refreshed front end with LED running lights and a new blacked-out rear light panel. Functional hood louvers give a hint to the beast that sleeps beneath and the 19” gunmetal rims add extra curbside menace.
Step into the interior and forget everything you know about muscle cars. Despite the upright seating position and the long expanse of hood filling your forward vision, the Mustang’s inside feels more cockpit than lounge. It might be a good cruiser, but it also has a driver-focussed feel.
Slot the chunky short-throw shifter into first, drop the hammer, dump the clutch and all hell breaks loose. Well, for a couple seconds anyway. The limited-slip rear-end and the easygoing traction control system allow just enough wheel spin to put a grin on your face before the giant hand of accelerative g-force pushes back.
While the ‘Stang’s V8 isn’t lacking in the displacement department, it’s no torque-rich lazy lump. Dubbed the Coyote, the eight loves to rev, howling towards the redline with the urgency you’d expect out of a hi-po’ Honda four-cylinder. Hit third on the on-ramp and you’d better ease up. Extra-legal speeds are best avoided in day-glo colours like Racing Red, Gotta Have It Green and Deep Impact Blue.
Take things to the track where the lateral support of the Recaro seating isn’t just for show. This pony can gallop through the curves, not just the straights. Want to gauge your performance? That LCD comes with Ford’s TrackApps, a series of performance-measuring algorithms that use an on-board accelerometer to measure lateral-g, quarter-mile times, 0-60 acceleration and more.
After you’ve blown the cobwebs out at the racetrack, the ‘Stang is an easy drive. An optional all-glass-roof lets in the sun’s last fading rays. With both windows down you hear the V8 burble away.
Aren’t you glad you opted for the big stove?
2013 Mustang GT
As tested $44,449