Driven: Ford Performance Vehicles

Written by Shaun Keenan | Photography by Shaun Keenan (with photos from Ford of Canada) on .

2013 Mustang GT

Driven: Ford Performance Vehicles

The GT coupe ($39,299) and convertible ($44,299) both get more technology options on top of Ford’s latest five-litre V8, which makes 412 hp and 392 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm.

The optional transmission changes gears smoothly and can be operated in automatic or manual shift mode – the 5.0 is capable of propelling the GT to speeds in excess of 200 km/h at the end of the 2,000-foot-long straightaway on Calabogie’s 5.05-km long race track – and the engine growls at a noticeably lower pitch compared to the V6.

New customer option packages for the GT and V6 offer SYNC with steering wheel controls, a leather steering wheel and shifter, six-way power driver’s seat, fog lamps, auto dimming mirror and more – including the GT Brembo Brake Racing Package.

Available only on manual GT Mustangs with a 3.73 axle, the optional $2,200 Brembo package gives track enthusiasts an upgraded engine cooler, 14-inch vented front discs with performance friction brake pads, unique 19-inch alloy wheels and summer performance tires as well as the same radiator and Torsen differential the Boss 302 is equipped with

The GT models come with what Ford calls Track Apps, which uses a five-way button on the steering wheel to keep tabs on cornering g-forces, acceleration times for various speeds and distances and stopping time and distance. There are automatic and countdown start features, data-logging capabilities and even a drag racing Christmas tree light to bring out the naughty in people.

2013 Mustang Boss 302

Driven: Ford Performance Vehicles

I was lucky enough to score this bad boy for a 36-hour test drive last summer and, oh boy, was it impressive!

I took it out for a long, long drive in the country on some of my favourite roads and thoroughly enjoyed a beautiful day driving out to visit my friend Kevin’s horses Ms. Fantasy and Mikey the Hackney Pony, who both enjoyed the visit from their mechanical cousin. But, this is a real performance car with capabilities that can only be fully appreciated when driven in its element on a track.

The 2013 Boss 302 boasts only a few changes over last year’s model, including new paint options and design details in the form of a reflective hockey stick graphics package to help further the heritage of the original 1970 Boss 302 on this modern Boss coupe.

Ford SYNC connectivity is now a standard Boss feature for 2013 and; for $48,799, this coupe-only model gets a 444-hp version of the five-litre DOHC V8 engine paired with a close-ratio short-throw six-speed manual transmission, carbon fibre-plate clutch and limited-slip 3.73 ratio rear axle.

A quad-pipe exhaust system with noise-attenuated side outlets, 14-inch vented front rotors with Brembo four-piston calipers, upgraded brake lines and pads, larger-diameter rear stabilizer bar, stiffer springs and suspension bushings at all four corners plus manually-adjustable shocks and struts are standard on the Boss 302.

Lightweight 19-inch charcoal gray alloy racing wheels with Pirelli P Zero summer tires complement the aggressive front splitter and unique rear spoiler to optimize weight, aerodynamics and track performance. A Torsen differential is available.

The Boss 302 is excellent on the track with great power-to-weight. It weighs 1,649 kg (3,631 lb) versus the GT500 coupe, which tips the scales at 1,744 kg (3,845 lb). The convertible is heavier still at 1,806 kg (3,982 lb) as are the Mustang GTs, though not as much. You can feel the weight difference on the track too – both in terms of acceleration and handling – as the 302 chassis tends to oversteer more mid-corner whereas the GT500 pushes instead. If you’re looking for a ‘Stang that looks great on the street and drives even better at the track, there’s nothing like the Boss 302. If it’s single racing duty you’re after, the Laguna Seca seems like a no-brainer.

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