Ford pony car corrals driving fun

2012-11-25T00:00:00Z Ford pony car corrals driving funJim Jackson Times Auto Writer
November 25, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Ford Mustang remains an all-time thoroughbred in the four-passenger sports car arena.

The original Mustang debuted at the New York World’s Fair in April 1964. By 1966, America’s first “pony car” championed sales that surpassed 1.4 million units.

Mustang’s enormous popularity was spurred by youthful styling, versatility and an affordable bottom line.

Today, the rear-drive 2013 Ford Mustang follows its pony car lineage with retro-styling, gutsy performance and a price that starts at $22,200.

Mustang power plants range from a base V6 with 305 horsepower to a supercharged 5.8-liter V8 that builds a ground-pounding 662 hp found in Mustang’s Shelby GT500.

The 2013 Ford Mustang stable also offers GT and Boss 302 models with 5.0-liter V8-only engines. All but the Boss 302 are available in convertible body styles.

Mustang V6 and GT versions are teamed with choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. Boss 302 and GT500 come with a six-speed manual only gearbox.

The fuel economy spectrum ranges from 19 miles per gallon around town to 31 mpg on the open road for the Mustang V6 coupe, to the Shelby GT500 that rallies 15 mpg/city and 24 mpg/highway.

With a manual transmission, Mustang GT and Boss 302 achieve 15/26 mpg respectively.

“Customers definitely prefer the Mustang GT,” says Brian Bolton, sales consultant for Smith Ford in Lowell. “However, most buyers realize the value in the V6 model and the benefit of getting over 30 miles per gallon.”

According to Bolton, styling differences between the V6 and V8 models are slight.

“The 2013 Mustang front end still has a retro look about it that reflects Mustang from the early 1970s,” he said.

Recently, I tested the 2013 Mustang V6 Coupe logging more than 200 miles across area surface streets and Interstates.

Mustang’s 305-hp V6 is fun to drive with plenty of giddy-up for the daily commute.

Since I didn’t have access to a race course during my test drive, I can report that the 2013 Ford Mustang V6 is a brisk contender among the likes of Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger competition with smooth acceleration at left lane, Borman Expressway speed.

Refined and sporty, the 2013 Mustang V6 Coupe is versatile to handle the usual day-to-day driving needs, and powerful enough to make you forget that it’s practical.

Cost for the Mustang driving experience depends on how deep your pockets are, as prices beyond the entry-level coupe begin at $30,300 for the GT model followed by the Boss 302 at $42,200. The Shelby GT500 tops the coupe list at $54,200.

Add $5,000 for convertible models and $795 across the board for freight.

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