Launch Gallery
The 2013 Ford Mustang GT has gone through a few changes, both inside and out, for the new model year. It’s got an updated look and a power boost in addition to the already awesome V8. But by far, the most fun new feature for our money is a little technological advance called “Track Apps.” This addictive app measures track times, g-forces and braking time — it’s hard to believe someone didn’t invent it already!

Of course, it’s a “track only" app for safety’s sake, and it’s just plain fun. With a few button presses, Track Apps calls up a menu between the speedo and the tach that allows the driver to automatically time your 0-30, 0-60, 0-100, plus an eighth- and quarter-mile. Just choose what sprint you want to try, press a few buttons (you can either get a cool countdown or set it to go when you accelerate), and find out how close you can get to manufacturer’s and media’s claimed times.

As luck would have it, we got a chance to take a spin in the 2013 GT at a track. The launch wasn’t exactly in a straight line so we didn’t hit 60 miles per hour quite at the sub-five-second capability of our 420-horse V8 pony car. No matter, it still gave the kind of track data we could spend hours collecting and inspecting.

Once on the track, whoa, that 420-horsepower beast under the hood knocked our socks off. The six-speed manual pulls like a Kentucky Derby winner in the stretch run in any gear, while the optional Brembo brakes had no trouble reeling things in going into the corners. Whether in big sweeping turns or tight chicanes, the rear-wheel-drive GT felt remarkably planted and confidence-inspiring—which is only boosted by the optional Recaro bolstered leather high-performance seats. Yet the Mustang is also a docile and comfortable drive on city streets, with ergonomics and technology that make you forget you’re in a muscle car. On the manual, a “hill assist” feature prevents rollback when starting on an incline, which drivers in more mountainous enclaves will appreciate.

The new GT boasts a more aggressive demeanor, thanks especially to a more imposing face with bolder grille, splitter and functional heat extractors on the hood. The rear end also went under the knife, with the taillights getting three LEDs and a smoky overall appearance. Body color rocker panels and the 19-inch premium wheels on our candy red GT loaner rounded out the main changes.

To sum it up: more power, hotter looks… and Track Apps. The 2013 Mustang GT just keeps getting better and better.

The Lowdown:

Style factor: Casual car fans might not notice the styling refinements, but the subtle changes add up to a much more elegant-looking machine.

Fiscal factor: Despite some $4,400 in options, the V8 GT still rings up under $40,000. Dollar for dollar, it’s without a doubt one of the best performance rides on the market.

Fun factor: Enormous straight-line speed, supremely tossable in the curves; the Mustang is a blast to drive. All it needs is a “track app” to track your performance stats. Oh, wait. We’re in love.