2023 Ford Mustang

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  • Overview

    An orange 2023 Ford Mustang GT Premium is angled left.

    If you're looking for a car that offers unparalleled excitement, incredible history, and legendary performance in one sleek package, it's hard to do better than the 2023 Ford Mustang. Ford's marquee muscle car essentially created an entirely new automotive segment when it first hit the streets in 1964 and has captured drivers' hearts and minds ever since. The original pony car has come a long way in the last half-century, incorporating new technology and styling to keep the ride fresh and, most importantly, thrilling.

    Ford is back with another strong offering for 2023, rolling out a new model that looks to be the last of the Mustang's sixth generation, which started back in 2015. Available as either a fastback or convertible, the 2023 Ford Mustang is offered in six distinct trims and, with a starting price of less than $30,000, is well within reach of most drivers. What makes the Mustang such an alluring model, and how does Ford's legendary nameplate still manage to turn heads after all these years? Join us as we explore some of the features that keep the Mustang relevant in an ever-changing market.


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  • Performance

    A red 2023 Ford Mustang is shown from the front driving on an open road.

    Not Hurting for Power

    As the Mustang enters the last year of its sixth-generation run, Ford has modestly downsized the lineup as it prepares to launch the next-gen pony car for the 2024 model year. The high-performance Shelby GT500 variant is the most notable casualty, and with it goes the brawny 5.2-liter supercharged V8 Predator engine and accompanying seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

    That's not to say drivers will be hurting for power. The Mustang is still available with three impressive engine options for the 2023 model, starting with the turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. Some muscle car purists might scoff at the idea of an inline-four making itself at home under the hood of a Mustang, but they're not giving enough credit to the EcoBoost part of the equation.

    Ford's turbocharged, direct-injection gasoline engines have been a real game-changer for the automaker's lineup, allowing the brand to downsize its engines while still matching––or even exceeding––the power of V8 models of old. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost, for example, is designed to output some 310 hp along with 350 lb-ft of torque, which should be more than enough juice for all but the most high-octane applications.

    Upgraded Engine Options

    Ford improves on the EcoBoost formula with the next engine on offer for 2023, which just so happens to be another 2.3-liter inline-four EcoBoost. The difference is that this version is paired with Ford's High Performance Package, which includes a few clever engineering upgrades that up the power by a considerable 20 ponies. This is accomplished through the addition of a twin-scroll turbo compressor that's five percent larger than the one found on the entry-level model, as well as an upsized radiator, high-performance cylinder heads, and a diecast alloy block. The high-performance version of the 2.3-liter I-4––which was taken from the discontinued Ford Focus RS––gives the Mustang a top speed of 155 mph. That extra 34 mph can make all the difference for drivers looking to unlock the Mustang's true potential, making it a hard upgrade to ignore for performance-minded drivers.

    Cutting-edge engineering aside, it just wouldn't be a Mustang without a good old-fashioned V8. Limited to the Mustang GT and Mach 1 trims, the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 delivers all the power a driver could ask for. When paired with either the six-speed manual or ten-speed automatic transmission on the GT trim, the Coyote V8 can churn out an impressive 450 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. It's an even better fit under the hood of the range-topping Mach 1, which is able to squeeze an additional 20 hp out of the V8 for a total of 470 ponies.

  • Customization

    A grey 2023 Ford Mustang is shown driving over a bridge.

    Plenty of Packages

    Let's face it: no one buys a classic pony car like the Mustang just to get lost in the crowd. Luckily, Ford offers a number of optional equipment packages that allow drivers to customize the 2023 Mustang to fit their own needs and aesthetics. From performance-minded packages to striking appearance packages, there's a wide range of options to choose from in 2023, so let's take a closer look.

    We'll start with the High Performance Package (HPP) for the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. In addition to power-enhancing upgrades that give the EcoBoost an extra 20 hp, the HPP includes a number of other performance-minded features such as heavy-duty front springs, upsized brake rotors with four-piston fixed calipers, an active valve exhaust, a gauge pack that displays oil pressure and boost readings, an upsized rear sway bar, and unique tuning to the ABS, EPAS, and stability control. On the appearance side, the HPP includes 19-inch machined-face wheels, an aluminum instrument panel, carbonized gray mirror caps and spoiler, a hood accent stripe, and more.

    Those looking to truly max out the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine can go one step further by adding the EcoBoost Handling Package. This package includes a number of upgrades designed to help drivers harness all the power that the 2023 Mustang can churn out. From 265/40R19 Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires and a 3.55 Torsen limited-slip rear axle to the MagneRide damping system and Brembo six-piston front brake calipers, this package goes a long way in helping to tame the wild horse that is the Mustang.

    The New Nite Pony

    Those looking to truly set their Mustang apart from the crowd should look into the Mustang Nite Pony Package. This blacked-out appearance package includes a suite of moody upgrades that would make Batman proud, from 19-inch Ebony Black wheels and a black spoiler to a black grille, mirror caps, roof, and badges. On the EcoBoost trims, the Nite Pony package can't be combined with the HPP or EcoBoost Handling Package. For drivers seeking a lighter look, the Mustang Ice White appearance package is basically the opposite of the Nite Pony approach, gracing the pony car with clean, white wheels, door trim panels, rear wing, badging, and even an Ice White instrument panel and white leather seat trim.

    The higher trims include many of the same appearance, technology, and equipment packages as the EcoBoost and EcoBoost Premium trims, with some important additions. The GT Performance Package adds 19-inch Ebony Black wheels, six-piston Brembo front brake calipers with upsized rotors, heavy-duty front springs, a larger radiator, a rear wing, a higher-ratio Torsen differential, enhanced tuning, and more. The Mach 1 lacks its own distinct performance package as it's already outfitted just about as well as a Mustang could be, but it does benefit from the addition of its own Handling Package. This optional add-on introduced 19-inch wheels, adjustable strut top mounts, a rear spoiler with a Gurney flap, a front aero splitter, and more. The Handling Package is well-suited to the performance-minded Mach 1, allowing drivers to get the most out of the trim's considerable 470 hp.

  • Features

    The black interior of a 2023 Ford Mustang shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

    Unlock Your Full Potential

    When it comes to the 2023 Mustang, Ford has managed to thread the needle between power, performance, and price. Thanks in large part to the surprisingly powerful four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, the entry-level EcoBoost and EcoBoost Premium trims manage to offer a satisfying Mustang experience without breaking the bank. But it's the GT, GT Premium, and Mach 1 trims where the pony car truly begins to show its full potential. With high-performance components, powerful engines, and a host of cutting-edge features, these higher-end trims are a case study in everything there is to love about the Mustang.

    Take Ford's Active Exhaust system, for example. Available on the GT and GT Premium and included as a standard feature on the Mach 1, this innovative system allows drivers to decide how much of a roar they want to make every time they step behind the wheel. The kit comes complete with mufflers, quad exhaust tips, mud flaps, a rear lower valance, and a diffuser borrowed from the high-end Mach 1 and includes four distinct modes: Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Track. The system limits the exhaust to just 72 decibels in Quiet mode but can get as high as 86 decibels in Track mode. This optional upgrade keeps the Mustang below the noise limits imposed by many states but gives drivers the opportunity to pump up the volume while staying on the right side of the law.

    There's an App for That

    But the performance-minded features aren't just limited to the upper-end models. All sixth-generation Mustangs come standard with Track Apps, a handy in-vehicle system that provides relevant performance metrics in a bid to help drivers to get the most out of their Mustang during a day at the track. By using a built-in accelerometer, the Track Apps system can display everything from lateral and longitudinal g-forces to acceleration times, lap times, and automatic countdown starts. The information is displayed on the Mustang's 12-inch infotainment display, making it easy to snag a photo and claim bragging rights after a particularly quick lap.

    Track Apps is a good example of an automaker leveraging new technology to improve the high-performance driving experience, but it's far from the only example that can be found on the 2023 Mustang. The muscle car also includes two unique systems that allow even fledgling drivers to live out their racing dreams: Electronic Line-Lock and Launch Control. Previously limited to V8 models, Electronic Line-Lock was extended to all Mustang models in 2017, making it easier than ever to complete the rubber-melting burnout of your childhood dreams. When engaged, the system allows the driver to build up the pressure on their front brake calipers, locking them in place even when the throttle is activated. While this might seem like little more than a party trick, it can be quite useful in a racing scenario, as warmed-up tires are known to provide more traction.

    The Mustang rounds out its suite of race-inspired tech with Launch Control. Standard on all Mustang models, this feature gives drivers the ability to set a predetermined RPM launch target by adjusting the car's brakes, traction control, and powertrain. Simply hold the clutch in, press the throttle, and the Mustang will hold at the chosen RPMs until you're ready to release the clutch and launch off the starting line. Drivers can select between 3,000 and 4,500 RPMs in 100-RPM increments, allowing you to find the sweet spot that gives you that elusive perfect start.

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