2013 Ford Mustang 5.0L V8

When Ford first announced that the 2013 Mustang GT would have an additional eight horsepower, there were many (us included) that surmised the additional ponies were merely due to a rating change to the 5.0L V8 and that the 2011-2012 models were producing just as much power. After all, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to provide different horsepower ratings for vehicles without making any actual changes. Chevrolet revised the Camaro V6′s official rating from 304 to 312 horsepower for the 2011 model year, most likely in an attempt to stay a step ahead of the newly released Mustang V6′s 305 horsepower. The Dodge Viper is another example, when the official output of the 8.3L V10 was changed from 500 to 510 horsepower from 2005 to 2006.

So is the 2013 Mustang GT’s power increase in name only? Not so, Ford tells us. The 5.0L V8 has been ever so slightly massaged to actually produce the extra eight horsepower thanks to technology developed from the Boss 302 program. The 2013 Mustang benefits from a phosphorous coating on the pistons as well as the piston rings from the Boss 302′s V8, and powertrain calibration improvements contribute to the increase in power as well.

More than likely most Mustang owners won’t be able to tell the difference between 412 and 420 horsepower, but it’s still nice to know that there are actual upgrades behind the rating increase.

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