• Ford is adding some noteworthy changes to its sporty Mustang for 2013.
  • Performance enthusiasts will be most excited about the new Shelby GT500, which Ford says puts out 650 horsepower and can hit 200 miles per hour.
  • Other updates to the standard Mustang include subtly revised styling, new features and slightly more V8 power.

This year's Los Angeles Auto Show played host to the debut of Ford's heavily revised 2013 Mustang lineup. While the popular sports car was redesigned just two years ago, Ford seems focused on keeping its lineup current, leading the automaker to make several important changes to the iconic model for the new model year.

For enthusiasts, the most important model in the Mustang's 2013 range is the Shelby GT500. Shown in eye-catching Grabber Blue, the coupe features a supercharged 5.8-liter V8 cranking out a monstrous 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. If that's not stunning enough, try this: Ford says that thanks to the GT500's new engine and some aerodynamic upgrades to its body, the coupe can reach a supercar-fast top speed of 200 miles per hour.

Of course, most car shoppers won't be considering the monstrous GT500, expected to start just over $50,000, but rather the more mundane Mustang models. Fortunately, Ford has some good news for them, too. According to the automaker, the 2013 Mustang GT features a slight power boost, going from 412 horses to an even 420, and revised exterior styling. Ford says the model's new front fascia was inspired by the GT500, and gives the car a more muscular look.

"We are delivering a more distinctive and emotional design presence that celebrates the total performance of Mustang," said Darrell Behmer, the Mustang's chief designer. "This latest Mustang design is very respectful of its heritage while continuing to look forward with a more powerful and modern look."

In addition to revised front styling, all 2013 Mustang models - including the 305-horsepower V6-powered base trim level - gain standard high-intensity headlights with LED accents and a revised rear fascia that also features LED lighting. The V8-powered Mustang GT also gains available Recaro leather seats and an optional "track package" that adds an upgraded engine cooler, improved Brembo brakes, unique 19-inch alloy wheels and a limited-slip differential. Other changes include a standard hill start assist feature for manual Mustangs and a more powerful optional audio system.

What it means to you: Subtle but measurable improvements help make the 2013 Mustang one of the iconic model's best years yet.

See more LA Auto Show news.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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