Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2012 Boss 302 brings yet another special version to the Mustang lineup

I'll admit, I'm a Chevy guy at heart, but sometimes we have to throw in something about interesting new products from the Blue Oval to appease the Ford fans in the crowd.

If there’s one car that’s not lacking for special editions, the Ford Mustang is it. In the past few years, we’ve seen the GT, the Shelby GT500, the Shelby GT500KR, the GT500 Super Snake, the California Special, the Hurst, the Parnelli Jones Saleen, the Dan Gurney Saleen, the various Roush and Steeda entries, the Iacocca edition, the Mustang Club of America edition, the Bullet edition, the Warriors in Pink edition, the 45th Anniversary edition, the Av8r, and probably a dozen or so more. So the news here shouldn’t be that big of a shock to anyone …

Ford introduces the new 2012 Boss 302 Mustang.

This one is intended to handle well on the roadcourse, with stiffer springs and suspension bushings, fatter stabilizer bars, and adjustable shocks and struts. And we’re not talking about adjustable with a handy knob on the dashboard, either. If you want to dial this baby into race mode, you need to get out and crank on the shocks with a screwdriver. If you really want to get into the spirit, you can wear a T-shirt that says “Pit Crew” on the back while you’re doing that, just like a real racing crew member.

Naturally, brakes and tires are also upgraded. Brembo four-piston front calipers clamp down on 14-inch vented rotors up front, while standard Mustang GT brakes are upgraded with a Boss-specific high-performance pad compound out back. Bologna is served up in the form of 255/40ZR-19 our front, with a thick cut of 285/35ZR-19 tires on black alloy wheels on the business end.

Under the hood, the standard Mustang GT 5.0-liter V8 is upgraded with a new intake and camshafts, boosting the numbers from 412-hp up to a healthy 440. There is also a Boss-specific quad-exhaust setup that lends itself to an aftermarket electric exhaust dump, should the owner be so inclined to rattle his neighbor’s windows. Or drive on a racetrack. Whichever.

If you really want to go all out, you can order a Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition, which deletes the back seat and gives you a few more aerodynamic tweaks.

One thing you have to give the Mustang credit for is that it lends itself to these special edition models in the looks department. This one is inspired by the original Boss 302 from 1969, so it predictably has a scallop-like side stripe with the “BOSS 302” designation designed into it, a stripe on the hood, and a roof panel that matches either the black or white stripes. The wheels are a special black painted ten-spoke design. It also features a unique front splitter that Ford claims is functional.

The Boss 302 was meant to be a corner-carver, because that’s really the history of this model. Originally, the Boss 302 came out in 1969 as a competitor in the SCCA Trans Am racing series. Although it didn’t win the championship in ’69, the Boss 302 car driven by George Follmer and fielded by Bud Moore was able to edge out the Roger Penske-owned AMC Javelin cars driven by Mark Donohue in 1970.

The original Boss 302 Mustangs seem pretty common if you go to many car shows, but many of those cars are likely clones. With only 1,628 built in 1969 and 7,013 in 1970, there just aren’t that many to go around, and those that do turn up bring monstrous amounts of cash.

Ford claims the 2011 Mustang Boss 302 is a “race car with a license plate.” That might not make it the best choice for a daily driver, but if you’re into track day at your local roadcourse or autocross, it may be the Pony Car for you.*

And, as an added bonus, I'm throwing in some footage of the new race-ready Boss 302 in action at Laguna seca.  And it's all absolutely free!

*If you live in a world without Camaros, that is.**

**That just happened.  Take that, Mustang Freaks!***

***By "Freaks," I mean friends.  All in good fun.  Haha.

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