2012 Ford Mustang
Starting MSRP $22,310–$40,310
Ford has evolved its rear-drive four-seat Mustang pony car in recent years by blending retro and modern styling cues. For 2011, it boosted performance and fuel economy with a new 3.7-liter V-6 engine for the base Mustang and a new 5.0-liter V-8 for the GT. Playing on the retro theme, the Mustang lineup includes the high-performance Shelby GT500 and, new for 2012, the limited-production Boss 302.
New for 2012
In addition to the new Boss 302, the 2012 Mustang is available with a new selectable steering system that lets the driver choose from three levels of power-steering assist.
Recent styling changes give the Mustang a more modern, less retro appearance. It still features a forward-swept grille, but it has a compressed look and a power-dome hood. GT models have a small but significant styling feature: 5.0 badges on the front quarter-panels. Exterior features include:
- Progressively illuminating LED taillights
- Standard 17-inch aluminum wheels
- Available 18- and 19-inch rims
- Available high-intensity-discharge headlamps
The Mustang's cabin uses premium materials, including a soft-touch dashboard surface, a change made for the 2010 model year when it was significantly updated. Interior features include:
- Retro gauges
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard CD stereo with MP3 jack
- Standard cruise control
- Available 8-inch touch-screen navigation system with Sirius Travel Link
Under the Hood
The Mustang is offered with V-6 or V-8 power, and both engines were new for 2011. Each engine can run on regular gas, though the V-8 will see a slight drop in output; it requires premium gas for maximum performance. The engines drive the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Mechanical features include:
- 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 with 280 pounds-feet of torque
- 412-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 with 390 pounds-feet of torque
- Available Mayhem Mustang Package for V-6 models features a 3.31 rear axle ratio, firmer suspension tuning, 19-inch wheels and performance tires, a strut tower brace and a Sport mode for the stability system
- A Brembo-brand brake kit is available for GT models that features 14-inch front discs and 19-inch wheels with performance tires
Standard safety features include:
- Electronic stability system
- Front-seat side-impact airbags with head-protection extension
- Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
The Shelby GT500 is the most potent version of the Mustang. For 2011, it received a new aluminum engine that was 102 pounds lighter and 10 hp more powerful than the previous one. The supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 makes 550 hp and 510 pounds-feet of torque, and it teams only with a six-speed manual transmission. The V-8 takes premium gas, and its EPA-estimated gas mileage of 15/23 mpg city/highway is enough to avoid the gas-guzzler tax.
Buyers looking to hit their local racetrack with the Shelby GT500 may want to consider the SVT Performance Package. It features Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar tires on lightweight 19-inch front and 20-inch rear forged-aluminum wheels, a 3.73 axle ratio, a limited-slip differential, firmer springs and a lowered ride height.
The Shelby GT500 is available as a coupe or convertible. High-intensity-discharge headlights are standard, and a panoramic glass roof is optional. Bolstered leather Recaro-brand front seats are newly optional for 2012. Specially tuned selectable power-steering assist and Sync AppLink, a program that lets spoken commands control smartphone applications, is also available. Back to top
The Boss is back. Ford has revived the legendary Boss 302 Mustang, which first saw production in 1969. Like the original, the 2012 version will be available in limited numbers, and there's an even more exclusive track-ready Boss 302 Laguna Seca model.
Both versions share a 444-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 that makes 380 pounds-feet of torque. The engine teams with a short-throw six-speed manual transmission. Handling is enhanced by firmer suspension components and a lower ride height compared to the Mustang GT. The steering feel, shocks and struts are also adjustable. The Boss 302 rides on 19-inch black alloy wheels fitted with summer tires.
All models come with a black or white roof that's coordinated to the color of the C-shaped side stripes. The front end has a unique look that features a large splitter, which reduces drag and front-end lift while also channeling air to the cooling system. A torque-sensing limited-slip differential and Recaro-brand front seats are optional.
The Boss 302 Laguna Seca is named after the racetrack where Parnelli Jones won the 1970 season-opener of the Trans-Am racing series in a Boss 302. It comes without any rear seats, adds a cross-car brace in back for a stiffer chassis, gets an even firmer suspension and features racecar-inspired aerodynamics among other performance upgrades. Back to top
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