Is the new Mustang GT with its 412-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 not enough for you, but the idea of a 540-hp Shelby GT500 is too daunting? Then you are the right person for Ford’s new 440-hp 2012 Boss 302.
The concept of special one-off performance Mustangs is an old one; the first Boss 302 debuted more than 40 years ago. The new Boss seems like a throwback in more ways than a unique paint job, though. Ford removed 11 pounds of sound-deadening material to bring more of the engine and exhaust noise into the cabin.
But that’s likely where the resemblance to an unrefined muscle car of yore ends.
The company used the BMW M3 as the benchmark for the Boss 302’s handling and overall performance. The company says the Boss can best the M3 on a racetrack like Laguna Seca in California. Ford also rolled out a track-ready version called the Boss 302 Laguna Seca that deletes the rear seats and adds racier aerodynamic bodywork.However, most folks will want the street-oriented Boss 302, which still packs a ton of added performance from the GT. The 5.0-liter V-8 gets a new intake system and revised camshafts and is rated at 440 hp and 380 pounds-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and upgraded clutch were also added.
The exhaust system actually is a quad exhaust, with two of them specifically designed to achieve a certain sound while the two visible exhausts actually deal with most of the flowing exhaust. Yeah, you know these engineers had a lot of time on their hands.
Then there is the suspension system. Yes, the Boss is dropped 11 millimeters up front and gets stiffer suspension bushings as well as a larger rear stabilizer bar, but it also comes with fully adjustable shocks. This makes the Boss 302 a road-to-track-ready machine. The shocks can be adjusted with a screwdriver and are accessible from under the hood or from the trunk.
Lightweight, 19-inch, black alloy wheels with Pirelli PZero summer tires are standard. Rear wheels are wider in back at 9.5 inches, with 9 inches up front. The brakes have also been upgraded and cut 60-to-zero mph stopping distance by three feet compared with the GT.
Pricing and sale date haven’t been announced, but because it is a 2012 model year, it can’t go on sale until at least Jan. 1, 2011. If you need something to occupy your time until then, check out more photos below.