First Look: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

On paper, the cooking-grade Mustang GT with the Brembo Brake package looks M3-competitive in terms of raw numbers. To improve the odds of its live-axle pony in a full-on track attack, Ford further enhanced the chassis by raking it, lowering the front by 0.4 inch and the rear by 0.04 inch, and fitting old-school, five-position adjustable shocks and struts. Damping alterations are made using a screwdriver on the top of the rod from under the hood and in the trunk, as one did on the Gabriel shocks back in '69/'70. Position 1 is softer than the stock GT, 2 mimics the stock GT, and 3 to 5 are progressively sharper. The electric power steering can be adjusted for three levels of assist from the instrument cluster menu. Traction, stability, and anti-lock control systems are also reprogrammed for the Boss's track-star mission. Special lightweight 19-inch wheels shod in Pirelli PZero summer rubber frame the same 14.0-inch Brembo front/stock 11.8-inch rear brakes, equipped with Boss-tuned friction materials and special vented brake shields. Even the flexible brake lines have been reinforced so they expand 30 percent less than the GT's, to preserve a reassuringly firm brake-pedal feel. While the principal improvement is meant to be in fade resistance and pedal feel, stopping distances from 60 mph are said to shrink by three feet. On the skidpad, Ford claims the Boss is the first non-SVT Mustang to exceed 1.0g lateral grip.

Modifications under the hood are modest, but effective. A new variable-runner-length intake manifold, and new cams controlled by the same variable timing mechanism, conspire to broaden the torque curve and boost power output from 412 to 440 hp, while peak torque actually drops from 390 to 380. But even better than how it goes is how it sounds. Removing 11 pounds of sound deadening material and a retuning of the GT's "sound tube" (which works like a speaker broadcasting induction vibes at the firewall), admit plenty of intake music. A true quad-exhaust takes care of the rest, but we're not talking about four chrome tips out the back. This setup sends most of the exhaust through the typical dual exhaust system, but two additional pipes positioned opposite the crossover pipe lead to just ahead of the rear tires, sending a small amount of exhaust through a series of metal plates. They're mainly tuning elements, but they result in a unique aural experience, and the plates can be removed and replaced with aftermarket exhaust-dump valves for racing when no muffling is required -- or desired.

gybognarjr
Nice car, great engine, bothersome noise.I wish, that instead of constantly looking back and mining the tradition and previous achievements and old successes, new designs, new milestones should be made today for the future. Where are the inventors, developers and the creative minds?
Tybee987CS
And the Mustang is cheap!
maseratiguy
Wow, I'd love one of those, make mine Orange but add the rear window louvres and a functional shaker hood scoop.
Tybee987CS
The current GT race car is already giving Porsche & BMW fits. This is bound to be better. Just love to see Ford upping the ante against the big dogs! Competition improves everyone!

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