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Mustang Boss Makes a Comeback

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On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 4:30PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Mustang Boss Makes a Comeback

The charismatic Ford Mustang has taken on many forms in the past, but there is one model that has remained mostly elusive, with a few “track-only” specials, sold in very limited quantities. That model is the Boss Mustang.  

The new Boss muscle car was modeled after the late 1960s and early 70s famous Bosses that were well known for great looks and high performance. But according to Automotive News: “Ford is quick to point out the new Boss 302 is more than a trip down memory lane.”   

The new Boss was unveiled at Laguna Seca this week.  According to Ford Motor Co, the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 is the “quickest, best-handling straight-production Mustang ever offered by Ford.”

As far as the exterior is concerned, the designers attempted to keep the new Boss in line with the appearance of the 1969 model. The grille is unique to the 2012 Boss, and the front splitter resembles the 302E racer. Aerodynamic changes include a deeper front air dam and a rear spoiler. A black or white roof panel complements the exterior appearance, and the body of the new Boss comes in the nostalgic racing car colors of bright blue, yellow, orange, red, and white.

Chief designer Dave Pericak stated: “Boss is a hallowed word around here, and we couldn't put that name on a new Mustang until we were sure everything was in place to make this car a worthy successor.” Pericak also said, “We were either going to do it right or not do it at all—no one on the team was going to let Boss become a sticker-and-wheel package.”

The interior of the 2012 Boss 302 receives an Alcantara-covered steering wheel, dark metallic dash and door panels, and cloth seats with “suede-like” center inserts. The GT500’s Recaro front bucket seats are optional. Ford removed 11 lbs pounds of interior material in order to allow more of the engine’s exhaust sound to fill the cabin.

The renowned ‘69 Boss 302 claimed 290 hp at 5800 rpm, and 290 lb-ft of torque at 4300 rpm, and although it was a legend in its time, by modern standards, its 290 hp at 5800 and 290 lb-ft of torque at 4300 rpm is less power and only marginally more torque than the 2011 Mustang’s V-6.

The Boss sports a 5.0-liter engine with new intake runners, revised camshafts, and more aggressive engine controls, raising output from the 412 hp to 440. Torque drops slightly, from 390 lb-ft to 380. The power gets to the wheels via a short-throw six-speed manual transmission with an enhanced clutch.

The quad exhaust system is a unique feature developed to give the car a distinctive sound. The two primary pipes exiting the rear handle most of the exhaust gases, while two smaller pipes branch off from the exhaust crossover and exit along the lower body sides, sending exhaust through a set of metal discs that generate the enhanced sounds.

Motivated to turn the Boss 302 into what Ford has called “a race car with a license plate,” the company has upgraded the GT’s suspension with stiffer springs and bushings, adjustable shocks, and a thicker rear anti-roll bar. The ride height is brought down 11 mm in the front and 1 mm in the rear.

The Mustang’s electric steering system has also been redesigned with three different settings: Comfort, Normal, and Sport. Traction and stability-control systems also offer 3 modes: full engagement, no engagement at all, or an intermediate sport mode.

The wheels measure 19 by 9 inches in front and 19 by 9.5 in back. Optional Brembo brakes are upgraded with high-performance pads and exclusive ABS calibration.

The 2012 Boss is said to have a cornering capability in excess of 1.0 g, and a 155-mph top speed. The 302 should easily beat the 2011 Mustang GT’s speed of 4.6 seconds from zero to 60 mph.

Additionally, Ford is launching an even more exclusive “Boss 302 Laguna Seca” model. It gets rid of the rear seat while stiffening the body and suspension, and carrying over the aerodynamics package from the Ford Racing Boss 302R.

The 2012 Mustang Boss 302 and 302 Laguna Seca will arrive in dealerships sometime in 2011, at a price yet to be determined, for sure; an estimated price is around $36,000 for the base 302 and $40,000 plus for the Laguna Seca.

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