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(from Ford Press
Release) THE BOSS IS BACK: 2012 FORD MUSTANG BOSS 302 BRINGS
ROAD RACING LEGEND BACK TO THE STREETS
•The Boss returns!
Limited production 2012 Mustang Boss 302 set to become the
quickest, best-handling straight-production Mustang ever offered
by Ford, based on the world-class foundation provided by the
2011 Mustang GT
•Boss upgraded in nearly every vehicle system; engine output,
brakes, suspension, interior and exterior all examined to
optimize weight, aerodynamics and track performance >
•Full Mustang team effort results in a comprehensive
re-engineering available only through the factory; new Boss is
not a package that can be purchased out of a catalog or achieved
through tuning or aftermarket parts
•Limited-production track-oriented Boss 302 Laguna Seca model
expands on Boss racing aspirations, deleting rear seat and
adding race-ready suspension and aerodynamic treatments
MONTEREY, Calif., Aug.
13, 2010 – Ford gave the green light only once before: In 1968,
management approved a special Mustang – a car that sacrificed
nothing in its quest to be the best all-around road-going
performance machine ever created by Ford Motor Company. That car
became the 1969 Mustang Boss 302, and it remains one of the world’s
most sought-after examples of American performance.
Forty-two years later, Ford has given the green light again.
The team of Ford engineers, designers and stylists – all Mustang
enthusiasts to the core – that created the groundbreaking 2011
Mustang GT has distilled a new model to its purest form,
strengthening, lightening and refining each system to create a race
car with a license plate. Its name: the 2012 Mustang Boss 302.
“The decision to build a modern Boss was not entered into lightly,”
said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product
Development. “The entire team at Ford felt the time was right and
with the right ingredients, the world-class 2011 Mustang could
support a successful, race-bred, worthy successor to the original
Boss 302. For us that meant a production Mustang that could top one
of the world’s best – the 2010 BMW M3 – in lap times at Laguna Seca.
We met our expectations.”
To celebrate the racing heritage of the new Mustang Boss 302, Ford
will also offer a limited number of Boss 302 Laguna Seca models,
named for the track where Parnelli Jones won the 1970 Trans-Am
season opener in a Boss 302. Aimed at racers more interested in
on-track performance than creature comforts, the Boss 302 Laguna
Seca has increased body stiffness, a firmer chassis set-up and an
aerodynamics package carried over almost in its entirety from the
Ford Racing Boss 302R.
Philosophy and powertrain
“The new Boss 302
completely redefines Mustang capability,” said Mark Fields, Ford
president of The Americas. “That the Mustang team was able to take
the current Mustang GT – already a world-class performance car – and
refine it further for peak track performance shows the commitment
Ford has to this car and its legions of fans.”
Driving the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 was intended from the outset to be
a visceral experience, packed with raw, unbridled performance across
the spectrum: Acceleration, handling, braking, and top speed are all
equally matched for perfect balance on a car operating within the
framework of legally defined safety, noise and emissions
“The team at Ford wanted to offer their fellow Mustang enthusiasts
something really special – a beautifully balanced factory-built race
car that they could drive on the street,” explains Dave Pericak,
Mustang chief engineer. “The Boss 302 isn’t something a Mustang GT
owner can buy all the parts for out of a catalog or that a tuner can
get by adding a chip. This is a front-to-back re-engineered Mustang
with every system designed to make a good driver great and a great
driver even better.”
Led by Mike Harrison, the V8 engine team approached Boss from the
top down: With 412 horsepower from 5.0 liters, the 2011 GT engine
was already an incredible performer. But to achieve the high-rpm
horsepower that would make the engine competitive on the track, a
new intake was essential. The resulting runners-in-the-box
plenum/velocity stack combination the engine team developed was
impressive enough that it got the green light after one short drive.
Helping the intake build power, revised camshafts using a more
aggressive grind are actuated with the same twin independent
variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) mechanism used on the Mustang GT.
More aggressive control calibration yields 440 horsepower and 380
lb.-ft. of torque, while still offering a smooth idle and low-end
torque for comfortable around-town driving.
A race-inspired clutch with upgraded friction materials transmits
power, while a short-throw, close-ratio six-speed manual
transmission handles gear change duties.
Power is delivered to a 3.73 ratio rear axle using carbon fiber
plates in the limited-slip differential to improve torque handling
and longevity. For those who want even more precise control over
power delivery, a torque-sensing (Torsen) limited-slip differential
is an available option coupled with Recaro front seats.
Sounds like the Boss
While the powertrain
team defined output targets that would yield an ideal balance with
the chassis, another team made sure the car made the kind of sounds
owners and enthusiasts would expect from a Mustang Boss.
Up front, a Boss-specific intake system is tuned to feed the engine
with minimum restrictions. A retuned induction sound tube provides
concrete aural evidence of what’s occurring under the hood. And, in
the Boss exhaust system engineers really had some fun.
“With an exhaust system, we have to consider three constraints:
legal noise restrictions; backpressure, which can rob power; and
ground clearance,” explains Shawn Carney, Mustang NVH engineer.
“Since the 2011 Mustang GT exhaust is already so free-flowing – it
came in way under our backpressure targets – we already had
excellent performance; we were able to tune the exhaust system for a
unique sound. Combined with the rush of the intake, the exhaust
system really envelops the driver in V8 sound.”
Every Boss features a unique quad exhaust system: Two outlets exit
in the rear similar to a standard Mustang GT. The other two outlets
exit to either side of the exhaust crossover, sending exhaust
through a set of metal discs that act as tuning elements before the
pipes terminate just ahead of the rear wheel opening. Visually
subtle, the side pipes flow very little exhaust but a lot of exhaust
sound, providing a sonic experience unlike any other Mustang.
Suspension and steering
In keeping with the Boss
mandate to provide the best-handling Mustang ever, the already
strong Mustang GT suspension system has been further refined.
Higher-rate coil springs on all four corners, stiffer suspension
bushings and a larger-diameter rear stabilizer bar all contribute to
the road racing mission, and Boss models are lowered by 11
millimeters at the front and 1 millimeter at the rear versus the
Mustang GT. The real key to handling, though, is in the adjustable
shocks and struts, standard on all Boss Mustang models.
“We’ve given drivers five settings for their shocks,” says Brent
Clark, supervisor of the Mustang vehicle dynamics team. “One is the
softest, two is the factory setting and five is the firmest, and
we’ve provided a wide range of adjustment. A customer can drive to
the track on setting two, crank it up to five for improved response
on the track, then dial down to one for a more relaxed ride home.
What’s unique is that drivers will find – thanks to the way the
suspension works as a complete system – the softest setting isn’t
too loose and the firmest setting isn’t too controlled; each step
just provides additional levels of control.”
Also unique is the method of shock adjustment. Ditching the weight
and complexity of electronic wizardry, the Mustang team opted for
traditional race-style hands-on adjustability – similar to the
Gabriel shocks available on the original Boss 302.
“The shock adjustment is right at the top of the shock tower, built
into the rod and easily accessible from under the hood or inside the
trunk,” says Clark. “You just take a small flat-head screwdriver,
turn the adjustment screw between one and five, and head back out
onto the track.”
To complement the suspension, the speed-sensitive electronic
steering system has been retuned to maximize feedback and road feel
to the driver. The driver is also given the option of fine-tuning
the steering feel to his liking by selecting one of three settings
through the instrument cluster menu: Comfort, normal and sport modes
help offer track-tuned steering when desired without sacrificing
low-speed maneuverability in parking situations and everyday
Similarly, Boss receives unique traction control system (TCS) and
electronic stability control (ESC) settings to help drivers achieve
maximum performance whether on the street or at the track. Both
systems can be completely disabled in controlled track situations
where maximum driver skill is utilized, or fully engaged for maximum
safety during normal driving or in less-than-ideal traction
conditions. Intermediate sport mode allows drivers to push their
cars hard at the track without completely disabling the safety
systems, permitting more aggressive driving before the TCS and ESC
Brakes, wheels and tires
Working in concert with
the suspension upgrades, Boss 302 receives unique, lightweight
19-inch black alloy racing wheels in staggered widths: 9 inches in
front, 9.5 inches in the rear. The Pirelli PZero summer tires are
sized specifically for each end of the vehicle, with the front
wheels receiving 255/40ZR-19 tires while the rear stays planted
thanks to 285/35ZR-19 rubber.
The combined suspension and tire package allows Boss to achieve a
top speed of 155 mph and become the first non-SVT Mustang ever to
achieve more than 1.0 g of lateral acceleration.
Boss braking is also up to the challenge, using Brembo four-piston
front calipers acting on 14-inch vented rotors up front. In the
back, standard Mustang GT brakes are upgraded with a Boss-specific
high-performance pad compound. Combined with vented brake shields
and unique Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) tuning, Boss drivers get
maximum control and rapid, repeatable fade-free stops in road and
race situations alike.
The Mustang team spent considerable time ensuring the brake pedal
feel met the expectations of performance drivers. Boss receives
unique low-compressibility brake lines that expand up to 30 percent
less than traditional flexible brake lines, allowing maximum fluid
pressure to reach the calipers in the least amount of time, giving
the driver a sensation of being connected directly to the brake
“This car is wicked fast, so we put a lot of emphasis on giving it
comparable stopping power,” says Clark. “We started with a
race-proven brake system and tuned it specifically for the
characteristics of the Boss 302 and its mission. They’re the best
brakes ever installed on a Mustang, and they give consistent,
repeatable braking performance on the street and the track.”
As a result 60-0 stopping distances for the Boss are improved by
approximately three feet versus the Mustang GT with available brake
package; combined with suspension and engine improvements, Boss is
expected to show approximately a two-second lap time improvement
over the GT on a typical road race course. But the numbers tell only
part of the story.
“We achieved measurable improvements over GT, which was already one
of the best-braking cars we’ve ever designed,” explains Clark, “but
what’s harder to quantify is how good these brakes feel to a driver
in a race situation. Like everything on this car, the brakes are
more than the sum of their parts: They’re tuned from pad to pedal to
work perfectly as a system, and the difference is dramatic.”
Exterior and interior design
Changes to the Mustang
Boss exterior are subtle but unmistakable. True to its race-bred
heritage, every component that could potentially aid aerodynamics or
engine/brake performance was examined to make the vehicle more
competitive, while chief designer Darrell Behmer refined the styling
to evoke the 1969 Boss in a contemporary way.
“We approached this as curators of a legend,” explains Behmer.
“We’ve taken design cues from the ’69 Boss street car and the
menacing Bud Moore/Parnelli Jones race cars and carefully updated
them to give the 2012 the proper bad-boy attitude that is
unmistakably a Boss Mustang.”
To set Boss apart, each car will have either a black or white roof
panel, coordinated to the color of the side C-stripe. Available
exterior colors are Competition Orange, Performance White, Kona Blue
Metallic, Yellow Blaze Tri-Coat Metallic and Race Red.
Up front, a unique fascia and grille are highlighted by the
blocked-off fog lamp openings and aggressive lower splitter, a
version of the design used – and proven – on the Boss 302R race car.
The front splitter is designed to function at high speeds by
efficiently managing the air under and around the car. It helps to
reduce underbody drag and front end lift while more effectively
forcing air through the Boss-specific cooling system. At the rear of
the car, the spoiler was chosen to complement the front aero
treatment and minimize overall drag.
“What we were after on Boss was reduced overall lift with improved
balance,” says Pericak. “We needed to keep the car glued to the
street or the track at high speeds without increasing drag or
affecting top speed and fuel usage. The end result is an aero
package that uses front, rear and underbody treatments not for show,
but for effect – the balance and stability of this car all the way
to its 155-mph top speed is just outstanding.”
Inside, a unique Boss steering wheel covered completely in Alcantara
suede complements the standard seats, which are trimmed in cloth
with a suede-like center insert to firmly hold occupants in place.
Boss customers who want the ultimate seating experience can select a
package that includes Recaro buckets, designed by Ford SVT in
cooperation with Recaro for high performance Mustang models, and
shared between the Boss and GT500.
A dark metallic instrument panel finish, gauge cluster and door
panel trim also differentiate Boss from the standard Mustang, while
a black pool-cue shifter ball and “Powered by Ford” door sill plates
further remind customers they’re in a special car.
The Boss interior gets an aural kick thanks to what’s been removed.
Eleven pounds of sound-deadening material have been eliminated to
let occupants further enjoy the intake, engine and exhaust note.
“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,” explains Pericak. “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.”