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Just in case the 2011 V-6 Mustang isn’t quite good enough for you, you can step up to the 5.0 GT. If that’s not good enough, you can always have a GT500. But what if you don’t want a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8? Well, you’ve just got to make due. Until now…

With the dawn of the 5-liter V-8 in the new GT, Ford has been able to make everyone’s mouths water. But now there’s a more badass version to be had: the 2012 Boss 302.

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That’s right, it’s back and better than ever. The Boss Mustang came around in 1969, but hasn’t been around since it ended its run in 1971.

With 440 horsepower and 380lb-ft of torque, this ‘Stang won’t be a slouch on road or track. The new Boss is able to hold more than 1.0g in lateral acceleration. It’s the first non-SVT Mustang to do so. Put it on any road course, and it’ll beat a standard GT by 2 or more seconds.

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A cloth interior with alcantara inserts for the steering wheel and seats is standard affair, or you can option a set of Recaro buckets made by SVT and Recaro for the Boss and GT500. No leather, no frills. This is the ultimate Mustang.

In fact, when testing the new Boss, the Mustang crew pitted against the most fierce rival for any sports car in the world, the BMW M3.

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The M3 and the Boss 302 tangled around Laguna Seca to try and optimize the new Mustang variant. Well, to put it lightly, the Mustang boys were able to tune the new Boss to be faster than the E9x-Series M3. That’s impressive stuff. And to commemorate that feat, Ford is offering a special and limited edition Boss 302 Laguna Seca. The Laguna Seca models will have most of its aerodynamics taken straight from the Boss 302R race car. But on top of that, it’ll be stiffer and slightly more racey than the standard 302 that you can buy.

Neither car is just a Mustang GT with more power, they’re both meant for the track, but allowed on the streets. There is so much attention to detail and suspension work, I couldn’t even begin to mention it all. All Boss cars come standard with 19-inch wheels and rubber, with Pirelli summer 255/40ZR-19s up front and 285/35ZR-19s in the rear, but there’s a different wheel design on the Laguna Seca model, as well as R-Compound Pirellis. There are no rear seats on the Laguna Seca. Instead, there’s a giant X-brace that is partially hidden.

Here’s the thing, who wants to buy my Bullitt? I want this car… so badly. I’ve been offered a deal to trade my car in for a brand new 5.0 GT, brand new Corvette, or a new Cayman S. I’ve turned them all down, because I love my car. There’s nothing that could replace a Bullitt. However, with that said, there’ll never be another car like this Boss 302.

For more information, read all of the press releases below.

12MustangBoss302_01_HRBoss 302 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 regulations.

“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 – and giving home tuners an additional avenue for modification.

“We added the attenuation discs to meet legal regulations, but we knew buyers might operate these cars in situations where noise regulations weren’t an issue,” Carney said. “The disc is removable and includes a spacer plate sized to match aftermarket exhaust dump valves. If an owner wants to add a set of electric valves, they just undo two bolts on either side; the disc and spacer slide out and the valve will slide right in. And the side pipes are tuned so that drivers can run wide-open and the sound levels are comfortable – very aggressive but livable for an all-day track outing.”

Carney further explains the thinking behind the unusual step of an OEM easing aftermarket component installation. “We’re Ford engineers, but we’re also enthusiasts,” he says. “We understand owner mods are part of the Mustang experience, so we try to help where we can.”

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 commuting.

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 systems intervene.

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 pads.

“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.”

12MustangBoss302_17_HRBoss 302 Laguna Seca Press Release:

LAGUNA SECA PACKAGE TAKES NEW 2012 FORD MUSTANG BOSS 302 TO TRACK-READY CONDITION

* Laguna Seca package pares the race-inspired 2012 Mustang Boss 302 down to its essential elements, with aggressive suspension, chassis and aerodynamic tuning creating a ready-for-racing Boss
* Ford Mustang team members developed the package to provide weekend racers with a factory track car that could be driven to the course, take the win, then driven back home again
* R-compound tires, rear seat-delete, aggressive front splitter for track use, and rear spoiler and rear cross-car bracing shave seconds off track times and boost lateral acceleration to 1.03 g

MONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 13, 2010 – How do you amp up a performance car package as complete as the new 2012 Mustang Boss 302 – already a street-legal race car in its own right? Pull out everything that doesn’t make it go faster and add in more of what does. The result is the limited-production Laguna Seca package – the ultimate 2012 Boss, named to commemorate the first-place Boss 302 finish at the 1970 Trans-Am series opener.

“The Laguna Seca package puts a race-ready version of the new Mustang Boss 302 directly into enthusiasts’ hands,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “Laguna Seca isn’t intended for Boss buyers who simply want an exhilarating daily driver. Think of it like a factory-built race car, which we hope avid racers and track-day fans are going to love.”

Boss Laguna Seca builds on the bumper-to-bumper improvements found on the standard Boss while further stiffening the chassis and installing an aerodynamics package carried over almost in its entirety from the Ford Racing Boss 302R.

“Drivers who know how to get the most from a tuned race car on a closed course are going to be amazed by what the Laguna Seca is capable of,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “The balance, agility and tuning of each vehicle system places the driver at the center of the machine, completely connected to everything the car is doing.”

Chassis enhancements
Laguna Seca cars are powered by the same smooth, high-winding 440-hp 5.0-liter V8 as the standard Boss, since the engine was already tuned specifically for road racing. Instead, engineers turned their attention toward delivering power to the ground most efficiently, and getting the car around a track in the quickest possible time.

“When we built the Boss, we had to step back and ask ourselves ‘How do we improve on this?’” said David Pericak, Ford Mustang chief engineer. “That car is so strong we realized the Laguna Seca package was going to have to be just a fraction of a step back from the Ford Racing 302R to top it. So we went back and threw daily-driver practicality out the window, cut some things we couldn’t cut on the volume model, like the back seat, and built it the way we would set up a production Boss for pure competition.”

Laguna Seca cars eliminate the rear seats, instead adding a cross-car X-brace that couples the structure between the rear wheels. The brace offers chassis stiffness improvements of as much as 10 percent and allows the suspension tuning – precisely calibrated by Mustang team members – to better do its job.

Standard Recaro front seats were designed by Ford SVT in cooperation with Recaro for high performance Mustang models, and are shared between the Boss and GT500. An Alcantara-covered race steering wheel provides a solid grip for hard cornering.

Engine power routes through a six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox to a standard 3.73-ratio Torsen limited-slip differential, helping the revised rear suspension deliver maximum torque and traction under the punishing conditions encountered on the track.

Higher spring rates and a larger rear stabilizer bar – all upgraded over Boss specifications – help generate unrelenting grip. And drivers can dial in exactly the level of shock stiffness a particular track requires using the four standard, independently adjustable dampers with Laguna Seca-specific valving.

The final touch for a proper race car was to add the proper wheels and tires: Laguna Seca models use lightweight 19-inch alloy racing wheels in staggered widths: 9 inches in front, 10 inches in the rear. R-compound ultra-high-performance tires, 255/40ZR-19 in the front, 285/35ZR-19 in the rear, maintain contact with the pavement – a job that ended up being trickier than expected.

“The R-compound tires on the Laguna Seca are so sticky we had to really work on the rear suspension tuning to make sure drivers can get the most out of them,” explains Pericak. “The rear stabilizer bar is the largest we’ve ever installed on a production Mustang – including any SVT product. The rear spring rate was also maximized to work with the massive rear tires and balance the car for minimal lap times.”

While standard Boss 302 cars get vented brake dust shields to help cool the rotors, Laguna Seca models receive Ford Racing front brake ducts that force outside air directly onto the 14-inch vented front rotors, helping to eliminate brake fade and ensure hard, repeatable late braking on the track. Combined, the braking changes help refine the sense for drivers of being directly connected to the pads – an essential edge during car-to-car combat on a road course.

Added up, the further improvements to Boss Laguna Seca result in the best-handling Mustang ever, with more than 1.03 g of lateral acceleration, stopping distances shortened by three feet from 60 mph over Boss, 0-60 acceleration improvements of one tenth of a second, and an overall expected lap time improvement of one to two seconds over the standard Boss on a typical road course.

Styling evokes racing, improves aerodynamics
As a race car should, Boss 302 models with the Laguna Seca package look like nothing else on the road. A bright red C-stripe offsets either Black or Ingot Silver paint, and is complemented by a red roof panel. Red also sets off the front grille, mirror caps and rear pedestal spoiler, while Laguna Seca rear badging and unique two-tone red and silver wheels complete the transformation.

Adding both to appearance and aerodynamics, an aggressive front splitter for track use adds downforce at the front of the car, while helping channel air under and around the car. At the same time, air impacting the front end is funneled into the radiator and brake ducts, supporting cooling even under grueling race conditions.

“The Laguna Seca front splitter is really a Ford Racing piece we’ve lightly adapted for our purposes,” explains Pericak. “It’s been tested and refined for the last six months on the Boss 302R to perform exactly as required on the track; we just made a few changes so it could be adapted to the production Boss – though owners will still want to avoid speed bumps and parking blocks.”

At the back, a large rear spoiler is sized to exactly complement the effect provided by the front splitter and underbody aero treatments, with the combination adding as much as 90 pounds of downforce at 140 mph.

“Balance is the key on Boss, and even more so on Laguna Seca,” said Pericak. “A winning race car has to do everything well, and we’ve had the ability to test all the engineering that went into Boss Laguna Seca on the Ford Racing 302R. It’s not for everyone: It’s stiffer, there’s no back seat, and the aero package is designed for downforce, not speed bumps in the mall parking lot. But for hard-core Mustang racers who want something they can occasionally drive on the street, to shows or whatever, Laguna Seca is the car they’ve been waiting for, and they’re not going to be disappointed.”

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Boss 302 5.0 Engine Press Release:

HIGH-REVVING FORD 5.0-LITER V8 DELIVERS POWER, SPEED, FLEXIBILITY BEFITTING THE BOSS NAME

* 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 engine delivers 440 horsepower and 380 ft.-lbs. of torque without the aid of forced induction
* Purpose-built Boss engine is based on production 2011 Mustang GT 5.0-liter DOHC V8, heavily modified with unique, Boss-specific parts to withstand all-day thrashing
* Revised intake, CNC-machined heads, lightened valvetrain and strengthened reciprocating assembly result in a race-proven engine meeting production durability standards

MONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 13, 2010 – The all-new 5.0-liter dual-overhead camshaft (DOHC) V8 in the 2011 Mustang GT already is the most powerful naturally aspirated production V8 Ford has ever produced. To make it worthy of the Boss name, Ford engineers tweaked more than a few bits of the engine.

They reengineered an entire dynamometer cell to handle the engine’s projected 7,500 rpm redline; put the first engines into Boss 302R race cars and sent them straight onto the track; and they designed a torture test equivalent to running the Daytona 250 race flat-out more than 175 times – in a row.

Only when the 440-hp V8 passed these tests, ensuring maximum power output without sacrificing durability, reliability and drivability, was it worthy of being called a Boss.

Bulletproof and blower-free
Planning began with a small group of engineers within the 5.0-liter V8 team. Starting with open minds and enlisting the help of two members of the original 1969 Boss 302 design team, the group began working its way toward the ultimate evolution of the new 5.0-liter: 440 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, along with a broad, flat output curve all the way through its projected 7,500 rpm redline.

The Mustang team knew a supercharger would be the simplest way to extract significant power improvements from the new 5.0-liter V8, but they elected not to pursue forced induction for the 2012 Boss to stay true to the original Boss 302 engine.

“The core group of engineers on the Boss 302 engine understands and respect the heritage of the name and the history behind the original engine,” explains Mike Harrison, Ford V8 engine program manager. “The first Boss 302 was a specially built, free-breathing, high-revving small V8 that gave it certain desirable characteristics on a race course – and we capture that essence in the new engine.”

The team also realized the additional hardware meant more weight, the bane of any racing program and the opposite of what the Boss design team was attempting to achieve. Instead, the same technology that has made the new Mustang GT engine such a formidable force was applied to the Boss 302.

“In keeping with the spirit of the original, the new Boss 302 engine achieves its maximum power output at speeds at or above 7,500 rpm,” says Harrison. “Unlike the original engine, however, low-speed torque and driveability are uncompromised thanks to twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) technology and computer-aided engineering design tools.”

Harrison and his team began exploring Boss 302 concepts starting with the engine’s ability to breathe – essential to the production of horsepower. Because credible track performance requires high power production between 5,000 rpm and 7,000 rpm, the team needed a new approach to intake manifold design.

Borrowing from the Ford Daytona Prototype engines, the resulting short-runners-in-the-box design virtually eliminates lag when the throttle is snapped open while producing peak power output at high rpm.

“The effect of the new intake design is dramatic,” says Harrison. “When I took the prototype car to Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak, he took a short drive, tossed me the keys and said ‘Book it…it’s in the program.’ He knew what we were onto, and that’s really the point where the Boss 302 was born.”

To take advantage of the racing intake manifold, cylinder head airflow was fully optimized by CNC porting the entire intake and exhaust port and combustion chamber. The painstaking machining process takes 2.5 hours per head to complete.

To accompany the higher peak-power engine speed, the team had to engineer a lightweight, high-speed valvetrain and bulletproof reciprocating assembly that would not only hold together for 150,000-plus miles but also produce power at peak rpm.

“What most people don’t realize is that engine stresses increase exponentially as engine speeds rise,” explains Harrison. “So moving up from GT’s 7,000 rpm redline required significant re-engineering of many different parts. Sacrificing reliability and usability over the GT engine was never an option.”

Some of the Boss-specific parts contributing to the Boss 302 V8’s output and durability include:

* Revised composite intake system with shorter runners, inspired by Daytona Prototype racing engines, for high-rpm breathing
* Forged aluminum pistons and upgraded sinter-forged connecting rods for improved strength, needed for the higher combustion pressures and engine speeds
* New high-strength aluminum-alloy cylinder heads with fully CNC-machined ports and chambers for exceptional high-rpm airflow without sacrificing low-speed torque
* Lightened valvetrain components to provide excellent dynamic performance up to speeds well above the engine redline
* Sodium-filled exhaust valves for improved heat dissipation
* Race-specification crankshaft main and rod bearings for higher load capability and improved high-speed durability
* 5W50 full-synthetic oil with engine oil cooler for improved oil pressure and longer-lasting lubrication during extreme racing conditions
* Revised oil pan baffling for improved oil control under racing conditions and during cornering loads greater than 1.0 g

Close connection with race teams
Contrary to normal engine development protocol, the first batch of durability test engines weren’t installed in an engine dyno. Instead, thanks to a request from Ford Racing, they went straight to the track.

“Ford Racing had challenged the Boss engine team to give them the first available Boss 302 engines,” explains Harrison. “They came to us in August 2009 and told us they needed engines as soon as possible to build a limited number of Ford Racing Boss 302R cars for the January Daytona race. They got the engines 12 weeks later and the team got five Boss 302R cars prepped for the January race. This gave us a fantastic opportunity to be able to get full-on race experience with the engine so early in the program.”

The Boss engines have run reliably all season without a single mechanical failure. Boss 302R cars have also racked up the most laps led so far this season in Grand-Am racing.

Using race telemetry, the Boss team has been able to gather on-track data to help optimize engine calibrations, oil pan designs and cooling. In order to engage in virtual racing whenever they needed, the team used the telemetry data to re-create a hot lap at Daytona on the dyno back in Dearborn, allowing further fine-tuning.

“Working with Ford Racing has been invaluable,” said Harrison. “They were a wealth of information for setting up torque and power curves for road racing and for identifying areas of concern during track runs that we wouldn’t have considered if we were just building a hot street engine. Every Boss 302 owner will benefit from their contributions to the program.”

Production engine durability testing
Despite its racing heritage – and the rigors of track-day testing – the Boss 302 V8 is still a production Ford engine, built alongside the 5.0-liter GT engine at Essex Engine Plant in Ontario, Canada. That means it has to meet or exceed all the standard durability testing every Ford engine is required to complete.

The high-winding engine presented a challenge: The engine had no trouble staying together at its redline, but the Ford durability dynamometers weren’t designed to operate at the speeds the Boss engine was capable of.

“Ford had no engine test cells built to run at that kind of sustained speed,” said Harrison. “Ford Racing had one, but it wasn’t instrumented to do production durability testing. So we had to re-engineer the dyno cell with new balancers and jackshafts so the dyno wouldn’t fly apart running at redline hour after hour.”

Once an adequate test stand was configured, the Boss engine was run at its full rated output for tens of millions of cycles, eventually outperforming its specifications at every stage of testing. Engineers calculated that the test regimen was equivalent to running the Daytona 250 race flat-out more than 175 times – in a row.

Team members also devised an additional durability test specific to the Boss 302 engine – one that reflects the unique demands of Boss drivers. The engine was subjected to a regimen simulating 1,500 quarter-mile races typical of events at drag strips across the country.

“Even though the production Boss engine is designed to be very close to a full race engine, it had to achieve the same vehicle durability signoff any other production engine requires,” says Harrison. “Then it went on to get the track durability test signoff too. It’s really an engineering accomplishment that a Boss owner can thrash his car on the track and still expect the same outstanding reliability that the owner of a regular Mustang GT will enjoy.”


Boss 302 Technical Specs
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2012 FORD MUSTANG BOSS 302
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
DRIVETRAIN
Layout Front engine / Rear-wheel drive
TRANSMISSION
Standard Six-speed manual
Gear ratios
1st 3.66
2nd 2.43
3rd 1.69
4th 1.32
5th 1.00
6th 0.65
Final drive 3.73:1
SUSPENSION
Front Independent MacPherson strut with Reverse-L lower control arm, 34.6 mm tubular stabilizer
bar, strut tower brace, adjustable strut damping
Rear 3-link solid axle with limited-slip differential, coil springs,
Panhard bar, 25.0 mm stabilizer bar and adjustable shock damping
BODY
Construction: Unitized welded steel body, aluminum hood
Final assembly location: Flat Rock, Mich.
POWERTRAIN AND CHASSIS
ENGINE
Type High-performance 5.0L 4V Ti-VCT V8
Manufacturing location Essex Engine, Windsor, Ontario
Configuration Aluminum block and heads
Intake manifold Composite shell-welded with runner pack
Exhaust manifold Stainless steel tubular headers
Redline 7,500 rpm (est.)
Valvetrain DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake, variable camshaft timing
Valve diameter/lift (mm) Intake 37/12, Exhaust 31/11
Ti-VCT operating range 50 degrees for both intake and exhaust
Pistons Cast aluminum
Connecting rods Forged steel
Ignition High-energy coil-on-plug
Bore x stroke 3.63 x 3.65 in/92.2 x 92.7 mm
Displacement 302 cu. in./4,951 cc
Compression ratio 11.0:1 (est.)
Engine control system PCM
Horsepower 440 (est.)
Horsepower per liter 88
Torque 380 lb.-ft. (est.)
Recommended fuel 91 octane
Fuel capacity 16 gallons
Fuel delivery Sequential mechanical returnless
Oil capacity Eight quarts with filter (10,000-mile service interval)
STEERING
Type Rack-and-pinion with electric power-assisted steering (EPAS)
Ratio 15.9:1
Turning circle curb-to-curb 39.4 ft. (est.)
BRAKES
Type Four-wheel power disc brakes with 4-sensor, 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS),
low expansion brake hoses
Front 355 mm (14-in) x 36 mm vented discs, four-piston Brembo 43 mm floating aluminum
calipers
Rear 300 mm (11.8-in) x 19 mm vented discs, single-piston 43 mm floating iron calipers
TIRE AND WHEELS (type, size)
Standard 255/40ZR-19 Pirelli PZero, 285/35ZR-19 Pirelli PZero
19 x 9-in., 19 x 9.5-in. wide spoke painted aluminum wheels
DIMENSIONS (inches unless otherwise noted)
EXTERIOR
Wheelbase 107.1
Overall length 188.1
Overall width 73.9
Overall height 55.1
Track, front/rear 61.9/62.5
INTERIOR
Seating capacity 4
Front headroom 38.5
Front legroom 42.4
Front shoulder room 55.3
Front hip room 53.4
Rear headroom 34.7
Rear legroom 29.8
Rear shoulder room 51.6
Rear hip room 46.8
WEIGHTS AND CAPACITIES
SAE passenger volume 83.3 cu. ft.
Cargo volume 13.4 cu. ft.
Maximum towing capacity Not available
FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway)
Six-speed manual 17/26 mpg
BASE CURB WEIGHT (pounds)
Manual transmission 3,631 (est.)
Weight distribution (f/r) 55/45 (est.)
Specifications subject to change without prior notification


Boss 302 Laguna Seca Technical Specs
:

2012 FORD MUSTANG BOSS 302 LAGUNA SECA
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
DRIVETRAIN
Layout Front engine / Rear-wheel drive
TRANSMISSION
Standard Six-speed manual
Gear ratios
1st 3.66
2nd 2.43
3rd 1.69
4th 1.32
5th 1.00
6th 0.65
Final drive 3.73:1
BODY
Construction: Unitized welded steel body, aluminum hood
Final assembly location: Flat Rock, Mich.
POWERTRAIN AND CHASSIS
ENGINE
Type High-performance 5.0L 4V Ti-VCT V8
Manufacturing location Essex Engine, Windsor, Ontario
Configuration Aluminum block and heads
Intake manifold Composite shell-welded with runner pack
Exhaust manifold Stainless steel tubular headers
Redline 7,500 rpm (est.)
Valvetrain DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake, variable camshaft timing
Valve diameter/lift (mm) Intake 37/12, exhaust 31/11
Ti-VCT operating range 50 degrees for both intake and exhaust
Pistons Cast aluminum
Connecting rods Forged steel
Ignition High-energy coil-on-plug
Bore x stroke 3.63 x 3.65 in/92.2 x 92.7 mm
Displacement 302 cu. in./4,951 cc
Compression ratio 11.0:1 (est.)
Engine control system PCM
Horsepower 440 (est.)
Horsepower per liter 88
Torque 380 lb.-ft. (est.)
Recommended fuel 91 octane
Fuel capacity 16 gallons
Fuel delivery Sequential mechanical returnless
Oil capacity Eight quarts with filter (10,000-mile service interval)
SUSPENSION
Front Independent MacPherson strut with Reverse-L lower control arm, 34.6 mm tubular
stabilizer bar, strut tower brace, adjustable strut damping
Rear 3-link solid axle with Torsen limited-slip differential, coil springs,
Panhard bar, 26.0 mm stabilizer bar, body X-brace and adjustable shock damping
STEERING
Type Rack-and-pinion with electric power-assisted steering (EPAS)
Ratio 15.9:1
Turning circle curb-to-curb 39.4 ft. (est.)
BRAKES
Type Four-wheel power disc brakes with 4-sensor,
4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), low expansion brake hoses
Front 355 mm (14 in) x 36 mm vented discs,
Four-piston Brembo 43 mm floating aluminum calipers
Rear 300 mm (11.8 in) x 19 mm vented discs,
single-piston 43 mm floating iron calipers
TIRE AND WHEELS (type, size)
Standard 255/40ZR-19 Pirelli Corsa, 285/35ZR-19 Pirelli Corsa
19 x 9-in., 19 x 10-in. machined lightweight aluminum wheels
DIMENSIONS (inches unless otherwise noted)
EXTERIOR
Wheelbase 107.1
Overall length 188.1
Overall width 73.9
Overall height 55.1
Track, front/rear 61.9/62.5
INTERIOR
Seating capacity 2
Front headroom 38.5
Front legroom 42.4
Front shoulder room 55.3
Front hip room 53.4
WEIGHTS AND CAPACITIES
SAE passenger volume 52.4 cu. ft.
Cargo volume 13.4 cu. ft.
Maximum towing capacity Not available
FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway)
Six-speed manual 17/26 mpg
BASE CURB WEIGHT (pounds)
Manual transmission 3,636 (est.)
Weight distribution (f/r) 55/45 (est.)
Specifications subject to change without prior notification

1970_Boss302_256_HRBoss 302 History Lesson:

THE BOSS LEGEND: THREE MUSTANGS THAT HELPED INSPIRE THE 2012 BOSS 302

* Ford offered Boss 302 and 429 versions of Mustang from 1969 to 1970; the Boss 351 was built for 1971 only on a larger, restyled Mustang body
* The original Boss 302 cars were designed to dominate SCCA Trans-Am racing with a high-revving small-block V8 and outstanding road-holding capability; Boss 429 cars were designed with acceleration in mind and built to satisfy NASCAR engine homologation requirements
* All classic Boss models are coveted collectibles today thanks to outstanding performance and limited production numbers

MONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 13, 2010 – For 2012, Mustang Boss revives a legendary name known for uncompromising performance on the road and the track. Arriving in 1969, the first Mustang Boss was forged from a simple mandate by Ford management to the designers and engineers: Create a Mustang that would be unbeatable on SCCA race courses and local drag strips alike.

By then, Mustang sales success was assured thanks to its sporty nature. As a true high-performance icon, however, the car’s history had yet to be written. That changed when company leadership decided to pursue dominance in the popular SCCA Trans-Am road racing series. They chose to homologate their new NASCAR 429 engine using the Mustang, directing engineers to begin creating performance that would become legendary.

The result – Boss – spanned three engine configurations across two Mustang body styles, each of which remains a coveted classic among enthusiasts and collectors today.

1969-70 Boss 302
With styling tweaked by newly arrived Ford designer Larry Shinoda, the new-for-1969 Boss 302 sported front and rear spoilers, a blacked-out hood treatment, and racy side stripes for a look that screamed performance.

Under the bodywork, the Boss 302 didn’t disappoint. Its engine combined a four-bolt main Windsor small-block with reworked heads from the then-new 351 Cleveland engine. A forged steel crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons rounded out the reciprocating assembly. The result was a free-breathing, high-revving powerplant making what Ford claimed was 290 gross horsepower – though actual output is estimated to be significantly higher.

Ford engineers also thoroughly massaged the Mustang’s suspension in an effort to meet then-boss Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen’s mandate to “build absolutely the best-handling street car available on the American market.” Stiffer springs and shocks, special sway-bar tuning, a stiffened chassis and wide tires led to the fastest Mustang ever to lap the Ford test track up to that point.

1969-70 Boss 302 specifications:
Engine: 302-cubic-inch (5.0-liter) OHV V8
Horsepower/torque (advertised):
290 hp @ 5800 rpm/290 lb.-ft. @ 4300 rpm
Transmission: Four-speed manual
Production: 8,641

1969-70 Boss 429
While the Boss 302 was intended to be a perfectly balanced road race car, the Boss 429 had a decidedly different mission in life – uncompromised acceleration. Although the exterior appearance was similar to that of the Boss 302, the 429 engine under the hood was a heavily detuned version of a new Ford NASCAR racing powerplant.

The choice of Mustang as the model used to meet the 429’s homologation requirements – rules dictating a certain number of a manufacturer’s stock car engines were actually sold in production vehicles – was considered unusual given that Torino was Ford’s NASCAR flagship at the time. Plus, the effort required to shoehorn the huge 429 between the narrow Mustang shock towers dictated that the cars were heavily modified under the skin – work farmed out to Ford vendor Kar Kraft. Much of the front suspension was re-engineered to make the transplant work, and the battery was relocated to the trunk to provide additional room.

Even with special chassis bracing and a unique rear sway bar, the “Boss Nine” was at its best when pointed in a straight line: With a few owner modifications to undo the factory detuning, the car could yield quarter-mile times in the low-12-second range. That performance, coupled with big-block appeal and low production numbers, has conspired to make the Boss 429 perhaps the peak of Mustang collectability.

1969-70 Boss 429 specifications:
Engine: 429-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) OHV V8
Horsepower/torque (advertised):
375 hp @ 5200 rpm/450 lb.-ft. @ 3400 rpm
Transmission: Four-speed manual
Production: 1,356

1971 Boss 351
Boss returned for one more year, this time wearing the new-for-1971 sheet metal marking a longer, lower and wider Mustang than ever before. Under the hood, changes were equally dramatic, with the company’s 351 Cleveland V8 supplying the basis for motivation, matched as always with a four-speed manual gearbox. But with Ford pulling out of all factory-sponsored motorsports after 1970, the Boss 351 was denied a key element cementing the status of its predecessors: the proof testing provided by an official racing program.

Still, the Boss 351 offered exciting performance and eye-catching looks aided by the 60-degree sloping fastback body and twin-scoop contrasting hood. Interiors also gained luxury options; coupled with the improved tractability of the 351 Cleveland engine, it was easier for prospective buyers to turn this final early Boss into a comfortable high-speed cruiser than was possible with the race-bred 302 and 429 iterations.

1971 Boss 351 specifications:
Engine: 351-cubic-inch (5.8-liter) OHV V8
Horsepower/torque (advertised):
330 hp @ 5800 rpm/380 lb.-ft. @ 3400 rpm
Transmission: Four-speed manual
Production: 1,806

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[Sources: Ford and YouTube]

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