Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Impression: Ford Mustang Boss 302

The original Ford Mustang Boss 302 was built from 1969 to 1970. The car was built as a secret project known as " the boss's car" and was powered by a 302 cubic inch car. Parrnelli Jones drove the Ford Mustang Boss 302 to victory in the 1970 Trans-Am racing series title and the name "Boss" was kept. The third generation Mustang was the last Mustang to use a 302 cubic inch engine until the fifth generation Mustang GT, which has a 302 cubic inch engine available for Mustang GTs built after 2010. With the return of the 302 cubic inch engine was the return of the Boss 302. Ford revised the Boss 302 for the 2012 model year of the Mustang. There was a special edition of the Boss 302, called the Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition, which is a lighter version of the Boss 302 that was built for the race track. The 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 was award by Motorweek as the 2012 Car of the Year.

I have seen the Ford Mustang Boss 302 as several Houston Cars and Coffee events. Ford showed off the Boss 302 at the 2012 Houston Auto Show. Volkswagen was bragging that the Passat was named Motortrend's 2012 Car of the year (I wonder how much VW paid Motortrend for that award). Ford did not brag that the Boss 302 was named Motorweek's 2012 Car of the Year. There are a few differences between the standard Mustang GT and the Boss 302. The Boss 302 has black front splitter, black side skirts, a different grill with highlighted by blocked-off fog lamp openings. The Boss 302 logo is on each side with C-shaped decals going along the sides, which pay homage to the original Boss 302. The Boss 302 can come with a limited slip-differential or an optional Torsen differential. The Boss 302 has a more aggressive styling than the standard Mustang GT.

The 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is powered by a naturally aspirated 302 cubic inch 5.0L V8, paired with a six speed manual transmission, that produces 444 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and reaches a top speed o 155 mph. It is also faster around Laguna Seca faster than one of its key competitors, the BMW M3. Prices for the Boss 302 start at $40,995. That is a lot of bang for your buck. The Boss 302 is a great buy, considering the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 costs about $55,000.

The Mustang Boss 302 has been featured in Top Gear US Season 3, Episode 2, when Tanner drove one in a relay race against two riders on horseback. Motorweek has also reviewed the Boss 302, naming it Motortrend's Driver Choice 2012 Car of the Year.

Final Thoughts: The Boss 302 is a great sports car. It is a great Mustang that pays respect to the original Boss 302. The Laguna Seca Edition is a even better track car, but the standard Boss 302 is a better car for everyday driving. After seeing Motorweek name the Toyota Prius its 2010 Car of the Year and the Chevrolet Volt its 2011 Car of the Year, I was pleasantly surprised that the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 was named Motorweek's 2012 Car of the Year. I also thought the award could go to the Subaru Impreza. Motorweek had picked a better car for its 2012 Car of the Year award than Motortrend, who went with the VW Passat. I was glad to see Motorweek went with a fun, performing car rather than a dull and boring hybrid as its 2012 car of the year.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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