Ford has created what it is calling the "quickest, best-handling" Mustang ever: the 2012 Mustang Boss 302.
Based on the 2011 Ford Mustang GT, the new model is inspired by the classic 1969 Mustang Boss, a car with an original design brief of becoming the "best all-around road-going performance machine ever created by Ford Motor Company".
Ford engineers, stylists and designers have strengthened, lightened and refined the Mustang GT to create "a race car with a licence plate". The team used the BMW M3 as a performance benchmark for the Mustang Boss 302 and claim the car can match Munich's performance saloon for lap time at Laguna Seca.
A new air intake and modified camshafts boost power from 406bhp to 434bhp in the 5.0-litre V8 engine taken from the standard Mustang GT, while 380lb ft of torque is produced. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox.
Performance is further enhanced by higher-rate coil springs, stiffer suspension bushings, a larger-diameter rear stabiliser bar, 14-inch Brembo front brakes and a race-inspired clutch. The Boss also comes with adjustable shocks and a speed-sensitive electronic steering system with three modes: comfort, normal and sport allowing the driver to adjust the car to their liking. A limited-slip differential is available as an option.
Styling changes to the exterior include a unique front fascia, a modified grille, a front splitter, and lightweight 19 inch wheels. Inside, the cabin boasts a revised instrument cluster, an Alcantara steering wheel, dark metallic trim and optional Recaro sports seats.
The car also features a unique quad exhaust system with two outlets exiting at the rear and two outlets exiting just ahead of the rear wheels. The two additional outlets send exhaust gases through a set of metal discs that provide the Boss Mustang with a unique engine note that meets road noise level restrictions. The discs can be removed to provide more noise when circuit driving.
A track-oriented Boss 302 Laguna Seca special edition model has also been revealed, which takes away the rear seats and adds race-ready suspension and other aerodynamic upgrades. The Laguna Seca has increased body stiffness, a firmer chassis set-up, new front and rear spoilers and is decked-out in Black or Ingot Silver paint with red accents.