Review: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 and Boss 302 “Laguna Seca”

Posted on 23. Feb, 2011 by in Auto News

Ford's Jim Farley is under autojournos known for off-the-cuff remarks, but how he stands in a Laguna Seca garage, facing approximately 20 members of the press as a whole, he succeeds in a real bunker-buster one, to deliver what speaks directly to this humble writer's heart.

"This car … it's not meant to be stored in a garage somewhere. Should be on YouTube … maybe doing something illegal." Oh, yeah. Let us go and do so immediately. It is not until I. The tip of Monterey Canyon, my ears and eyeballs vibrate in the past few minutes violent reached screeching, Pikes Peak style run have I come to my senses and delete the pictures from my Android camera We let someone else lose their press-trip privileges after the great man's advice.

This turns out to be a smart move, because an hour later I was at the pit lane entrance sit with a broken, smoking BMW M3, a dashboard full of warning lights, a screech handheld radio, and a feeling that I use to, all my accumulated goodwill in this industry, what tiny amount may be, just to survive the afternoon.

Almost a year ago I drove the five-liter Mustang GT at Summit Point Raceway, and announced it far, far better than the competing big-inch pony cars. A better foil for high-horsepower GT skills, I suggested, would be the Corvette C5 Z06. That may be true, but the Mustang team at Ford is not much interested in creating a direct comparison with cars.

Instead, when the idea for a new "Boss 302" was floated around Ford corridors, it was decided to tilt at a famous modern windmill: the V-8-powered BMW M3. I know the M3 pretty good after I took a couple of tenths behind a Challenge in Monticello at the CTS-V. It's a solid all-round performer, capable of whipping the lower half of the Porsche model range by most racetracks. Only the dark, depressing low-spec brakes so it might not be the well-rounded four-seater sports car … in the world, as they say.

What would it take for a Mustang to beat an M3 around Laguna Seca? The easy way to do it would be to chip-tune the car to within an inch of his life, be fit, improved tires, drop the gear and add a few caveats to the claim as "readymade vehicle for tests." You think. At the Nurburgring videos where mystery-boost GT-R and completely imprisoned Corvettes go wild in the hands of generic label racer

That's what they would performed. What they deed was the following: There are two completely revised aero packages, one for the "plain" Boss and one for the "Laguna Seca" model over the more in a bit. The engine has a – wait – completely unique set of heads with extra polishing, larger exhaust valves, a new exhaust cam, special bearings, a redesigned crankshaft and new valve train components. The nominal improvement is modest – up to 444 hp from 412 – but on the road it feels more Daytona Prototype (or, to be exact, Conti Challenge GS) as a tram.

The "Brembo package" is standard on this car. With new pads from Performance Friction and improved brake lines The suspension now has five-position manual dampers and revised spring settings. The payback period: This car has the kind of precision you get attenuation would expect from "Koni Yellows". There are side-mounted exhaust to make it louder, larger stabilizer to rotate it, and special 19-inch wheels with 285mm P-Zeros on the back. Serious hardware.

On the back roads around Laguna Seca, I find that the 302 monstrous pace is too much for the brakes. This is a car that catapulted regularly on short straights speeds that are multiples of the ol '55 limit. Ask understood before braking from 110 or 120 to 50 or 60, over and over again, and you begin to know why I would want a set of Baer eight-piston stoppers my Boss. As was the case in recent years is the infamous live axle almost imperceptible to the driver, but if your commute takes you through the city of Boston, that is not the case. On smooth roads, but combines the serenity of an old boss BMW E46 and the wailing buzzsaw thrust of a 289 Cobra.

It is with a sense of relief that my co-pilot (and racing coach) Brian Makse and I arrive in the controlled environment of Laguna Seca. We had released the first car on the road and one of the last to return, and I hear stories of angry policemen who catch all hope our Boss Orange and instead lurked for those behind us. Now it's time to put on our big boy hats and drive for real.

Ford claims that the standard Boss. 302 over a second faster than a M3 around Laguna Seca, with the limited edition car even faster To prove it, they have placed a white M3 to the party. With low load option and the carbon-fiber roof, this particular M3 looks the business. Of course, I'm the first one to drive it. I do not have to Laguna Seca since I. Confronted Brian in the Skip Barber Media Challenge, and I'm excited to accelerate re-emerge

My "out lap" is uneventful, and I am aware, the only car on the track, when I pass the corner stations on my single flying lap. The M3 is a trusted friend here, with an almost perfect driving position, great visibility and controls to operate itself almost. The timer fitted to the car captured my lap as 1:50.1, which is pretty far from the 1.45 turned Ford's Rolex GT crew, but hey: I have not been here for a year, and I do not want to display the to destroy the car.

When I enter the pit lane, but the BMW goes insane, flashing the dashboard and abruptly braking me to a screeching halt without rattling my intervention. I radio for help, and the car lands, require a restart a few times before deciding to let go of the brakes are. This is, frankly, terrifying. What happens if the brakes had "grabbed" while I negotiated the infamous Turn Nine? Worse still are the journos talk that I "broke the BMW." I prefer to be safe, that my drive impressions were thinking unique, as the BMW promptly goes back in the paddock garage and never.

Time trying to get the "Laguna Seca" edition 302nd It costs $ 47,150 to $ 40,140 over the standard car. You will receive a shocking aero package with a street-illegal splitter, larger wheels, Lamborgini-OEM R-comp tires, a Torsen diff, brake balls and underbody transmission cooling scoop, which is certainly shorn by a racetrack curb somewhere . The rear bench is gone, replaced by a contrasting color X-brace. This car is seemingly almost obscene in its aggression. I love it.

Love at first sight, perhaps, but the Mustang will never "fit" as the BMW. Where the Bimmer inspires confidence in his driver positioning, the Mustang makes me feel that there is no perfect way to customize the fit. The dashboard is tall and the cockpit is dark. The controls are bulky and awkward. Oh well. Time to head out. I realize that the stability control system on this car is disabled by default.

Just four laps later, I decided to buy My First Mustang. This is, without a shadow of doubt, the neutral handling tram that I ever hit the track. Understeer is nonexistent, and the tail can be turned on once you reach the approximate boundary of the tires. It would be easy to "stunt drive" the car sideways around Seca – and Brian, together in our desire to do exactly that – but I'm on probation, so I focus on extracting some time without abuse of the machine.

Here, as on the street convinced the revised five-liter, pulling in strong and straight all the way across the tach. Only the heavy flywheel destroys the impression that you are driving a race-prepped Mustang. Not that the last race I drove a '95 Mustang Cobra running in NASA CMC, would be able to touch this car. It is seriously fast and I see no problems, as it is a few seconds faster than an M3, perhaps very close to C6 Z06. The unibody feels like it's a solid casting, and I put no concerns about using a little left foot braking my line through Nine.

The Laguna Seca edition is a revelation, a joy, a miracle, but the standard Boss is garbage. Just kidding. If anything, the "normal" car is more fun to drive, a little looser and more nimble. On the smaller rear wheels, different tire compounds and sensible spoilers I guesstimate Brian at 1:45.5, counting seconds on my imprecise IWC Spitfire UTC, and I make a less dramatic but probably not much slower lap myself a few minutes later. We are only two seconds or so away from the pros, and the last few ticks would surely come if we had more than six laps at Laguna Seca to get to the car. It's just plain fun to drive.

If only it stopped. Brian hot lap takes all the brakes of the car for mine, and I am currently involved, than I am. The long straight before Seca "Corkscrew" Crest I understand why Ford can not fit a $ 5000 brake system with a $ 40,000 car, but I would recommend that Boss owners to think in the real world about addressing. Yes, "manager" you can the brakes, as Ford's tame drivers do in their media-ride hot laps, but I did not manage to hit the brakes in my Porsches, and I do not think to do it in this car, either. That sounds too much like work.

You need to do some work of their own to find a boss 302nd Less than four thousand will be available. Do the math and it is easy to see that some dealers do not get to sell. The Laguna Seca edition is only a small fraction of the those. Instant factory Vertu. Boo hiss! Talk to your dealer now than later.

At dinner later that evening, a colleague who I deeply expresses his complete lack of enthusiasm for the car. "It's fast on the track, but it's a 3600-pound Mustang, which costs a lot of money." I understand his concern. There is nothing socially relevant about this car. There's nothing particularly shocking about the idea of another fast Ponycar. It does nothing for the economy, the industry or the climate. That does not mean I do not want one, and if you have the chance to drive the boss, you are probably also want to – even if your current car is an M3.