LA Auto Show 2011: The 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302

Introduced for the 2011 model year, the spiritual successor to the Boss 302 of the late 1960s and early 1970s combined speed and handling with Ford’s Mustang GT.  The result was nothing short of amazing, with comparisons to BMW’s M3, among others.  For the 2013 model year, Ford is cranking the Boss 302 up another notch, mostly in its appearance.  Read on for more details and Ford’s press release.

When the 2011 Boss 302 was created, engineers on the team found 32 more horses inside the Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V8, bringing to the total to 444.  That number hasn’t changed, but bits of the drivetrain between the engine and rear wheels have been changed to improve drivability and durability.  The 6-speed manual transmission is unchanged, but an upgraded “race inspired” clutch should help transmit the engine’s power rearward.  In the limited slip rear differential, carbon fiber plates are now being used to provide better longevity and handling.

The wheels are staggered, so while all four of them are 19″ in diameter, the fronts are 9″ wide, the rears 9.5″.  They’re lightweight as well, saving on rotational mass over the GT’s wheels.  The wheels themselves are wrapped in Pirelli PZero summer tires, so the Boss 302 won’t be a four-season car from the factory.

Bringing it all to a halt is a brake package featuring Brembo calipers, clamping down on 14-inch rotors up front.  The Mustang GT’s regular brakes are a carryover, save for upgraded pads.  This appears to be the Brembo brake package available on the Mustang GT, except it’s standard on the Boss 302.

The bigger changes are found elsewhere.  SYNC becomes standard on the Boss 302 for the first time, An interesting choice in a track-oriented car.  While Ford built the Boss 302 to be comfortable and reliable as a daily driver, it makes more sense as a track toy.  On the outside, the front end has been redesigned, as have all 2013 Mustangs.  On the Boss 302, that means functional hood extractors and a new front splitter, for down force, not to mention new fascias front and rear.  The new front fascia includes removable covers where the fog lights would normally go, which will aid in cooling the brakes on track days.

As for paint colors, which seem to change on most cars from year to year, the Boss 302 is no exception.  Laguna Seca models can be optioned with School Bus Yellow paint, as an honor to Parnelli Jones’ 1970 Boss 302 race car.  New hockey-stick graphics are reflective, really showing up when light hits them.

Look for the Boss 302 to hit showrooms in the Spring of 2012, along with the regular Mustang and Shelby GT500.

by John Suit

Source: Ford

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