I do a lot of car reviews here at I4U News and typically, the cars I review are from Ford, Toyota, or another carmaker. The companies usually drive the car out here and leave them with me for a week of driving and testing to get an idea of how well the vehicles work. Today I am going to talk about the latest review vehicle here at I4U, a 2012 Ford Boss 302 Mustang. The big difference here is that this Boss 302 isn’t from Ford, it belongs to me. I purchased the car a week ago and have spent all the time in it that I could. If you have read any of the other coverage on the car that I have published, you will know that this particular Boss 302 is special. This is the first 2012 Boss 302 that rolled off the assembly line, #0001.
Each of the Boss 302 cars is numbered to show which of them out of the total build of about 3500 normal street Boss 302 cars and about 500 or so Laguna Seca Boss 302 cars the vehicle is. I want to point out that I am not exactly sure how many of each of the Boss variants that Ford will build. I haven't seen any official numbers and the amounts everyone has heard vary a bit. If you know of any official numbers stated by Ford, let me know in the comments.
This particular 2012 Boss 302 is Competition Orange with black stripes. It has the Recaro seat and Torsen differential option. The only other option you can get on the vehicle is an accessory package that includes floor mats with Boss 302 on them and a car cover. This isn’t a car for the luxury driver looking to be pampered. It has a basic single CD stereo, AC, and power windows and locks. That is all you get for creature comforts. The car is a 6-speed manual and comes with 3.73 gears and a shifter that offered shorter throws than your typical 2012 Mustang GT.
The transmissions shifts very well and the clutch is light with very smooth travel between gears. I have been in the car more times than I can count in the last week and I am still getting used to the 6-speed shift pattern. This is the first 6-speed car I have owned. The biggest difference is that the reverse gear is on the left rather than the right side of the shift pattern. You also have to push the shifter down a bit to get it to go into reverse to prevent you from accidentally getting the car into reverse when downshifting.
The Boss 302 uses the same 5.0 302 cubic inch V8 engine that has been inside the Mustang since 2011. This is not the same exact engine though. It gets special calibration, special heads that have hours of porting work done at Ford, and forged pistons, crank, and rods all in the name of allowing the engine survive the high rpms it is capable of. The redline on the car is 7500rpm, a few hundred rpms higher than the normal 5.0.
One of the things that is special about the Boss 302 is also the suspension on the car. Even the normal street boss has adjustable dampers from the factory and is ready to be softened for cruising the highways or set firmer for thrashing on the track. This car is not a luxury vehicle and you won't mistake the ride for a Lexus. It's stiff, but comfortable and not harsh at all on normal every day roads. The car will take potholes like a champ and rides very good on long commutes. This car is very easy to live with even though it has a track focused build.
Inside the car, the optional Recaro seats are straight out of a racecar. They have deep bolsters on the side and at the legs to keep you planted when you are hitting the track at lateral acceleration up to a full G. The seats in the Boss 302 are cloth with a suede-like fabric on the seats in high wear areas. The reason a car costing over $40,000 comes with fabric seats rather than leather has to do with the track-focused nature of the car. Leather is slippery and the driver can’t stay in place as well on the track as they can with fabric seats.
The steering wheel on the car is fat and very comfortable in the hands. It is covered with Alcantra making it very grippy. One of the things that bothered me about the steering wheel in the GT500 was that it has covered in leather and some sort of suede material that felt slippery in my hands. The Alcantra that the Boss 302 wheel uses is not slippery at all.
One of my favorite things about the Boss 302 is the exhaust note. This car sounds way more aggressive than the 2011 Mustang GT or the 2011 GT500. The Boss 302 has four exhaust pipes that split off after they exit the cats. Two of the pipes exit in front of each rear wheels and the main pipes exit at the back of the car like normal. The side pipes have restrictor disks in them from the factory that allow only a small amount of exhaust out of them. If you get under the car and remove three bolts, you can pull the side pipe off and remove that restrictor plate. The result is the sort of sound that I paid $500 to get on my 10 GT. The exhaust note is deep and flat sounds awesome.
The 2012 Boss 302 cars are a bit hard to come by right now and MSRP on them starts at right under $41,000. As tested, this car was a touch under $43,000. The catch is that if you find one of these on a lot you often have to pay more than sticker. Some people are paying as much as $5,000 more that sticker. If you want a unique car with excellent handling and loads of power that is ready off the show room floor for the racetrack, auto cross, or drag strip this is the car for you.