Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
January 1, 2013

It's still hard to believe how far the Mustang has come since the sunset of the New Edge run. As the S197 Mustang was born, it ushered in a whole new era of Mustang performance and driveability. The leap from '04 to '05 was huge. Yet in 2010, there was another big step ahead. These days the difference between the likes of a Boss 302 and its predecessors is flat-out mind-blowing. "The '04 and earlier cars were fine, and they adapted well to aftermarket modifications," Steeda President and CEO Dario Orlando explained. "The '05-and-later platform provides an even better basis upon which we can apply our aftermarket expertise to further enhance performance. Overall, the S197 platform is a stiffer and more advanced chassis, which provides Mustang drivers enhanced overall performance levels."

When you jump behind the wheel of a Boss 302, you might assume that it is the pinnacle of Mustang performance and there's no need to go any further. Well, the factory has certainly raised the bar on what is possible from a stock Mustang, but there's still a little room left for improvement. That's why Steeda Autosports decided to take the top-of-the-line handler, a '13 Boss 302 Laguna Seca, and push its envelope with a full suspension makeover.

"The engineers at Ford Motor Company did an amazing job at developing a track-ready vehicle right off of the assembly line," Dario said. "It was only logical that we take their outstanding platform and make an even better performing track vehicle for the niche performance enthusiast. By adopting our ISO engineered and manufactured products, which are also track tested under the most grueling conditions, we were able to still substantially improve upon the Boss 302s performance levels without compromising the integrity or NVH of the vehicle."

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"ISO Certification establishes a high standard for all operations involving the engineering, design, manufacturing, and customer service. Translated, it is the customer guarantee that the products are manufactured to the highest possible standard with precision, quality, and durability," Dario explained. "Steeda is one of few aftermarket companies that has achieved this level of certification. While it is a costly and dedicated process for us to administer, our customers benefit with the quality of products we manufacturer." Of course, the parts improved the Boss 302's inherent handling characteristics. The good news is that this same gear can be applied to a base Mustang or Mustang GT and the gains will be even more noticeable. Even GT500s, especially the earlier versions, can benefit from this sort of suspension gear.

"(It's a) night and day difference in terms of responsiveness and forward grip," Dario enthused. "You simply will not believe how the Steeda Boss Suspension package can dramatically improve the handling of a stock Mustang GT." In fact, our own Project Vapor Trail wears many of the same parts. Obviously the spring rates differ for the lighter Boss, and PVT doesn't have the latest adjustable sway bars, but the combination is similar enough. Knowing the same parts that will better a Boss are on our project car stemmed a bit of your author's new-car envy. "While this package is optimum for the Mustang GT and the Boss 302, for the GT500 we have a different package—it compensates for the increased weight of the GT500 engine, and still delivers mind-blowing performance and grip that approaches the Steeda Boss 302 package," Dario added. So follow along as we watch this combination come together. We'll have a full report on the completed car in an upcoming issue, but suffice it to say, it's an impressive ride.

Horse Sense: Steeda is more than just a parts house. They also offer a full line of serialized Mustangs, including Steedafied versions of the Boss 302 and GT500. If that is more your speed, you can hit them up at vehicles@steeda.com for more info.

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Balancing Act

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