Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
November 15, 2010
Photos By: Courtesy Ford Media

In 1969, the Boss 302 was offered in four colors only - Bright Yellow, Wimbledon White, Calypso Coral (orange), and Acapulco Blue. The '12 Boss 302 follows that theme by restricting exterior selection to five colors, four of them similar to '69 - Yellow Blaze, Performance White, Competition Orange, and Kona Blue - plus Race Red. While street '69 Boss 302s got black reflective C-stripes, the '12 Boss comes with either black (non-reflective, unfortunately) or white C-stripes, along with matching roof panel, that are coordinated to the exterior paint.

The original Boss 302 was one of the first street Mustangs to take advantage of aerodynamics with its front spoiler and optional rear wing. For '12, the concept is updated with a modern-style front splitter designed to manage air flow under and around the car to reduce underbody drag and front end lift while also forcing air into the Boss-specific cooling system. At the rear, a carefully selected spoiler complements the front aero treatment to minimize drag.

"We were looking for reduced overall lift with improved balance," says Pericak. "The end result is an aero package that uses front, rear, and underbody treatments-not for show but for effect."

Inside, the unique Boss steering wheel is covered with Alcantara suede to complement the cloth-trimmed seats with their suede-like center inserts that help to keep occupants in place during hard cornering. Recaro seats are optional. Boss 302s also get a dark metallic instrument panel and door panel finish, 9,000-rpm tachometer, and "Powered by Ford" door sill plates.

Something Special
According to Pericak, the Mustang team wanted to offer enthusiasts something special with the '12 Boss 302. "It's a beautifully balanced, factory-built race car that can be driven on the street," Pericak says. "The Boss 302 isn't something that a Mustang GT owner can buy all the parts for out of a catalog or a tuner can get by adding a chip. This is a front-to-back re-engineered Mustang with every system designed to make a good driver great and a great driver even better."

'12 Boss 302 Specifications & Unique Components

Type High-performance 5.0L, four-valve, Ti-VCT V-8
Configuration Aluminum block and heads
Displacement 5.0-liter, 302 cubic-inches
Compression ratio 11.0:1 (est.)
Horsepower 440 (est.)
Torque 380 lb. ft (est.)
Intake manifold Composite shell-welded with short runners
Exhaust manifolds Stainless steel tubular headers
Exhaust system Quad with two outlets at rear, two side exit with tuning elements
Redline 7,500 rpm (est.)
Valvetrain DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake and camshaft timing
Valve diameter/lift (mm) Intake 37/12; exhaust 31/11, sodium filled
Pistons Cast aluminum
Connecting rods Forged steel
Oiling 5W50 oil, oil cooler, oil pan baffling
Ignition High-energy coil-on-plug
Recommended fuel 91 octane
Fuel economy (city/highway) 17/26