"The new Ford Mustang Boss 302 completely redefines Mustang capability," said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. "That the Mustang team was able to take the current Mustang GT - already a world-class performance car - and refine it further for peak track performance shows Ford's commitment to this car and its legions of fans."
"The decision to build a modern Boss was not entered into lightly," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. "The entire team at Ford felt the time was right and with the right ingredients, the world-class 2011 Mustang could support a successful, race-bred, worthy successor to the original Boss 302. For us that meant a production Mustang that could top one of the world's best - the 2010 BMW M3 - in lap times at Laguna Seca. We met our expectations."
Led by Mike Harrison, the V8 engine team approached Boss from the top down: With 412 horsepower from 5.0 liters, the 2011 GT engine was already an incredible performer. But a new intake was essential to achieve the high-rpm horsepower that would make the engine competitive on the track. The engine team's resulting runners-in-the-box plenum/velocity stack combination was impressive enough that it got the green light after one short drive.
Helping the intake build power, revised camshafts using a more aggressive grind are actuated with the same twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) mechanism used on the Mustang GT. More aggressive control calibration yields 440 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque while offering smooth idle and low-end torque for comfortable around-town driving.
A race-inspired clutch with upgraded friction materials transmits power, while a short-throw, close-ratio six-speed manual transmission handles gear change duties.
Power is delivered to a 3.73 ratio rear axle using carbon fiber plates in the limited-slip differential to improve torque handling and longevity. For those who want even more precise control over power delivery, a torque-sensing (Torsen) limited-slip differential is an option with Recaro front seats.
"The team at Ford wanted to offer their fellow Mustang enthusiasts something extraordinary - a beautifully balanced factory-built race car that they could drive on the street," explains Dave Pericak, chief engineer. "The Ford Mustang Boss 302 isn't something a Mustang GT owner can buy all the parts for out of a catalog or that 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."
"With an exhaust system, we have to consider three constraints: legal noise restrictions; backpressure, which can rob power; and ground clearance," explains Shawn Carney, Mustang NVH engineer. "Since the 2011 Mustang GT exhaust is already so free-flowing - it came in way under our backpressure targets - we already had excellent performance; we were able to tune the exhaust system for a unique sound. Combined with the rush of the intake, the exhaust system really envelops the driver in V8 sound.
"Boss is a hallowed word around here, and we couldn't put that name on a new Ford Mustang until we were sure everything was in place to make this car a worthy successor," explains Pericak. "We were either going to do it right or not do it at all - no one on the team was going to let Boss become a sticker and wheel package."