Best of the Best 2012: Coupes & GTs: Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca

In an age of paddle-shift automatics, button-controlled suspension modes, shift-mapping software, and driver-tuned exhausts, the Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca (www.ford.com) is a welcome throwback to the get-in-and-drive days of its progenitor.

 

The original 1969 Mustang Boss 302 was a race-bred machine developed by Ford for the hotly contested Trans-Am series. Today’s Boss is a bare-bones GT built for performance-minded drivers who appreciate American muscle. At the heart of the car is a 302 cu in V-8 engine that develops 444 hp and spools up to 7,500 rpm. Shifts are performed by that rare species of transmission known as a 6-speed manual. With the cue ball–shaped shift knob in hand, you can engage a real clutch pedal, stir the gearbox, and experience a satisfaction unknown to practitioners of fingertip shifting. The center pedal operates the Boss’s capable Brembo brakes.

 

The Laguna Seca edition, priced at about $48,000, delivers less content (no rear seats) than the standard version but more performance. The track-oriented package includes a front splitter, sport seats, and other features that make this car the best-handling Mustang in the pony car’s nearly 50-year history.

Photo by Jim Fets
The successful trip puts Audi on track to release its first autonomous car in 2017…
Jaguar’s design director discloses that the F-Pace is the production version of the C-X17 concept…
This year’s show saw debuts from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and other top carmakers…
The racecar set off a Ford winning streak at Le Mans that lasted four years…
Photo by Mercedes-Benz
Armored versions of the limousine-like vehicle will also be available…
Photo by Mark Bramley
The new sedan features numerous stylistic references to the world’s great metropolises…
Photo by Drew Phillips
The original car became famous in the 1968 Steve McQueen film Bullitt…
The new Turbo S completed a lap on the famous Nürburgring circuit in under 8 minutes…
Photo by Mercedes-Benz
The autonomous concept takes a look into the future of driving…
With just 24 examples available worldwide, only an elite few will ever experience the Vulcan’s...