The Boss is back: Ford's new Mustang Boss 302


In 1969 and 1970, the hot Mustang Boss 302 was essentially a race car for the street. Now the Boss 302 is back as a completely modern version of the original that even has Ford veterans excited.

"I was told about a year ago we were going to do a Boss 302, I said, 'To me, that's Mustang,'" said Edesel Ford II, the great-grandson of Ford Motor Co.'s founder. "I grew up with Boss 302. I'm of that ilk, that era. It's wonderful."

The 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 goes for about $40,310.

In the original and the new one, 302 means the size of the engine. The newest mustang V-8 is 5.0 liters, which works out to 302 cubic inches, just like its predecessor.

The Boss engine is even treated to a retro shade of Ford blue and modifications help it churn out 444 horsepower.

Back in the day, the Boss 302 would have had a "four on the floor," a four-speed floor shifter. Today's Boss gets a six on the floor. Sorry, no automatic.

Some other things are also true to the original, like the black hood paint, rear spoiler, design of the stripes and even the font for the logos.

The original days of muscle cars are often referred to as the "Good Old Days." Compared to those original Boss 302 Mustangs of 1969 and 1970, this new one creates way more power while meeting today's strict emissions standards.

It also gets decent gas mileage, and as far as handling and brakes, there's no comparison. Even though the interior is on the plain side compared to other new Mustangs, there are luxuries like air conditioning, cruise control and power windows.

Back in those Good Old Days, the Boss proved itself on the track with victory after victory at the hands of some legendary drivers.

For an extra $7,000, the Boss 302 can be decked out as a Laguna Seca model, named after the famous race track in Monterey, Calif. It's essentially ready to road race. Even the back seat was removed.

The regular Boss 302 model performs plenty well, too, honoring the Boss Mustang of days gone by and even raising the bar in almost every way.

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