Track Tested: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 vs. 2011 Ford Mustang GT


Sibling rivavlry is a great thing. Peyton vs Eli. Venus vs Serena. Klitschko vs Klitschko (fingers crossed). Pitting siblings against one another shows where similar genes have taken different paths, where each has focused their attention and, most importantly, which one has the drive to really take the win.

There are two siblings on the Ford family tree so closely related that there's no appreciable difference to the casual observer. We are, of course, talking about the Ford Mustang Boss 302 and the Ford Mustang GT. Most people wouldn't notice the Boss's subtle ride height difference or the aggressive front splitter, and there's no way that they'll notice that this car has an additional 32 horsepower more than the stock 412-hp Ford Mustang GT 5.0.

We've run them both through our track testing procedures, and now it's time to see which Mustang mom will love more.

  2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0
0-30 (sec.): 2.2 2.2
0-45 (sec.): 3.6 3.5
0-60 (sec.): 4.8 5.0
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.): 4.5 4.8
0-75 (sec.): 6.7 6.8
1/4-mile (sec @ mph): 12.9 @ 112.8 13.1 @ 109.5
30-0 (ft): 27 27
60-0 (ft): 108 109
Skid pad lateral accel (g): 0.94 0.92
Slalom: 68.3 69

Vehicle: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

Odometer: 6,941
Date: 11-22-2011
Driver: Mike Monticello
Price: $40,310 (base)

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: naturally aspirated V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4,951/302
Redline (rpm): 7,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 444 @ 7,400 rpm
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 380 @ 4,500
Brake Type (front): 14.0-inch ventilated discs with 4-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.8-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type(front): Independent MacPherson strut, manually adjustable dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Solid axle, Panhard bar, stabilizer bar, manually adjustable dampers
Tire Size (front): 255/40ZR19
Tire Size (rear): 285/35ZR19
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero
Tire Type: Assymetrical summer performance
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,630

Test Results:

Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.2 (2.2 w/TC on)
0-45 (sec): 3.6 (3.6 w/TC on)
0-60 (sec): 4.8 (5.0 w/TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.5 (4.6 w/TC on)
0-75 (sec): 6.7 (6.9 w/TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.9 @ 112.8 (12.9 @ 112.3 w/TC on)

Braking:
30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 108

Handling
Slalom (mph): 68.3 ( 65.7 w/TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.94 ( 0.94 w/ TC on)

Db @ Idle: 51.7
Db @ Full Throttle: 85.0
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 68.9

Acceleration: Tough to launch. Axle hop is the biggest problem, although it's easy to get wheelspin, too. Usually, you're dealing with both. Launching between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm worked best, keeping from full throttle until the car is a little bit off the line and has traction. Gearbox needs a firm yet gentle hand. I found 5th instead of 3rd once. Slippery shifter knob. But damn does the Boss sound good. Love those side pipes.

Braking: Fairly firm pedal, although was expecting a bit better feel. Good short travel, though. The Boss stops with a minimum of fuss and noise from the tires, little nosedive. First stop was 110 feet. Shortest was 5th at 108. Longest was 4th at 112 feet.

Handling:

Skid pad: Easy to find and keep the limits during steady-state cornering. None of the nervousness as experienced in the slalom.

Slalom: Noticeably less confident than the Boss 302 Laguna Seca car we tested previously. Feels anxious and never truly stuck. Rapid turn-in is hard to adjust to.

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 vs. 2011 Ford Mustang GT

Vehicle: 2011 Ford Mustang GT

Odometer: 1,451
Date: 1/5/2011
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $38,780 as equipped ($32,845 base)

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4,951/302
Redline (rpm): 7,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 412 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 390 @ 4,250
Brake Type (front): 14-inch ventilated disc with four-piston Brembo fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.8-inch ventilated disc with single-piston sliding calipers
Steering System: Electronic speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut
Suspension Type (rear): Solid live axle
Tire Size (front): 255/40ZR19
Tire Size (rear): 255/40ZR19
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero
Tire Type: Asymmetrical summer performance
Wheel size:19-by-9.0 inches
Wheel material (front/rear): Alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,629

Test Results:

Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.2 (2.3 w/TC on)
0-45 (sec): 3.5 (3.6 w/TC on)
0-60 (sec): 5.0 (5.2 w/TC on)
0-75 (sec): 6.8 (6.9 w/TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 13.1 @ 109.5 (13.2 @ 109.2 w/TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.8 (4.9 w/TC on)

Braking
30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 109

Handling
Slalom (mph): 69.0 (67 w/TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.92 (0.91 w/TC on)

Db @ Idle: 48.8
Db @ Full Throttle: 83.6
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 69.8

Comments
Acceleration: As we've noted before, this car runs consistent 5.1-second 0-60 times, but getting under 5.0 requires an optimal launch with virtually no spin (or bog). Hard to "hear" if the tires are spinning or gripping -- they just sort of haze. Shifter felt a little tight/binding but never missed a gate. These are very short gears and I had to go to 5th for the quarter-mile. (2-3 shift @ 59.5!)

Braking: Little/moderate dive, moderate pedal effort and idle stroke, but straight, short and highly fade-resistant.

Handling:

Skid pad: Balance seems to shift around quite a bit with ESC off so there is some (not much) steering input required to maintain consistent arc. Mild understeer at limit with so-so steering feel/info. With ESC on, very subtle brake corrections and high threshold for intrusion.

Slalom: Still amazes me how much better the 2011 is compared to the 2010 here: Crisp, trustworthy turn-in, takes a set very well and as long as throttle input is minute and smooth, there's some lift throttle rotation available. Too much throttle-out and the rear end gets very loose. Steering is precise and weighted just right for quick "dabs of oppo" -- especially at the exit. Well done.

Leave a Comment
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT