Ford Racing Shows Boss 302SX With Little Fanfare

The Ford Mustang may see another variant in its stable as Ford Racing decided to show off the new Boss 302SX at the Performance Racing Industry show in Florida. What is strange about this is there was very little media hype built around the reveal of this concept, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve it in the least.

The 302SX concept packs an overhauled version of the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 cranking out over 500 horsepower thanks to the same intake manifold found on the 2013 Mustang Cobra Jet.

Performance is also improved with a new oil cooler, fuel system, fully adjustable coil-over suspension and high flow Ford Racing Mufflers. For ultimate levels of grip, the 302SX concept sports 18×9.5 inch wheels with full racing slicks. With all that power it is no surprise that Brembo multi-piston brakes are found at every corner of the vehicle.

Ultimately, the 302SX is designed to be an ultimate track car and even the interior is equipped with an FIA-Spec 6-point roll cage and a single Recaro racing seat for the driver.

All that sounds great, but will it come to market? It seems highly probable, as the 302SX would fit in nicely between the power spectrum of the Boss 302 and the 650 horsepower 2013 GT500, wouldn’t you say?


LOS ANGELES, CA (Nov., 2011) – Although the Los Angeles Auto Show is technically the last, big U.S.-based international auto show on the calendar each year, it’s actually the event that kicks off the auto show season in the American car market. And while the L.A. Auto Show may not draw as many journalists as Detroit’s North American International Auto Show, or command the sheer square-footage of the Chicago Auto Show, make no mistake – it is no less important.

That’s because California is not only the largest auto market in the United States, it’s also considered to be nation’s trendiest. But with the Japanese automakers accounting for nearly half of all new-car sales there, it’s one of the toughest markets for American manufacturers – and as such presents both a huge challenge and opportunity for a resurgent Ford Motor Company. Given Ford’s fresh lineup of class-leading, fuel-efficient small cars and utilities, it turns out that this year’s premier West Coast auto show was the perfect place for Ford to unveil some of its most important new models that stack up well against the best the world has to offer.
For performance fans, nothing was more impressive than the 2013 Mustang, which was actually revealed prior to the opening of the auto show’s press days. Yes, Mustang had just received a major facelift for the 2010 model year, and then came right back with a pair of fantastic new engines for 2011, followed by an incredible Boss 302 model for 2012. But in order to keep the momentum going, Team Mustang kept the pedal to the metal and gave the 2013 version some very significant upgrades.
The picturesque Belasco Theater in downtown L.A. was chosen to host a special “reveal party” where a select group of media, performance enthusiasts and guests were invited to be the first to see the full 2013 Mustang lineup, plus rub shoulders with Ford brass in a club-like setting that was highlighted with a performance by the rock band “The Bravery.”
Jim Farley, Ford Group Vice President for Global Marketing, Sales and Service, got the ball rolling by reminding all in attendance that everyone remembers their first Mustang story – and that this night would be another one to remember. First to be unveiled were the 2013 Mustang V-6 and GT models. The biggest difference for 2013 is the Mustang’s appearance, featuring a redesigned front end with a grille similar to the Shelby GT500 that is now shared across the entire Mustang lineup. It includes a new front fascia and standard HID headlights with unique LED accents. Out back, the LED theme continues with redesigned sequential, tri-bar taillights and a black appliqué center panel tying it all together. Also new for 2013 are body-colored rocker panels to give the car a more upscale appearance, and a fresh lineup of wheels. The Mustang GT also gets a performance upgrade with its 5.0L V-8 now producing 420 horsepower.
Next up, Farley pulled the wraps off the much-anticipated 2013 Mustang Boss 302. Paying homage to the 1970 Boss 302 that Parnelli Jones drove to the Trans-Am Championship that year, the 2013 model features a host of enhancements that would make any Boss enthusiast smile. The car now features reflective dark-grey “hockey stick” striping, just as it had in 1970. Another tribute to Jones’ championship car is the availability of the color synonymous with the Boss 302 race car: School Bus Yellow. The Boss also touts the same updated front and rear ends as the Mustang GT, but gets a more aggressive front splitter and rear decklid spoiler.
Another new feature, which will come standard on V-6 and GT Premium models as well as THE Boss 302 and Shelby GT500, is something called “Track Apps.” Housed on a new 4.2” LCD screen that sits between the car’s main gauges, Track Apps allows the driver to record and save performance data such as 0-60 mph and quarter-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking times, lateral G-forces, and more. Another neat touch appears when timing an acceleration run, where the driver can launch the car using a virtual “light tree” as if he or she were doing the run at a real drag strip!
But the biggest performance news for 2013 came in the form of the new Shelby GT500. While it had been rumored that the latest GT500 would now be powered by an upgraded 5.8-liter supercharged V-8, no one knew quite how much power it would produce. Reports of 600 or even 620hp ran rampant on the internet for the weeks leading up to the car’s unveiling. But when the cover was pulled from the Grabber Blue GT500 at the Belasco Theater, it was announced that Ford SVT’s 2013 Shelby GT500 would produce a record 650 horsepower! Also, for the first time in the almost 50-year history of the Mustang, the 2013 Shelby GT500 will be capable of a top speed surpassing 200 mph!
Carroll Shelby, the legendary racer and automaker from which the GT500 gets its name, was in attendance to help take the wraps off the new GT500. Shelby was beaming at the sight of this latest GT500, and had some extremely kind words for the SVT engineers who brought it to life.
“Without a doubt, the engineers at SVT and Team Mustang are the greatest team I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” Shelby proclaimed. “I’m the proudest this old man could be, and I’m happy I’ll get to go out with the best! I’ve always been asked, ‘What is my favorite car?’ and I’ve always said ‘The next one.’ I’m going to take that back tonight. This is my new favorite car!”
Jamal Hameedi, SVT’s Chief Nameplate Engineer, told us his view of the new GT500 and what made developing it so special to him. “Anytime you can take a 100-horsepower step on an evolutionary platform, it’s a big deal,” said Hameedi. “We just thought one day, ‘Let’s go all the way to 200 mph,’ and everyone thought we were crazy. We probably are a little bit crazy… you know, we’ve been working with Carroll Shelby on projects since the Ford GT, and this is one of the first times we’ve truly surprised and delighted him with the results. Working on this project has been like one dream come true after another!”
We also spoke with Mustang’s chief engineer, Dave Pericak, who told us a little bit about what makes today’s lineup of Mustangs so special and what we can expect in the future.
“We have the V-6 which offers the power and performance of yesterday’s V-8 while delivering improved fuel economy,” Pericak told us. “We also have the 420-horse Mustang GT, which has benefited from everything we’ve learned from the Boss 302. Next we have the 2013 Boss 302, which takes everything we put into last year’s car, but builds upon the heritage of Parnelli Jones and his Trans-Am Championship-winning car from 1970. Finally we have a 650 horsepower, 200 mph top-speed Shelby GT500. We’re on a great path, and we’re committed to making the Mustang as good as it can be and also making the Mustang faithful proud! We’ve come a long way to get here with the Mustang, but I can only say this is just the start!”
The show’s official press days began the next morning at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where there was plenty more for the Ford performance enthusiast to enjoy. The four Mustangs from the previous night’s party were on display, along with several other 2012 and 2013 Mustangs. A red 2013 Mustang GT sat atop a dyno waiting to wow the crowds with thunderous simulated quarter-mile passes. In the corner sat a pair of F-150 Raptor SVTs, one of which featured a lift-off body to more easily display the truck’s high-performance off-road inspired suspension system.
At the other end of Ford’s massive display area sat a pair of 2013 Ford Taurus SHOs. SHO owners had asked for more visual differentiation between their cars and the standard Taurus, so for the 2013 model year, Taurus SHO gets a number of unique visual enhancements. The most obvious includes the freshened body featuring more aggressive-looking front and rear fascias. The SHO now wears less chrome trim for a more monochromatic look, as well as sporting unique SHO badging on the front fenders. A SHO Performance Package is also now available, which features a number of enhancements for the driving enthusiast. A more aggressively tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, uniquely calibrated power steering and electronic stability control system plus 20-inch wheels with summer tires, considerably raise the bar for the SHO.
Perhaps the biggest news out of L.A. for Ford fans beyond the new Mustang came from the ST performance lineup of Ford front-drive cars. The L.A. Auto Show became the first place in America that the production 2012 Focus ST was shown to the general public – and two were on hand for close inspection by the masses. The Focus ST is the spiritual successor to the SVT Focus, and features a 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four cylinder, producing 247 horsepower and 250 foot-pounds of torque, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Coming to dealership in late 2012, the Focus ST will go toe-to-toe with the world’s best performance compacts. Also on display was Ford Racing’s Focus ST-R, a competition version of the Focus ST designed to race in Grand-Am and the SCCA World Challenge series.
The Fiesta ST Concept, the second model to wear Ford’s ST badge, made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this past September. The car shown in Germany was the 3-door variant, but L.A. was treated to the world-debut of a 5-door version. The Fiesta ST Concept is powered by a 180-horsepower, 1.6L EcoBoost inline-four, which makes this one very fun Fiesta! The car’s bold design is reminiscent of the Fiestas made famous in the World Rally Championship, Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos, and Tanner Foust’s Global Rallycross Championship runs. While the Fiesta ST is officially only a concept, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine it fitting nicely into the Ford performance lineup!
Rounding out the action at the Ford and Lincoln displays in L.A. was the unveiling of newly redesigned nameplates. The biggest news came in the form of the all-new 2013 Ford Escape. This will be the first complete redesign of the Escape since its initial introduction in 2000 as a 2001 model, and promises to provide class-leading style, fuel-efficiency, safety, technology and performance. Also revealed were a freshened Ford Flex with bold, new styling inside and out, as well as the new 2013 Lincoln MKS and MKT, showcasing Lincoln’s spectacular new design theme and class-leading vehicle technology.
Following three action-packed days of taking in everything that the L.A. Auto Show had to offer, it’s clear that Ford enthusiasts have much to be excited about these days. The good news is that Ford is putting more performance-orientated vehicles that still deliver great fuel economy within the reach of more people than ever before. Whether you’re in the market for mean and green EcoBoost power in your new Ford, a pocket-rocket from the ST line, off-road superiority in an F-150 Raptor SVT, SHO-stopping performance with the size, luxury and refinement of a Taurus, or any flavor of the hot, new Mustang lineup, Ford performance is alive and well – even in today’s import-filled California environment!


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