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A look inside the 2012 Mustang Boss 302’s 444 horsepower V8

By - February 15, 2011 – 3:42 pm11 Comments | 25,534 views

2012 Mustang Boss 302 Engine

With 444 horsepower on tap the 2012 Mustang Boss 302’s V8 is the most powerful naturally aspirated engine Ford has ever produced. To achieve this was no easy feat, and Ford has done significant upgrades compared to the 5.0L engine in the standard Mustang GT. A unique runners-in-the-box air intake allows for additional air flow, and a fortified valve train allows the engine to run to a 7500 rpm redline. Many of the internal components have been strengthened as well, such as the pistons, connecting rods and the crankshaft.

To give you a better look at exactly how Ford created the Boss 302 engine, we’ve put together a series of photos from a cutout of the engine showing all of the upgraded components.

2012 Mustang Boss 302 Intake
A revised composite intake system takes inspiration from Ford’s Daytona Prototype race engines and features shorter runners for improved air flow in the higher RPM range.
2012 Mustang Boss 302 valves
The exhaust fills have been filled with sodium for improved heat dissipation.
2012 Mustang Boss 302 valvetrain
Lightened valvetrain components provide improved performance and can easily handle the 7500 RPM redline and beyond. Ford’s extensive testing has ensured the valvetrain will hold together for 150,000+ miles.
2012 Mustang Boss 302 Cylinder Heads
New cylinder heads have CNC-machined ports and chambers for better air flow across the entire RPM range. High RPM air flow as been improved without sacrificing low speed torque. The machining process takes 2.5 hours to complete for each cylinder head.
2012 Mustang Boss 302 Pistons
New forged aluminum pistons are up to handling the 444 horsepower as well as the 7500 RPM redline and the 11.0:1 compression ratio.
2012 Mustang Boss 302 Connecting Rods
Upgraded sinter-forged connecting rods are stronger than the standard units in the Mustang GT.
2012 Mustang Boss 302 Crankshaft
A new forged steel crankshaft is built to race-specification and features upgraded rod bearings for a higher load capacity and improved high-speed durability.
2012 Mustang Boss 302 Oil Pan
Revised oil pan baffling improves oil control under racing conditions and during cornering loads greater than 1.0g.
2012 Mustang Boss 302 Engine Oil Cooler
An engine oil cooler allows for improved oil pressure and longer-lasting lubrication during racing conditions.

Photos ©2011 MustangsDaily.com


  • Ben says:

    I have never seel a cutaway of the intake and the runners. What do they look like?

  • Rick says:

    88.8 Hp/liter versus 103 Hp/liter of the M3 …

  • Jude says:

    And at 1/2 the price of a M3.

  • John says:

    Rick: bmw historically overstates (talk to anyone who’s dyno’d any generation m3) and ford is understating on this (as they are on the current gt). and where’s the torque in the m3 v8? and what does the power band look like? you’re only talking peak HP numbers.

    oh, and there’s the price thing too.

  • MustangsDaily says:

    Ben – just for you:


    Let me know if you want some more angles.

  • Dave says:

    shouldn’t the tag on the head say CNC not C&C

  • Thomas Liang says:

    The Mustang 5.0 gets much better gas mileage than the BMW M3. More economical to buy, maintain and operate, while getting superior performance.

  • Matt says:

    @ Rick,

    ya and it costs less and beats the M3 around LS. Please tell me what all that money and hp/l equated to on the track? Thats right nothing, just a little roundel on the hood. bmw’s M division has lost is spirit and is more concerned with making x6m and other stupid m suvs instead of real sports cars.

    let me know the next time you see a BOSS Explorer…oh ya thats right, Ford is not retarded.

  • Chris says:

    Funny how its quicker around a track then a m3 too, you should read up before posting.

  • CaptainNemo says:

    in any case all that can be said
    is its a nice bang for the buck

    who needs interior decoration or a radio/ac ect
    and a heavy 7 liter engine up front

    when you got a nice engine that plays music
    all the way to 7500 rpms and laughs all the
    way around the track at everybody who trys
    to catch you.

    just think about what can be done once it
    gets out of warranty….

    12 to 1 comp and new cams
    and some more octane, wider tires
    you know the drill “tweaking”

  • Scott says:

    I picked up my 2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca on July 9th and love the car. I was actually able to get it for MSRP. Am heading to Watkins Glen in Sept for the cars maiden track day. Expect it to be faster out of the box than my 2001 Mustang Cobra track car which I ran 2:18. M cars are for people that want and can afford everything. Since I started tracking I have been running with M cars and alot of others over the years. Can’t justify the price, when i bought my 2001 Mustang friend asked why I didn’t get the BMW for a similar price and I said that I wasn’t buying the car for it’s interior but for the performance and at the time the BMW at a similar price was putting out half the power.

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