Getting the upcoming 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 ready for track duty can be as simple as using the correct key.
Ford on Thursday said it will offer a TracKey option for the Mustang Boss 302. Starting the car with the red-colored TracKey prompts the powertrain control module to a separate, more-aggressive set of software--changing more than 200 settings from street mode.
The Boss 302's 5.0-liter V8 cranks out 444 hp and 380 pounds feet of torque, regardless of whether it is started with the standard key or the TracKey. But the TracKey competition mode--adopted from Ford Racing software -- changes fuel control, spark timing, camshaft timing and engine braking, and it enables greater torque at lower engine rpm. It also invokes a two-stage launch control feature. That system lets the driver set a launch rpm on the tachometer. It then runs the engine speed to that setting and holds it with the throttle wide open until the driver releases the clutch pedal.
"Anything that could possibly affect all-out performance is deleted from the TracKey calibration," said Dave Pericak, chief engineer for the Mustang program.
The Boss 302 builds on the Mustang GT with a series of chassis and steering changes. Ride height is lowered 11 millimeters in front and 1 millimeter in back. Adjustable shocks and struts are added, and the suspension gets stiffer bushings, high-rate springs and a thicker rear antiroll bar. The top speed of the Boss 302 is listed at 155 mph, and Ford says the car can pull more than 1 g of lateral acceleration.
The TracKey package is added to the Boss 302 at a Ford dealership, which installs the second set of software onto the powertrain control module. Ford said the price of the package will be released later.