While this year’s Mustang sales may not have been quite as successful as Ford would have liked that hasn’t stopped it from receiving awards from the top automotive magazines. Not too long ago the Boss 302 earned a spot in the prestigious Automobile Magazine All Star Awards for its high performance suspension and exceptional engine. Not only did Automobile say it was the knock out blow of the year but it also called the Boss 302 the best Mustang of all time! While it may be impossible to achieve a higher accolade that doesn’t make this next award any less distinguished. Car and Driver this morning also named the Boss 302, along with the Mustang GT, as one of the 10 Best of the year!
What the Boss 302 did for the Mustang GT is not too dissimilar from what the Stradivari family did for the violin. The basic instrument (the violin, the Mustang GT) was already pretty great. Near perfection. Then someone (a Stradivari, Ford Mustang engineers) managed to create a new standard for all other luthiers and/or muscle-car makers. Which are kind of the same people. Okay, they’re not, but the point is that nothing can touch the Boss at $41,105. With its screaming 7500-rpm, 444-hp, 5.0-liter V-8, it’ll rip off 60 mph in four seconds flat, break the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 117 mph, stop from 70 in 155 feet, and hold the road at 0.95 g. If you are wondering, those numbers are on par with the $20,970-pricier BMW M3 coupe. And don’t forget the Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition, good for one second around its namesake track. Our biggest complaints are that the steering wheel lacks a telescoping feature and that steering feedback is, at best, vague. We got over it, and so can you. Also, as one of us found out, your significant other may have a problem riding around in a car that has “Boss” emblazoned on its side. Then again, if 40 large is too rich, the Stang GT doesn’t disappoint. It’s short 32 horses and lacks the track-ready suspension of the Boss, but it’s an astounding instrument in its own right.
To be considered for the Car and Driver 10 Best a vehicle needed to meet just two criteria. First off it had to come with a price tag under $80,000. Secondly it had to satisfy Car and Driver’s “abundant needs” while satisfying their “every want”. Other cars to make the list were the Audi A6/A7, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac CTS-V, Ford Focus, Honda Accord, Honda Fit, Mazda Miata, Porsche Boxster/Cayman and Volkswagen Golf/GTI. The Chevrolet Camaro was a nominee but didn’t make the finals while the Dodge Challenger went unmentioned.