2012 Drivers’ Choice Awards: Best of the Year
While we’ve given out quite a few awards so far, there’s still one that remains. It’s our best-of-the-year honor. Now, pound-for-pound and dollar-for-dollar, it’s for the one car that left the biggest impression on us this year. So, without further ado, let’s see who’s the boss!
Meet the Boss, MotorWeek’s Driver’s Choice Best of the Year – the Ford Mustang Boss 302.
We’ve driven our share of performance cars over the years, and we’ve probably driven more than our share of Mustangs, but we’ve never been quite as enamored with one as we are with the 2012 Boss 302. Yes, we know the GT500 has more power and doesn’t cost a whole lot more; but when it comes to a total package that just does everything right, for us, it’s the Boss.
The original Boss 302 from 1969, is one of the most storied of all Mustangs, and thankfully, Ford did the Boss legacy justice. But really, they did much more than just that; the new Boss 302 kicks the old one to the curb in just about every way.
There’s 444-horsepower pumping out of its heavily tweaked 5.0-liter twin-cam V8, and it’s connected to a 6-speed manual transmission with one of the best shifter’s we’ve ever laid our hands on.
Exhaust gets pumped through a new quad-exhaust system with both rear and side outlets and must be experienced to be fully appreciated.
There’s a limited-slip 3.73 rear end; and suspension that’s not only been tweaked front to back, but is adjustable. You can even dial-in your preferred steering response.
And of course, there’s the nostalgic look, with flat black accents, side stripes, and power bulge hood; meeting modern performance, with hulking 19-inch wheels hiding 4-piston caliper Brembo front brakes.
Inside, SVT-designed Recaro seats fronting an alcantara leather wrapped steering wheel, add perfectly to an already well-done interior. And all of this can be had for just $41,000. Not only that, but you can drive around as lead-footed as you want and still get close to 20 miles-per-gallon.
But really, it’s the smile that appears on your face almost instantly after getting behind the wheel that endeared the Boss 302 to all of our staff, whether they were old enough to remember the original, or not. It’s one of the easiest Best of the Year winners we’ve ever decided on, as voting was unanimous almost right away. It takes a special car to pull that off; and indeed, there’s no argument that the Boss 302 is one very special Mustang; and MotorWeek’s 2012 Driver’s Choice Best of the Year.