2012 Ford Mustang
The big news for the 2012 Ford Mustang lineup is the introduction of a Mustang Boss 302. Reminiscent of the trans-am racers of the past, the new Boss 302 model ups the ante of the regular 5.0L Coyote V8 found in the GT, which remains rated at 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. In Boss trim, the 5.0L puts out 444 high revving horsepower mated to the MT82 6-speed manual transmission with included short throw shifter. Other goodies that come packaged with the Boss 302 include Brembo brakes, 3.73 rear axle ratio, a stiffened suspension and an optional Torsen limited slip rear differential. V6-powered Pony cars sport a 3.7L all-aluminum engine making an extremely respectable 305 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque and can be paired with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or 6-speed automatic.
Front Chassis Overhaul
Upgrading the factory k-member on a 2012 Mustang to an aftermarket tubular k-member is by no means a walk in the park, but once completed successfully has many benefits.
- Reduced weight
- Tubular construction
- Stronger than stock
To make such a significant structural change is the sure sign of one thing - you want big handling improvements. Aftermarket k-members feature a tubular steel design, which is both extremely strong and actually lighter than stock. The result is improved rigidity throughout the subframe and significantly more room around the engine. The second point leads into a full-length header upgrade (of kind S197 Coyote motors love), which can be quite difficult to accomplish with the bulky OEM k-member in place. Further, due to the new space saving geometry, aftermarket k-members provide provisions to completely revamp the front end in terms of control arms, motor mounts and overall suspension components. This means you can really dial your Mustang in for a specific purpose - be it autocross, drag racing or even just a street driven monster. Think of the k-member as the foundation for the front end. With a solid foundation, the sky is the limit.
Direct Drive Feeling
While on the topic of front end upgrades (and a great compliment to a new k-member), new motor mounts can really sharpen how the Mustang feels and shifts. With their role being to support and control engine vibration, there is a host of different engine mount materials out there with drastically different characteristics. At the bottom end are rubber mounts, which focus intensly on driving comfort. Their soft nature does a great job at absorbing vibration and road harshness and are able to deflect under load quite a bit. However, while deflection is great for comfort, from a performance perspective it introduces slop into the drivetrain, which wastes energy that could otherwise be transferred to the wheels. On the complete other end of the spectrum are solid engine mounts. As their name implies, this type of mount really doesn't deflect at all. Rather, they transfer everything through the drivetrain, which is ideal for hard core racers that need crisp road feel and snappy shifts. For road going 2012 Mustangs however, it may be overkill. Inbetween the two are polyurethane mounts. A hybrid between rubber and solid, poly motor mounts are stiffer than rubber, deflecting less and transferring more energy through the drivetrain but still provide good comfort characteristics. Noise and harshness will be elevated compared to rubber mounts, but nowhere near the level that a solid mount would experience. One last advantage of new motor mounts is adjustability. Many aftermarket S197 motor mount kits are height adjustable, meaning you can lower or raise the position of the engine to gain additional clearance (for other mods) and change the center of gravity (lower CG is better for handling).