My "school bus yellow" Mustang Boss 302 was race ready with a stiff suspension, aerodynamic details and a removed rear seat that thankful they left in the car.
I found myself ferrying two friends to dinner and one of them had to pull rear seat duty. We didn't have to go that far because the Mustang in any guise is really a two passenger vehicle for long halls, unless the rear seat passengers are smaller in size.
Anyway, the 302 moniker emblazoned on the Mustang Boss 302's black accent strips does not stand for horsepower. My test vehicle had 5.0-liter V8 that made 444 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque.
The engine was mated to a short throw, close ratio six-speed manual transmission. Several times during my test drive experience I missed-geared the car, especially when downshifting. It was nothing major; just a matter of familiarization.
The car's quad-pipe exhaust system was housed in dual outlets with noise attenuated side outlets. What that means is this car growled right from the start-up. Even my next-door neighbor could tell there was a hefty engine under the hood by the way it sounded.
This car was a lot of fun but it was nothing to play with. The limited slip differential ratio was 3.73 using carbon fiber clutch plates. It had firmer springs and suspension bushings at all four corners.
A larger diameter rear stabilizer bar, manually adjusted dampers and lightweight 19-inch gray alloy racing wheels meant my test car stayed flat in the corners, had little nose raising or dipping under hard acceleration or braking and it looked good doing it.
Brembo four-piston brake calipers clamping down on 14-inch vented front rotors insured a quick slow-down. They were augmented by special brake pads in the rear.
Like most Mustangs, my Boss 302 had a simple interior layout. I was pleased that the steering wheel had a suede-like Alcantra covering. There was no hand slippage on the wheel and that helped tremendously in a car as powerful and sensitive as this Mustang.
However, it took a while to get used to the three spokes that joined the steering wheel. My hands did slip a couple of times on those spokes; that's not a good thing in a car with Mustang Boss 302 power, there's not a lot of room or time for error correction. But once I became aware of the possibility, after the first day or so with the car, I can't recall it happening again.
My test car was equipped with Ford's SYNC system but I was not pleased with it in the Mustang Boss 302. First, my test car did not have satellite radio, well, it wasn't connected. But that had nothing to do with SYNC.
But since it didn't have satellite radio I used my USB jack to plug in my iPod, it worked. You'd be surprised how many times the USB jack doesn't work with an iPod. Anyway, my gripe is I never took it out of the car during my week-long test drive (I got to go get it as soon as I'm done writing this) but it rebooted several times and wouldn't work.
I had to go to the owner's manual to download my Smartphone phone book into the system as well. It was just little misfires with the car's communication system. I'm an intuitive kind of guy and I found that irritating. Heck, it might have been a system snafu with the car I had.
Still, that had nothing to do with the driving dynamics of the 2013 Mustang Boss 302. It was a great experience. And for $44,990 I thought the car well worth the price.
[Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com.]