Profile: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Designer Darrell Behmer

Darrell Behmer, chief designer of the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302, wants his new creation to be respectful of its heritage.

“We approached this as curators of a legend,” said Behmer. “We’ve taken design cues from the ’69 Boss street car and the menacing Bud Moore/Parnelli Jones race cars and carefully updated them to give the 2012 the proper bad-boy attitude that is unmistakably a Boss Mustang.”

The original Boss 302 Mustangs, first offered in 1969, were designed to dominate SCCA Trans-Am racing with a high-revving small-block V8 and outstanding road-holding capability.

Driving the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 was intended from the outset to be a visceral experience, packed with raw, unbridled performance across the spectrum.

That emotional connection extends to design as well.

To set Boss apart, each car will have either a black or white roof panel, coordinated to the color of the side C-stripe. Available exterior colors are Competition Orange, Performance White, Kona Blue Metallic, Yellow Blaze Metallic Tri-Coat and Race Red.

Inside, a unique Boss steering wheel covered completely in Alcantara® suede complements the standard seats, which are trimmed in cloth with a suede-like center insert to firmly hold occupants in place. Boss customers who want the ultimate seating experience can select a package that includes Recaro buckets, designed by Ford SVT in cooperation with Recaro for high-performance Mustang models, and shared between the Boss and GT500.

A dark metallic instrument panel finish, gauge cluster and door panel trim also differentiate Boss from the standard Mustang, while a black pool-cue shifter ball and “Powered by Ford” door sill plates further remind customers they’re in a special car.

“The exterior design styling and interior design cues have to match the world-class performance of the 2012 Mustang Boss 302,” said Behmer.

The 2012 Mustang Boss 302 program is one Behmer is especially proud to be involved with.

“I am a second-generation Ford Motor Company designer – my late father started here in 1958 and worked here for 31 years,” said Behmer. “So I have been influenced by Ford design for nearly 50 years.”

Behmer was hooked on Mustangs – especially Boss Mustangs – at an early age.

“When I was 8, my father took me to Michigan International Speedway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to see the Boss Mustangs driven by Parnelli Jones and George Follmer race in the Trans-Am series,” said Behmer. “From then on the Boss was my favorite Mustang. I am humbled to have played a part in bringing it back. The 2012 car is an absolute blast.”

Personal Insights and Fun Facts

* Has been married to Kim for 24 years. She has a 2011 Mustang GT convertible that he gets to borrow from time to time. They have two children in college
* Behmer previously was chief designer for Ford’s portfolio of midsize cars, including Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ. He also worked on midsize utility vehicles, including Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX
* Behmer said he and his father got their first Mustangs together late in 1964 – his father’s a Champagne Beige coupe and his a Rangoon Red pedal car
* He’s been with Ford for 28 years, with experience in the design studios in Europe as well as North

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TMN Staff

Staff posted articles include excerpts or entire content from official company press releases, company statements and other news content which comes to us from various sources.