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