Changes for the V6 and GT Mustangs for 2012 model year were few limited to striping options, Lava Red Metallic paint and selectable steering with three driving modes; standard, comfort and sport. The biggest news was the return of the legendary Boss 302, a no excuses, naturally aspirated, all-out performance, street legal track inspired car that will go down as the greatest Mustang in history.
The 2012 base Mustang continued to be offered with the 3.7 liter V6 (305 hp) and the Mustang GT got the 5.0 liter (412 hp) V8. Unless of course you opt for a Shelby where you can gain bragging rights and a 550 hp 5.4 liter engine.
As far as the EPA ratings go, My 5.0 GT was rated at 15 city and 26 highway. Pretty accurate it was (as Yoda would say). When I went on vacation we took abut a 6000 mile trip and monitored that mileage pretty well. If I kept my foot out of it and just set the cruise control at 70 – 75 mph, we averaged about 23-24 in the mountains and 25-27 going across Kansas. By the way, Colorado has the nicest Highway Patrol Troopers I have ever met. We stopped and chatted for quite some time about his Camaro and my Mustangs. He did inform me to keep the speed down as they have no tolerance on speeders. I strongly recommend a vacation in beautiful Colorado.
My transmission is a 6 speed automatic and it came with a 3.13:1 gear ratio. The other option would have been a 6 speed manual transmission then I could have opted for a 3.13, 3.31, 3,55 or 3.75 rear gear ratio. Had I known my wife would not drive the car very much, I would have went with the 6 speed manual and the 3.55 gears. Rumor has it that there is a 155 mph speed limiter on the car. Another rumor is that you still have lots of rpm’s left on the tachometer when you hit the limiter. Not wanting to be one who wastes RPM’s upping the gears seems like a good idea to me. After all, if you can’t go faster than 155 miles per hour, at least you should be able to get there faster.
How does Ford feel about the car, well they offer a standard Bumper to bumper or 36,000 mile warranty. And, as a special deal, you get a 5 year or 60,000 mile powertrain, roadside assistance and safety restraint system warranty. Besides that, you get a 5 unlimited mile warranty against corrosion (perforation only) whatever that means my mustang frontal view. Not that my Mustang is getting rusty, but do they measure rust on a per mile basis? I guess not!
The front suspension consists of an Independent MacPherson Struts with Reverse-L Lower Control Arm and a Stabilizer Bar. Shock absorbers are hydraulic Gas-Pressurized and Outboard-Mounted. The rear suspensions has constant-rated coil springs using 3-Link design with a Panhard rod and stabilizer bar. If you want to stop the car, you will be using Power 4-Wheel Disc; Anti-Lock System with Traction Control.
Steering consists of a Selectable Electric Power Assisted (EPAS) system. You can choose from 3 modes, Sport, Normal and Comfort.
Another thing Ford offers is SYNC. This is a handy little feature when it works right. Going down the road you can talk to your car and when it remembers that it is a car, it works right. BUT, sometimes, it thinks that it’s the boss (not the BOSS car) and just does what it wants. For example, I tell it to, “call father” and it arbitrarily says “calling Mandy Thumb”. Gee, I can see why it got those two names confused! Also it immediately dials the phone and it is almost impossible to stop the wrong dial, so you have to hang on and tell the person who you just woke up, that your car dialed the phone not you. Yeah right! When it works, which is most of the time, it is great. When it doesn’t work, it can be frustrating as heck. What is nice is that I can tell my car to play all the Willie Nelson songs, or all country songs, or Eric Clapton songs and bam, that is what is played. Sure beats messing with CDs and the radio.
Ford did make a BOSS Mustang this year and once again you can get the California Special edition. I am kind of off on the California Special edition. What makes it special is that it was not offered once in 1968 and if they did a 25 year and 50 year one time each that would still keep it special. But to make a multi-year offering, makes it a California not-so-special. I liked the limited Boss specials, and the limited Bullitt specials and the Limited Mach 1’s. But the California’s are not so special any more!
A new non-street legal Cobra Jet edition also appeared to the 2012 lineup, becoming the best performing Mustang to be offered. The 2012 Mustang Cobra Jet uses the 5.4L V8 from the GT500 and adds one of two superchargers to making it the quickest production race car available. The 2012 Mustang Cobra Jet hits 10 seconds in the 1/4 mile, and costs between $90,000 and $100,000 depending on how it is equipped.
Special Edition Models & Variants
Changes for the 2012 GT Mustangs were few limited to striping options, Lava Red Metallic paint and selectable steering with three driving modes; standard, comfort and sport. The biggest news was the return of the legendary Boss 302 so Ford didn’t spend too much time on the GT.
The 402A Spec level is the California Special Package was back again. It included a unique chrome billet grille with body color surround and Tri-Bar Pony Badge (w/o Fog lamps), unique side stripes, unique lower fascia with fog lamps, unique 19″x8.5″ Machined Painted Wheels, unique decklid badge with name in faux gas cap, unique instrument panel appliqué finish, unique door panel “Carbon” Inserts, unique front and fear leather seats with “Carbon” inserts, premium carpeted front floor mats with embroidered logo, rear “Diffuser-Style Lower Fascia, pedestal spoiler, decklid tape appliqué, side scoops.
Largely unchanged, only a pair of Recaro leather covered sport bucket seats were new additions to the Shelby GT500 options list for 2012. In 2012 you also got the Mustang’s new selectable steering system that allowed drivers to choose up to three different settings: “Sport” mode, “Comfort” mode, and “Standard” mode for normal everyday driving. Another new electronics feature was the addition of next-generation SYNC that included AppLink, as well as voice-activated enhanced navigation for a complete hands-free operation.
This is one bad Mustang and probably our favorite Mustang of all time. 444 horsepower and 380 ft/lb torque from a little old 302 cubic inch (5.0L) having 11.0:1 compression engine with a base price of $40,995. The engine uses a chain driven double overhead cam, 4 valves per cylinder, hydraulic lash adjusters and variable intake and exhaust timing (VCT). What this means to the driver is they have about 7,500 RPMs to play with Typical of all mustangs, it has a front engine and rear drive. The Boss for all its good points has one major flaw. It cannot go any faster than the GT Mustang in a straight line. Who cares, because the Boss 302 is all about handling and all-around performance versus just straight line theatrics. An absolute screamer and the best Mustang ever created.
In all respects the “regular” Boss 302 was an epic sports car, easily the best overall Mustang Ford had ever made to that point. At the time though the team at Ford felt that the Boss 302 could be developed even further so they set out to do just that and delivered the Laguna Seca Package. Aimed at racers more interested in on-track performance than creature comforts, the Boss 302 Laguna Seca has increased body stiffness, a firmer chassis set-up and an aerodynamics package carried over almost in its entirety from the Ford Racing Boss 302R.
In the year of the Boss, Ford Racing announced a turn-key ready to race Mustangs – the BOSS 302S. Building on the successful race history of the BOSS302, Ford Racing is providing Mustang enthusiasts an affordable way to road race with the introduction of the Mustang BOSS 302S. The 440-hp Ford Mustang BOSS 302S was developed by Ford Racing engineers, and was built at Auto Alliance International (AAI) assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
It’s no secret that, near the end of 2009, Ford Racing announced the Mustang Boss 302R, a full-race, off-road-only vehicle complete with roll cage, race seats, safety harness, data acquisition, race dampers/springs and Brembo brakes. Since its first start at Daytona, the 302R has been proving itself to Ford engineers and the competition alike, with two pole positions in seven races so far this year. “The 302R engines come straight off our production line with the same short block,” explains Mike Harrison, Ford V8 engine program manager. “The forged pistons, stronger connecting rods and all the other refinements were already designed for racing, so it was straightforward to take what we learned on the track and apply it to the production car.”
For someone seeking something really special the Mustang Club of America Edition was back again for the 2012 model year as option code 203A. It was made available in both coupe and convertible body styles for the 2011 model year. It was an instant classic and a collectible Mustang.
The 2012 Cobra Jet FR500CJ returns in 2012 with changes that include a new aluminum-block 5.4-liter V8, a modified suspension, low-drag racing brakes, and new black anodized wheels. You can top the engine off with either the 2.3-liter TVS supercharger or the 4.0-liter Ford Racing Whipple supercharger. Both yield a 425hp engine. And can push the car to under 10 second quarter mile time! A quantity of 50 units were built and were available in Race Red, Grabber Blue, and Winner White paint color. The graphics on the sides are options.
2012 officially lists 88,064 as the production numbers, but below when we break out numbers we had some trouble reconciling. Our numbers based on model split says 92,664. Clearly some double counting going on below. Either way, we wanted to share the splits which is shown as best as we can get. To dive into the model and body splits as well as see charts and percentages, check out our 2012 Ford Mustang Production & Sales Numbers deep dive.
A total of 10 colors were available for the 2012 Mustang model year. For detailed colors, color palettes, codes and interior colors please check out our in depth 2012 colors information post.
Base V6 continued to be powered by the 3.7 liter V6 which was good for 305 hp @ 6,500 RPM and 280 lb/ft of torque @ 4,250 RPM. The V8 Mustang GT got 412 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque from the awesome 5.0L Coyote DOHC V8. To create the Boss 302 engine, Ford engineers started with the Mustang GT’s fabulous 5.0 liter and threw a whole bunch of go fast parts at it to make a free-flowing and high-revving screamer. And boy did it work, this is probably my favorite V8. For 2012, the Shelby GT500 continued to use the supercharged 5.4 liter DOHC V8 engine that produces 550 hp and 510 lb/ft of torque. For more information on engines for 2012, you can find the information here.
Engine Name & Year
Power (hp @ RPM)
Torque (lb/ft @ RPM)
2012 – 330 Modular V8 (5.4 L) (Shelby GT-500)
550 hp @ 6200 RPM
510 lb/ft @ 4250 RPM
2012 - 302 Coyote V8 (5.0 L) (Boss)
444 hp @ 7500 RPM
380 lb/ft @ 4500 RPM
2012 - 302 Coyote V8 (5.0 L) (GT)
412 hp @ 6500 RPM
390 lb/ft @ 4250 RPM
2012 - 227 Duratec V6 Engine (3.7L)
305 hp @ 6500 RPM
280 lb/ft @ 4250 RPM
Dimensions & Weight
There were no major changes to the dimension and weight of the main models despite the cosmetic changes across the board. This was still the S197 Body Mustang so that was to be expected.
55.6 / 56.1 inches
Width excluding mirrors
Width including mirrors
Interior front Head room
38.5 / 38.8 inches
Interior front Shoulder room
Interior front Hip room
Interior front Leg room
Interior rear Head room
Interior rear Shoulder room
51.6 / 45.0 inches
Interior rear Hip room
46.8 / 45.2 inches
Interior rear Leg room
Passenger volume cubic feet
83.3 / 81.0 cubic feet
Luggage capacity cubic feet
13.4 / 9.6 cubic feet
Total interior volume cubic feet
96.7 / 90.6 cubic feet
Fuel capacity - gallons
Below we have included 0-60 mph times, 0-100 mph times as well as quarter mile times and top speed where available for the 2012 Mustang model range. The Boss 302 was the real star of 2012 model year and when you are talking about a 3666 pound car that runs 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds you can see why. We have shared 0-6mph, top speed and quarter mile times below where they are available.