Ever since the first retro Mustangs appeared in showrooms across America, Ford fans asked for the return of the Boss 302. For those who don’t know, the Boss 302 was first introduced in 1969 as a racing car homologation special intended for Trans-Am races. 43 years later, Ford revived the Boss 302 with a new 5.0-liter Coyote V8 which delivered 444 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Again, this was almost a pure racing car with no back seat, factory-installed roll cage, and a host of other external and internal modifications.
As you’d expect, the performance was better than a regular Mustang GT. The 2012 Boss 302 could accelerate to 60 mph in 3.97 seconds and top 155 mph. Until we see the future version of the Boss 302, the 2012 model is widely considered one of the coolest Mustangs of all time (via Edmunds).
The modern-day GT is truly a world-class sports coupe with muscle car roots and a soundtrack. The S550 platform is finally equipped with independent rear suspension, and a great design with the technology to match it. The S550 Mustang was a truly global car sold worldwide and in right-hand-drive as well (via Motor Trend).
The heart of any GT is its engine. And in 2015 to 2022 Mustang, that heart has 5 liters, 32-valves, direct injection, and lightweight construction, which equals 460 to 480 hp delivered to rear wheels over a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission.
One of the biggest Mustang legends is Steve McQueen’s Highland Green 1968 Fastback which was used in the shooting of “Bullitt.”. The movie became famous for its chase scene. So for decades, this car represented one of the coolest Mustang GTs in the world. Ford couldn’t resist using it for special versions, and so far, it has released three Bullitt Mustangs. One in 2003, one in 2008, and one in 2018 as a 2019 model.
All Bullitt special versions are based on the GT V8 model and feature special green paint, dark wheels, an upgrade in power, and numerous trim changes (via Motor Trend). Of course, all three are highly collectible and desirable cars and a big part of Mustang’s history. The latest one is a 480 HP street racer dressed in a recognizable dark green color while boasting sub 4 seconds 0 to 60 mph time. With the price tag of $11,000 over the base price of the GT, this Bullitt is definitely not inexpensive. Drivers looking to invest should start saving for a time when it becomes more affordable.
In 2018, Ford unveiled the new GT Performance Pack 2 to properly present this car as it is one of the coolest modern Mustangs for discriminating muscle car fans. So, what exactly is the Mustang GT Performance Pack 2? Well, it’s a GT which means it has a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 with 460 HP and 420 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed manual transmission in the best tradition of classic muscle cars.
With the 0 to 60 mph times in the low four-second range, the Performance Pack 2 is definitely fast. But numbers are just half of the story. The essence of the Performance Pack is in handling, braking, less weight, and a whole lot more driving dynamics (via The Truth About Cars). For $6,500 above the price of a regular GT, drivers got chassis and aerodynamic improvements, stiffer springs, performance tires, bigger brakes, racing seats, and more. With this package, the standard Mustang GT is transformed from a great sports car into a fantastic driver’s machine.
Even though 2020 wasn’t the best year in the car industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford was still able to introduce new products and new designs. That included further expanding the Mustang GT range. One such product was the brand-new 2021 Mustang Mach I. This model marked the return of the legendary Mustang nameplate used periodically from 1969-73 and 2003-04. This Mach I is better than ever and has more power and performance than its predecessors. The 2021 Mach I is envisioned as a step up from the regular S550 Mustang GT and GT Performance Pack II but a step below the Shelby GT350 and GT500.
Interestingly, Ford will discontinue the Shelby GT350 in 2021 since Mach I and Shelby are aimed for the same market and have somewhat similar price tags. Under the hood is the same 5.0-liter Coyote V8 but with a few Shelby and Bullitt parts, resulting in a 480 hp rating. Consumers hoped for a 500 hp rating. But for some reason, Ford decided to keep it 480 hp using already existing components. However, the 2021 Mach I will come with special body parts, a handling package, special paint, decal trim, and a host of unique details (via Guide Auto Web). Since Ford is getting ready to introduce the next-gen Mustang in two years, you can expect that the Mach I will be a limited-production model probably lasting until 2022.