Muscle car fans and revheads in general now have another reason to salivate over the
2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302
as the Blue Oval has just announced a new feature for the car called TracKey. Not to be mistaken with the MyKey nanny system for nervous parents, the new TracKey unlocks ‘TracMode’ powertrain control software for track use, providing full race calibration and two-stage launch control in addition to stock calibration--all without voiding the factory warranty.
Owners will essentially have two different keys to start their pride and joy, the regular black key with the Boss logo and the new TracKey finished in red, the latter turning the 444 horsepower muscle car into a competition-ready track car.
The system relies on a dual-path powertrain control module (PCM) and special TracMode software installed after the vehicle is purchased. Essentially, two separate sets of engine management software exists on a single PCM--a world first for a production car.
When invoked by TracKey, the TracMode software alters more than 200 engine management parameters, increasing low-end torque and turning the potent but well-mannered stock Boss into a competition-ready track car. Remove TracKey and start the Boss with the standard key, and all factory engine settings are restored for regular driving.
Any street racers look to drive every day with the TracKey should note that the setup is suited strictly for the race track. For example, the deceleration is set up to preserve the brakes, and the throttle response is very aggressive. Some of the parameters that get modified include cam timing, spark maps, engine braking and fuel control.
As part of the software package, developers also devised a two-stage launch control feature similar to that used on the Cobra Jet race car
. Using a combination of steering wheel buttons, drivers can set the tach needle to a desired launch rpm. Floor the throttle and the engine will rev to the preset rpm until the clutch is released, helping aid acceleration and vehicle control from a standing start.
The new TracKey option will be available to 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 owners through Ford Racing authorized dealers. Pricing will be announced at a later date.
The story doesn’t end there as Ford will be launching a new program dubbed Boss Track Attack as a complimentary feature for anyone buying a new Mustang Boss 302. Buyers will get a hands-on track driving experience to learn just what their car is capable from engineers and racers.
The program will take place at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah from early next year. No doubt a perfect opportunity for owners to try out their new TracKey.