The new 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 engine packs a 150-hp (rated) greater wallop than the old Boss 302, but Harrison asserts, in character they're similar beasts. "The first Boss 302 was a specially built, free-breathing, high-revving small-block V8 that gave it certain characteristics on a race course — and we capture that essence in the new engine," he said. "In keeping with the spirit of the original, the new Boss 302 achieves its maximum power output at speeds at or above 7,500 rpm. Unlike the original engine, however, low-speed torque and drivability are uncompromised thanks to twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) technology and computer-aided engineering design tools." In fact, the biggest difference between the Mustang GT engine and the Boss 302's is an increase in the red line from 7,000 to 7,500 rpm. Despite all those modifications, what's most interesting is what doesn't change. Compared to the Mustang GT's standard version of the 5.0-liter V8, the Boss 302's compression ratio is apparently unchanged at 11.0:1 (and still "estimated" according to Ford). Valve diameters stay at 37mm on the intake side and 32mm on the exhaust, and valve lift specs remain at 12mm intake and 11mm exhaust. The Boss 302 engine is more powerful, but it's not a radical revision of the Mustang GT version of the same engine. Ford isn't even claiming a change from the manual-transmission-equipped Mustang GT's 17 mpg in the city/26 mpg on the highway EPA mileage ratings despite the Boss 302's standard 3.73:1 final-drive ratio. But the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 won't be for everyone. For instance, while the Mustang GT's engine is rated at 390 pound-feet of peak torque at 4,250 rpm, the Boss 302 V8 loses 10 lb-ft somewhere along the line — peaking at 380 lb-ft. While the GT can get by on 86-octane swill, the Boss 302 demands 91-octane fuel or better. And the Mustang GT is available with an automatic transmission. The Boss 302 is manual only.