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The Ford Mustang has a long tradition of receiving the Shelby treatment to get faster, sharper, and altogether more unique than your commonplace GT. However, if you can’t afford a Shelby or don’t want one, you have a couple of options, like the Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition. Here are a few of your options for a later model special edition Mustang without the Shelby badge (or 2022 Shelby GT500 price tag). 

  • Ford Mustang Boss 302
  • Boss 302 Laguna Seca
  • Mustang Bullitt
  • Ford Mustang Mach 1

How much does a Mustang Boss 302 cost?

An S197 generation Ford Mustang Boss 302 is a bonafide performance bargain. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) says potential owners can find a 2012 model year Boss 302 with 50,000 miles for around $31,705. That amount snags drivers a muscle-bound Mustang coupe with 444 horsepower, 380 lb-ft of torque, and some serious handling credentials. 

The Ford Mustang Boss 302 and Laguna Seca are two special edition Mustangs without Shelby badges.
Ford Mustang Boss 302 | Scott Olson, Getty Images

For instance, the Boss packs stiffer springs and a thicker stabilizer bar to more surely-foot the Mustang when attacking corners. The 2012 model managed a 0.90 g result in a Car and Driver road holding skidpad test. For a 3,666 lb car with a live rear axle, that’s pretty agile. 

Is the Boss 302 Laguna Seca a special edition Mustang?

If you take a look at the brightly liveried Ford Mustang Boss 302 and think, “that’s not going to cut it,” the Boss 302 Laguna Seca might be your track day cure. The stiff, savage special edition Laguna Seca revs all the way up to 7,500 rpm in yet another variation of Ford’s 5.0L V8. Plus, the Laguna Seca’s 3.73 rear end and Torsen limited-slip differential accommodate a 0-60 mph sprint of just 4.2 seconds. 

However, if you need even more of a reminder that you’re in a track-ready Mustang, a glance over your shoulder will reveal deleted rear seats in favor of a race-inspired X-brace. Better yet, Ford claimed the Laguna Seca could hold the road to the tune of 0.96 g in testing. 

What’s so special about the Mustang Bullitt edition?

Here’s the thing about the Ford Mustang Bullitt special edition: it’s actually three of them. Ford produced a Bullitt on the SN-95, S197, and S550 chassis, all commemorating the 1968 film Bullitt. In the movie, San Francisco police officer Frank Bullitt slides his Highland Green Mustang GT390 around corners and over hills in one of the best car chases in cinema. The homage cars carry that spirit, offering higher performance variations of the Mustang GT with understated exteriors in the characteristic green or black. 

The Ford Mustang Bullitt, like the Boss 302 Laguna Seca, is a special edition Mustang with heritage.
Ford Mustang Bullitt | Andrew Harrer, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Is a Mach 1 faster than a GT?

The Ford Mustang Mach 1, like the Boss 302 Laguna Seca, is a special edition Mustang with track credentials.
Ford Mustang Mach 1 | Ford

In every metric, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 is quicker than the Ford Mustang GT. The latest Mach 1, the S550 generation special edition, borrows track-ready components from the Shelby GT350 and GT500 to offer potential owners the top-of-the-line non-Shelby S550 Mustang. Also, with 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, the Mach 1 takes the GT’s grunt to the next level. Furthermore, unlike the GT350 or GT500, the Mach 1 offers both a Tremec six-speed manual transmission and a 10-speed automatic transmission. 

Scroll down to the following article to read more about the Ford Mustang!


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