It's safe to say Jay Leno is a performance Mustang guy. The late night comedian and car collector extraordinaire has driven everything from the '65 Shelby GT350 to the latest-and-greatest 2015 Ford Mustang GT.
But as he's mentioned before, if there's one ‘Stang in recent history that sticks out to him as truly special, it's this car—the Boss 302 Laguna Seca—a car that makes few concessions in its hunger for the track.
A few years back, Jay Leno received a thorough walkthrough of the aero-infused Laguna Seca, before taking the heady Mustang for a spin. Take a look at what makes the now-departed 2012-2013 Boss 302 such a compelling package…and a candidate for future classic status.
Whereas the original Boss 302 of 1969 summoned just shy of 300 horsepower, the modern day 302 raised the naturally aspirated bar to an even 444-horsepower. But it wasn't outright power that makes these cars special, it's the way they apply that energy. Beneath the Mustang body are adjustable shocks, uprated sway bars, Brembo brakes, 3.73 gears, a Torsen limited-slip differential, and R-compound Pirelli tires where rubber meets the road.
Not racy enough? A slick six-speed manual was the only transmission option, and the 302's came with the rather throaty H-pipe quad exhaust, which sent two shoots to the rear and two to the side.
During his test drive, Jay Leno extols the Mustang's smooth engine and its ability to jump on the power. "As much as I like superchargers and turbochargers, there’s nothing like a naturally aspirated vehicle, because everything happens right now." Need one? The Laguna Seca's spiritual successor arrives soon in the form of the 526-horsepower 2016 Shelby GT350.