Ford Mustang Boss 302 Gets Special Key for Track Mode

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302s

Anyone who owns an American pony car dreams of tearing up a track or, at the very least, takes pride in leaving lesser cars in their dust at stop lights.

While rush-hour drag races can be mildly entertaining, actually preparing a car for the track can be a time-consuming and expensive affair.

Buying a 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 makes the process much easier; all an owner has to do is twist the ignition with the correct key and the street-going Mustang instantly becomes a track-ready monster.

Ford calls its option for the Boss 302 the TracKey. Along with the regular black ignition key, the car comes with a red-colored key that, when used, prompts the powertrain control module into using a more aggressive set of software.

AutoNews sums up the process nicely:

The Boss 302’s 5.0-liter V8 cranks out 444 hp and 380 pounds feet of torque, regardless of whether it is started with the standard key or the TracKey. But the TracKey competition mode–adopted from Ford Racing software — changes fuel control, spark timing, camshaft timing and engine braking, and it enables greater torque at lower engine rpm. It also invokes a two-stage launch control feature. That system lets the driver set a launch rpm on the tachometer. It then runs the engine speed to that setting and holds it with the throttle wide open until the driver releases the clutch pedal.

Makes you wonder why on earth anyone would ever use the black key again, doesn’t it? I mean seriously, when you sit down in the driver’s seat and have your choice between the red key and black key every day, are you really ever going to choose the black one? That standard key will be thrown away within a week. Which makes me think that the insurance industry will have a field day with this one!

The TracKey package gets added to the Boss 302 at your Ford dealership, which installs the second set of software onto the powertrain control module. Ford said the price of the package will be released later, but whatever it is, it will be worth it for all the extra tail-kicking power it’ll deliver with the twist of the wrist.

Do you like the idea of a separate key that unleashes a “track mode” on a car?


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  1. How many youngerstwers have you seen in high performance domestic cars?
    I sell new cars and most who want speed use the imports, and if they have the rich daddy go more for the German cars. People who tend to buy the High Power Domestics in my 25 year experiance with it, are over 40.
    and most honastly wont go over the speed limit, they just get to the limit faster then most. Low end torque is a beauty!

  2. Randy…small correction…anyone with a drivers license and the money to buy one. I can see where this is going now….kids with the sense of mud and a rich daddy will be wrapping themselves around power poles all over the country. Hopefully they won’t take soccer mom and the minivan load of children with them. Another brilliant idea brought to us from the fine people of Ford…..Found On Road Dead

  3. tgriffith summed it up great, but missed the point. The track key allows Ford to transfer liability for some dufey using it track mode on the street and taking out cousin Sally’s minivan with her three kids in it. Ford gets the cash, and dufey gets the blame. Chevy needs to copy it for one of the most dangerous cars on the street, the Corvette ZR-1. I know professional test drivers that have trouble handling this car on the road, but of course, your friendly Chevy dealer will sell it to anyone with a driver’s license.

  4. This kinda sounds like a gimmick, if the car is still pushing the same horsepower and torque no matter the key, then just give it to people with the competetion software in effect. While else would you be driving this car?

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