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Ford’s TracKey Gives The 2012 Mustang Boss 302 A Split Personality

Posted in auto industry, Cool Stuff, Electronics, Ford, Mustang, Pony Cars by Kurt Ernst | November 11th, 2010 | 8 Responses |

If you have a dedicated track mule, chances are good you only drive it to the track and not back and forth to work. If you’ve got a larger budget, you may even trailer it to and from track day events. The reason why is pretty simple: what makes a car fast around a racetrack also makes it unpleasant to drive on the street. Hot cams and abrupt throttle settings may add to track day enjoyment, but they get annoying very quickly on a daily commute in rush hour traffic. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could have the best of both worlds, simply by using a different key to start your car?

If you’re one of the lucky few with a 2012 Mustang Boss 302 on order, you’ll soon have that ability. Using technology developed for Ford’s “MyKey” system, which allows car owners to set specific parameters (like top speed) for other drivers, TracKey goes one step further. Use the black colored key, and the Boss 302 starts with a powertrain control module (PCM) software set designed for street driving. Start the car with the red key, and the PCM defaults to a program optimized for track driving. It’s not a gimmick either, since the key selection changes over 200 engine management parameters including throttle response, cam timing, engine braking and fuel control. TracKey even gives owners a launch control function previously reserved for the CobraJet drag car. Set your desired launch RPM, mash the fun pedal and side-step the clutch: the car holds the desired RPM until the clutch is released.

The TracKey concept was first discussed in the spring of 2009, so a finalized product in less than two years shows the dedication of the team working on the project. TracKey will be an available option, with pricing to be announced closer to launch. Will we see it on other Ford Mustangs, like the track friendly GT? It’s too early to say, but manufacturers don’t recover development costs unless technology is implemented across multiple products. My guess is yes.

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8 Responses

  1. BigRuss says:

    i wanna try that key out….

  2. Kurt says:

    Hell, I wanna try the CAR out. Not likely Ford will be putting any Boss 302s in the press fleet, and I had to beg for a Mustang GT.

  3. BigRuss says:

    ive driven the new 5.0 with the 6 speed and it was a blast… thats why i want to try that key out… if its more fun to drive than the standard GT then i think it will justify the extra say 10 grand they are gonna stick onto price tag….

    just like the SVT Lightning vs the Boss Lightning…. its a big difference in the two… not just the attention getting yellow paint job…

  4. Kurt says:

    BigRuss, the problem will be the Ford dealers. Since the Boss 302 is limited production, you can expect price gouging. Sadly, most of the cars will be snapped up by “collectors” who’ll never drive them like the engineers intended.

  5. DaveMofo! says:

    Maybe someone will make a Red Key for my girlfriend to make her a little faster in the sack…er I mean TRACK.

  6. Kurt Ernst says:

    Dave, would it change her cam timing, too?

  7. BigRuss says:

    what bout make her scream louder??? i can safely assume that red key will emit a very different intake/exhaust sound

  8. Kurt Ernst says:

    If you can give me one that makes her scream in German, I’m so there…