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2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 (Michael Bettencourt for The Globe and Mail)
2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 (Michael Bettencourt for The Globe and Mail)

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Meet the new Boss; Benz, Bugatti unveiled Add to ...

Ford unveiled its 2012 Boss 302 Mustang and its track-focused Boss 302 Laguna Seca version at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track recently, bringing Parnelli Jones out to highlight its roots at this track.

Both Boss models will feature 440 hp from the Mustang GT- derived 5.0-litre V-8 when they arrive next spring, and will become the most powerful naturally aspirated Mustang that Ford offers.

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2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

That will push the V8's output notably past that of a Mustang GT's 412 hp, but still much lower than a supercharged Shelby, which will continue to be the priciest Mustang available. Boss 302 and regular Mustang chief engineer Dave Pericak could barely contain his excitement at the car's unveiling at the track that not only lends its name to the car, but was also a key part of its development.

"This car will blow away the BMW M3 on this track," which was an early goal for both Boss 302s right from the start of the car's development, said Pericak.

Neither he nor any other Ford execs at the launch would list the Boss 302's time around the track, but Pericak said the Boss was multiple seconds faster than the German sports car icon, with the two-seat Laguna Seca version 1-to-1.5 seconds faster per lap than the regular Boss.

Race legend Jones won the opening round of the 1970 Trans-Am series at this track in a Boss 302 Mustang. It's the first production Boss Mustang in 40 years, with Pericak divulging that the car will be "at least" three-tenths of a second quicker than the Mustang GT in 0-60 mph acceleration runs, but emphasized that its high-speed handling is its most impressive aspect.

New Benz CLS unveiled

Mercedes-Benz has released details about its next generation "four-door coupe," a dubious moniker the auto maker came up with in 2003 with the launch of the CLS Class. Regardless of the "barely pregnant" semantics, it tapped an appeal for sleeker shapes combined with four-door practicality that its German luxury rivals have not yet caught up to.

It's with this head start that Benz recently unveiled its latest CLS, which is more radically styled than the first, but follows the same swoopy formula as before. There's more of an effort to separate it from the E-Class on which it's based.

Engine details are being held until its debut at the Paris motor show in October, but it is expected to include a 4.6-litre bi-turbo V8 making 429 hp, and possibly a new direct-injection V6. The 2012 CLS will be available in North America by the middle of next year.

Bugatti unveils Super Sport

It's been a busy week for Laguna Seca. The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track was also the scene of the debut of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, the 1,200 hp supercar that broke the Guinness Book of World Records top speed record for a production car early this summer, travelling at a recorded average top speed of 431 km/h, or 268 mph. Boasting an astonishing 1,106 lb-ft of torque, the 16-cylinder Veyron Super Sport will be limited to a "mere" 415 km/h top speed when it goes on sale this fall in order to save the tires, says the company.

It will feature a smoother body courtesy of two NACA ducts in the roof and centrally mounted twin rear exhaust pipes, plus will upgrade its four turbos, carbon fibre body, suspension and no doubt price to even more extreme heights. Bugatti confirmed that this car will be the "climax of the Veyron series," with production of the Super Sport, Grand Sport and the "base" 1.2 million Euro 16.4 Veyron expected to end in 2012.

Its final price hasn't yet been confirmed, but it's likely the Veyron Super Sport will surpass the $2-million (U.S.) mark by the time it's delivered to its billionaire owners, breaking another high water mark for the Volkswagen-owned French brand.

Wait is on for McLaren supercar

Toronto may have been named as one of the first 10 cities in North America to receive a McLaren dealer to sell the MP4-12C, but it won't be before the end of this year - and likely not until the following summer, says a McLaren spokesperson.

McLaren MP4-12C

The two-seat, carbon-fibre bodied supercar may have a dreadful postal code for a name, but it received rabid paparazzi treatment at its North American debut last week when it was the first vehicle rolled onto Pebble's famed "concept car" lawn. Ironically, there were many more production cars on that lawn than concepts, including the McLaren, Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, Mercedes-Benz SLS GT3 race version in a 'blind the field' mirror finish, and the Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid.

Okay, so that last one still qualified as a concept, since Porsche debuted it as such at the Geneva show in March. Its appearances around the Pebble Beach weekend was the first time the car was shown publicly after Porsche confirmed that this mid-engine, gas-electric plug-in hybrid concept would indeed be produced, though not when.

McLaren said that following Pebble Beach the car would embark on a tour of all the cities that have confirmed dealers. With Pfaff Motors the only retailer in Canada, the McLaren is scheduled to make an appearance in Toronto at the end of August, said McLaren spokesperson Mark Harrison, though details on exactly when and where were still not available.

This two-seat, 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 produces 592 hp, and 444 lb-ft of torque, and will start between $225,000-$250,000 (U.S.), said the company. The MP4-12C sports car will be the first of a coming range of sports cars, and is the first that the storied Formula One racing outfit has designed on its own. Its first road car was the McLaren F1 three-seater, with a BMW V12 engine in the rear, the second the SLR that was co-designed with its then F1 partner Mercedes-Benz.

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