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Ford revives Boss engine

Old 10-31-2006, 11:22 PM
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Default Ford revives Boss engine

The gloves are coming off. May the best muscle car win......of course the Challenger.

Ford revives Boss engine

Rebirth of its legendary V-8 revs up racing, street versions at 340-500 hp in Mustangs and F-150s.

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

The Boss is back.

Ford Motor Co. is reviving its legendary V-8 nameplate with a modern version of the Boss 302, which debuts as a crate engine offering from Ford Racing at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show today in Las Vegas.

But the Boss name will not be limited to the race track. Ford insiders say it is also the new name for Ford's Hemi-fighting V-8 that had been known internally as the Hurricane. That name lost favor at Ford after Hurricane Katrina and the automaker opted to dust off the popular Boss name.

The original Boss 302 debuted in 1969 under the hood of a limited edition Mustang of the same name. Sources familiar with Ford's product plan say the company is planning a 40th anniversary edition of the pony car for 2009 that will feature a production version of the new Boss engine. But the new motor is expected to make its production debut in the next-generation F-150 pickup, due out in 2008.

Reintroducing the Boss name on a racing engine is a good marketing move, according to analyst Jim Hall of AutoPacific in Southfield. "It builds up hype for the engine beforehand," he said. "They're trying to connect the concept of a crate engine with the production version. It gives you some credibility to talk about the new powertrain."

The 5.0-liter V-8 crate engine will go on sale early next year. It will be available in a variety of configurations with between 340 and 500 horses of power. The base block will start at $1,759, with prices for complete engines ranging from $4,650 to $10,000.

"It's designed to withstand the rigors of racing, but is also affordable and streetable," said Jamie Allison, manager of the Ford Racing Performance Group. "It's a new old engine."

Other than the name and the number of cylinders, there will not be a lot of similarity between the Boss 302 crate engine and the production version. While the iron-block crate engine uses old-fashioned push-rod technology, Hall said the production version will be an overhead-cam engine. It is also likely to have variable valve timing to boost fuel economy.

Ford killed the Hurricane program in 2005 because of concerns about development costs and rising gasoline prices. That decision dismayed many analysts who said the company desperately needed a more powerful V-8 to compete with DaimlerChrysler AG's Hemi and General Motors Corp.'s Vortec V-8s. Ford Americas President Mark Fields revived the Hurricane project earlier this year, but later decided to change the name.

Erich Merkle, an analyst with IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids, said that was the right move.

"This is an incredibly important engine for Ford," he said. "If you really want to be competitive in the pickup segment, you better have a good engine. They need it for the Mustang, too. Right now, the Mustang doesn't have any competition out there. But that is going to change."

Fields promised to introduce a new version of the Mustang every year as part of the firm's new "Way Forward" strategy. Next year will see the introduction of the Shelby GT -- a cheaper version of the Shelby GT500 -- and the company has already announced plans to build a Bullitt version in 2008.

Sources familiar with Ford's product plans say, the new Boss Mustang follows in 2009, in time to face a challenge from the new Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. Ford plans to introduce a completely redesigned Mustang in 2010.

In addition to the special edition Mustang and the F-150 pickup, Merkle expects the Boss to find a home in the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition SUVs.
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Old 11-01-2006, 03:19 PM
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Default RE: Ford revives Boss engine

I really wish Ford would do as GM and DCX have done by going back and building a more modern, higher tech push rod engine instead. People called the current HEMI line not a true HEMI, this engine will be even farther away from the BOSS engine.
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