2012 Mustang Boss 302 TracKey

Today at the SEMA Show Ford announced that the TracKey, which allows Mustang Boss 302 owners to choose between street or track powertrain calibrations by simply selecting a key, is now available for purchase at Ford dealers nationwide.

Developed by a team of Ford engineers, TracKey is an aftermarket high performance calibration – emissions-legal in all 50 states – that adds a second set of powertrain control module (PCM) software to a customer’s Mustang Boss 302 or Laguna Seca, activated by a specially programmed vehicle key. When invoked by TracKey, the new software alters more than 600 engine management parameters, increasing low-end torque and turning the potent but well-mannered stock Boss into track-ready car. Remove TracKey and start the Boss with the standard key, and all factory engine settings are restored for a comfortable drive home from the course.

“From an engine management standpoint, Ford Racing has done just about everything possible to give TracKey users a full race car experience,” explains Jeff Seaman, Mustang powertrain engineer. “It’s not intended for use on the street – for example, the deceleration is set up to preserve the brakes, and the throttle response is very aggressive. A skilled driver on a closed course will really appreciate the benefits.”

As part of the TracKey software package, Ford engineers also devised a launch control feature similar to that used on the Cobra Jet race car. Using a combination of steering wheel buttons, drivers can set the tachometer needle to a desired launch rpm. Floor the throttle and the engine will rev to the preset rpm until the clutch is released, helping aid acceleration and vehicle control from a standing start.

TracKey introduces the concept known as the dual-path powertrain control module. The industry-first, patent-pending innovation allows two separate sets of engine management software to exist on a single PCM, selected through the existing SecuriLock® Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) transceiver found in current production keys.

The TracKey PCM software, installed by an authorized Ford dealer after a customer takes delivery of the car, adjusts variable cam timing, spark maps, engine braking, fuel control, throttle response and other engine parameters – more than 600 in total – to provide a complete race car calibration. The result is an aggressive, race-bred driving experience all the way down to the lopey idle rumbling through the Boss quad exhaust. It is not compatible to any other Ford vehicle.

“Anything that could possibly affect all-out performance is deleted from the TracKey calibration,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “Throttle limiting and torque management – any daily drivability enhancements are removed and replaced with a pure Ford Racing competition calibration.”

When TracKey is removed and the vehicle is started with the standard key, the PCM settings are automatically drawn from the factory Boss 302 instruction set again without any additional modifications needed – a huge advantage over aftermarket tuning chips and ECU reprogramming. The convenience is useful for enthusiasts who want all-out performance at the racetrack but stock drivability for their everyday driving.

TracKey powertrain software installation and key programming will be available to 2012 Mustang Boss 302 owners through Ford Racing authorized dealers. Priced at $302 (retail), TracKey is available starting Nov. 1 from your local Ford dealer. As an aftermarket product, TracKey comes with a “best-in-the-aftermarket industry” 3-year/36,000-mile warranty, and its installation and usage does not void the original OE warranty.

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