Ford's new M3-fightin' Mustang, the 2012 Boss 302, is a 444-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive two-door designed to fight well above its weight class. Motor Trend decided to spend quality time with the coupe, and something scary happened. Not scary as in 'whoa, this thing is scary fast' but more along the lines of 'call my tailor, I ruined my pants' terrifying.
Part of M/T's testing gauntlet includes a look at braking distance. Road Test Editor Scott Mortara ran the Ford up to 70 miles per hour. Now it was time to see how quickly he could bring it to zero. Typically, this is just a matter of mashing the brakes and holding on. The sound of straining tires is a sound that's welcome, but a metallic snapping noise is not. Either way, the 2012 Boss 302 was a runaway pony.
Mortara used the six-speed manual transmission to reduce the coupe's speed before exiting the track through a gap at its end. What went wrong? A pin that connects the brake pedal to the rod that actuates the master cylinder had failed and snapped off. Normally, the brake pedal connects to the rod in a manner that distributes the pressure evenly over a large surface area and would still actuate the brakes when one presses the pedal. The setup on this particular Mustang was faulty, and allowed for far more pressure on the individual piece that failed.
Ford has examined this car, as well as the brake installation process at its assembly plants. It seems this car is unique in its defect. Motor Trend contends that it's possible the brake assembly was removed then reinstalled after the vehicle left the factory, which could explain why the part failed in such an abnormal manner. Check out the full story over at Motor Trend.