Roush Performance: When 435 hp Isn’t Enough

For some people, the idea of a brand-new Ford Mustang GT with a 435-hp V8 that produces 400 lb-ft of torque is appealing. . .but just not quite enough.

For some people, the idea of a brand-new Ford Mustang GT with a 435-hp V8 that produces 400 lb-ft of torque is appealing. . .but just not quite enough.

Enter Roush Performance.

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There are any number of aftermarket tuners that will take a car like that and make several modifications to make it achieve higher performance.

But there aren’t a whole lot of companies like Roush Performance because it is not simply a modifier but it is a full-blown manufacturer.

Let’s say you’re interested in getting one of the Mustangs that it has on offer.

You go to a Ford dealer. Yes, a Ford dealer with everything from the Fiesta to the F-150 on offer.

Not just any Ford dealer, however.

It must be a Roush-certified Ford dealer. (Yes, there are such, located across the U.S.)

Mustangs are assembled at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan. Roush Performance is located about 31 miles north, in Plymouth.

Your Mustang goes from Flat Rock directly to Plymouth.

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There it can be transformed into a Stage 3 Mustang. That is, the Coyote 5.0-liter engine that’s already there gets equipped with a 2.3-liter TVS supercharger (components from Eaton; assembly by Roush). There is a Quad-Tip exhaust. There is an R7 aerobody kit. And a single adjustable coilover suspension system.

The result is not a Ford Mustang. It is literally—and legally—a Roush Mustang. Roush carries the powertrain warranty for the 2016 Roush Stage 3 Mustang, not Ford. (Three years, 36,000 miles)

Oh, and that 435 hp? When they’re done with it, it is up to 670 hp.

Justin Schroeder, chief engineer for Roush Performance, and Don Manfredi, vp of Marketing, talk about how the Stage 3 Mustang is produced, as well as many of the other projects that Roush Industries is involved with.

Like the Google car. Yes, they did that.

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Last week Domino’s Pizza unveiled the Chevy Spark-based DXP pizza delivery vehicle. Roush worked on that one too.

And their electronics expertise is demonstrated on this edition of “Autoline After Hours” with host John McElroy, Dave Sullivan of AutoPacific, and me by Schroeder who is behind the wheel of a Stage 3 in the studio: the Active Exhaust system.

This system allows the driver to select from four modes, Touring, Sport, Track, and Custom. There is a knob on the center console for the selection. The system controls the exhaust tailpipe valves so as to adjust the sound that comes out of the pipes as desired, predicated on the accelerator pedal position and vehicle speed. Essentially, Touring is the most quiet (relatively speaking: remember, this is a 670-hp car) and Track the most. . .spirited.

But what about Custom? Here the electronics expertise of Roush comes into play. Through the use of an Apple iOS device like an iPad, the driver can program the exhaust valves positions, and consequently the sound, from idle through full-open throttle.

(“No Android?” McElroy asks. Schroeder answers that it would be exceedingly expensive to program the system for that.)

In addition to which, the Consumer Reports recommendations, the continuing Volkswagen struggles and more are discussed by McElroy, Sullivan and me.

And you can see it here.