Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
January 13, 2017

Without research and development, we might still be driving around in a black Model A and working on flatheads. Our Mustang would ride like a horse-drawn carriage. We wouldn’t have creature comforts, Four-Valve heads, or superchargers. And we wouldn’t have 10-second Mustangs. However, since there are always those striving for improved performance, we make progress and our Mustangs continue to get better and faster.

This 2016 Roush RS3 is Brenspeed’s latest research and development guinea pig, but because of that R&D, this Roush definitely is no pig. Starting out with a Roush RS3 automatically put Brenspeed ahead of the curve, and Brenspeed’s Brent White chose the RS3 because his company has enjoyed a great relationship with Roush for years, so an RS3 was the way to go.

“We are very involved with Roush supercharged cars, so my preference was to put an RS3 out on the track,” White tells us. “I love the look of them, and the RS3 stands out a little more than your standard GT. This 2016 RS3 is used mostly for durability testing on the S550 drivetrain and the Roush TVS supercharger, which was designed slightly different for the S550.”

White believes the this setup is a much more efficient design than in previous years. “We have slowly been turning up the power on this car and running a lot of dragstrip passes to really see long term what the S550 can handle,” he says.

He is not one of those people to make a couple quarter-mile passes, or dyno pulls, and call it good. He examines every inch of a car’s tune, looking for strengths and weaknesses. One weakness he has seen is the stability of fuel across the nation while the Brenspeed crew travels to the NMRA events. He says, “We have been testing different fuels, as well as the power of this setup; moving a car that is over 4,000 pounds is starting to exceed what is comfortable on 93-octane. Traveling around racing in different states for years in the NMRA we have absolutely seen different qualities of fuel out of the pump. Torco has a nice accelerator that when combined with pump gas provides you a little margin of safety.”

That attention to detail paid off to the tune of 665 hp and 569 lb-ft of torque, and 10.20s at 135 mph, with a 1.50 60-foot time. With the car weighing in at 4,020 pounds, it’s a heavyweight, but it proves Brenspeed’s Roush RS3 is effectively using every bit of power.

Other than the aforementioned horsepower, helping to propel the RS3 to those elapsed times is Brenspeed’s own Stage 2 anti-wheelhop kit, a Circle D 2,800-stall converter, BMR Suspension front and rear springs, and Race Star Dark Star wheels with Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S drag radials. White sourced DSS for an aluminum driveshaft and upgraded axles as well.

To bring the Roush RS3’s power up, Brenspeed added a Ford Performance twin 65mm throttle-body, DeatschWerks 95-lb/hr injectors, a Roush fuel pump voltage booster, Brisk spark plugs, Kooks 1 7/8-inch long-tube headers and X-pipe, and Roush Active Exhaust mufflers. Already boasting a Roush TVS 2.3 supercharger, the RS3’s power adder also benefits from a 72mm pulley for increased boost.

In the end White says, “You could go down the quarter-mile with one finger on the wheel if you choose. It is very stable.”

For 2017, the car’s driver, Kent Nine, will climb behind the wheel for the NMRA’s Super Stang class. “This season we are opening up the induction further, as well as adding more boost,” says White. “The car is heavy, but we want to drop another half-second off the ET which should be pretty easy to achieve.”

Looks like the research and development will continue.

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