Mike Johnson
February 24, 2008
Photos By: Patrick Hill
With Chip Foose-designed exterior appointments and yellow paint capable of sending your eyeballs screaming out the back of your head, the Unique Performance-built Foose Stallion had no trouble accumulating attention. The tasteful exterior didn't attract the wrong attention like some 'roided-up Mustangs we've tested. When washing the Stallion, the Foose wheels made us stumble around for our sunglasses because of their brilliant finish. The Stallion's Nitto treads provided sure footing in wet and dry conditions without any handling anomalies.

Horse Sense: The Foose Stallion is available in either coupe or convertible form and in Performance White, Satin Silver, Torch Red, Black, or Vista Blue. We didn't see yellow listed, but that's because this car is a press car. The Unique crew hinted that yellow will be an option on the '08 Stallions. So remember that if you see a pre-'08 Foose Stallion in yellow 20 years from now, it will be worth major coin.

The stares of a hopeful valet at the yacht club and the people taking multiple trips around my neighborhood before asking if they could take pictures of the car in my driveway confirmed what I already knew. From the import driver following me into the gas station to offer his Mazda in trade to the Cadillac CTS-V driver walking in one direction while looking back at what I was driving-they knew it, too. I was driving something special. I've driven plenty of cool cars, but thinking back, few have offered the visual magnetism possessed by this '07 Foose Stallion. Hence the stares, second looks, tripped-up pedestrians, and those scrambling for some sort of photographing device.

The reason for the mumbling and fumbling is the Chip Foose-designed exterior revamp, which includes a modified hood, a revised grille, and a redesigned front bumper cover and headlight treatment up front. Along the side, the Foose Stallion is treated to remodeled side skirts, door moldings, and new C-pillar scoops. Rounding out the back of the car-literally-is a sculpted rear bumper cover and a reshaped rear spoiler. Rolling stock on our test car consisted of Foose-designed 20-inch chrome wheels wrapped in Nitto treads. Blanketing all these exterior updates on the car is a searing hue of yellow with the Stallion's trademark stripes on the hood and over the fenders. The exterior is different-but in a good way. There's no mistaking the car for anything other than a Mustang, but the Foosed exterior boasts an elegant, muscular look.

The Stallion's interior is largely stock Mustang, save for Foose-embroidered headrests and floor mats with dash and trim enhancements. The factory Mach 1000 audio system was the perfect complement to our Stallion. For a factory system, the Mach 1000 has impressed us ever since the system made its debut in 2002.

As nice as it looks, when I jumped behind the wheel for my introductory ride down the street, my excitement turned to disappointment. For a blown car, the Stallion didn't have a kick. Simply put, the car lacked muscle underhood. I could hear the blower on our test car, but I could hardly feel it working.

On the car's initial visit, the Foose Stallion put down 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. At Bradenton Motorsports Park, it raised eyebrows accordingly, but the best it would run was a 13.46 at 102 mph, and that was our maiden voyage down the track. The car didn't run that quick again for the rest of the night. These horsepower and torque numbers, as well as the quarter-mile numbers, are only slightly better than a stock '05-'07 Mustang GT's. We were perplexed by the car's performance.

To distract from the disappointment, I reached for my musical mix of heavy metal and rap for solace, but there were already two CDs in the factory Mach 1000's head unit. Since the Foose Stallion is built by Unique Performance in Farmers Branch, Texas, it didn't surprise me to hear country star Toby Keith's Honky Tonk University blaring back at me after hitting play. The first two songs off that CD are "Honkytonk U" and "As Good As I Once Was." Our particular Stallion test car needed to go back to Horsepower U, because if it was good at one time, it wasn't as good as it once was.

What I like about the Stallion's Roush-blown Three-Valve combined with 4.10 gears is the flexibility it provides in city driving. Because of the 4.10s, there's a lot of shifting. Once you get it in Fifth, you can leave it there unless you have to come to a complete stop. On the highway, I was able to realize 19 mpg while maintaining 75-85 mph, which is great for a five-speed performance car. With the updated tune, we're sure the car would run deep into the 12s. To be able to knock down that kind of mileage, we would have no problem with someone buying us a Foose Stallion ... please?

Thankfully, when the car's keys were wrestled away from us, Unique Performance had the car's tune checked out. Indeed, it was amiss, and it offered to send the car back to us for a second look. Who were we to decline?

What happened was this: When the car was taken in for service prior to us receiving it, the servicing dealer mistakenly reflashed the stock tune. Once the Unique Performance tune was back in the computer, we immediately noticed a big change. Our seat-of-the-pants meter told us the retune made a huge difference. The car was no longer sluggish, and it possessed the throttle response of a Roots-blown Mustang without the annoying factory drive-by-wire hesitation when bangin' the gears.

Even though our planned dragstrip trip was rained out, rain can't wash out our in-house Mustang Dynamometer. With the proper tune, the Foose Stallion galloped to the tune of 345 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque. The horsepower peak came in at 6,200 rpm and the torque peaked at 4,900 rpm. We would expect these power traits from a centrifugally supercharged combination, but evidently the Roush blower likes rpm as well, which we weren't complaining about in the Foose Stallion.

Though it wasn't anything to set the world on fire performance-wise, the car ran as it should the second time around. Setting the performance world on fire isn't what the Foose Stallion is about, though. It's about providing customers with a dignified, stylish slant on the S197. If that's the aim, Unique Performance has hit the bull's eye.