Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
August 31, 2012
Photos By: Dale Amy

What do you get when you cross a '13 Roush Stage 3 Mustang with a Ford Racing Aluminator crate engine, an R2300 TVS supercharger, a Tremec Magnum XL T56 transmission, a Moser 9-inch rearend, and a gargantuan, NASCAR-grade Raybestos brake package? Why you have my new car, that's what you have!

It is clearly and painfully obvious that this car was built for me. I need a Mustang with out-of-this-world brakes, and this is the one I should have. Twice I have wrecked the front end of the same project car, and you people still remind me of that to this day. The first time, I ran over a big-rig tire tread on Highway 75 around Ocala, Florida, on the way to the World Ford Challenge. Another time I hit a miscellaneous animal (it was at night, gimme a break), which again turned the car's front bumper cover into dumpster art.

Since Raybestos invited me to drive its giveaway car at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan, it's clear the company wants me to have the car, not you. (I saw it first. I drove it first. The car is as good as mine. You might as well not enter your name into the sweepstakes to win the ... I mean, my car.) But don't worry, I'm going to tell you all about my great new car. And if you want, you can go to www.raybestosgarage.com and throw your name in the hat along with mine--go right ahead. (In truth, you have as good a shot as I do.)

In the words of Jay-Z, this car is 1-of-1. That means none before it, none to come. Take in the exterior as you set your eyes on a mix of Roush Stage 3 appointments mixed with Raybestos graphics.

After you've checked out the graphics, you won't be able to walk around the car without checking out the brakes. Just forget everything you've heard about brakes--these Raybestos billet calipers are the real deal, loaded with a six-pack of titanium pistons. Yes, you read correctly. Titanium pistons. Six of them. Per caliper!

Yeah, I know, how do these brakes live within a Roush 18-inch wheel? I don't know, but they do. Take a peek at the rear brakes. They're just as amazing as the fronts, except on a smaller scale. These brakes are the same as what you see on NASCAR short-track and road-race cars, and they look the part. They're simply amazing, even just to sit and stare at them.

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Hey, quit staring at my brakes. Let's hop in and go for a ride. Inside is standard Mustang fare, however, Roush and Raybestos touches abound. The tasteful Roush gauges, nameplate, and the like make it clear it's unusual. And the Raybestos-embroidered seats are another reason I know the car was built for me. It's like putting on my softball glove and heading out onto the field--except with the Mustang, we're heading out onto Gingerman Raceway.

Twist the key and the magical sound of a Coyote engine growls to life. Everyone knows I prefer a pistol grip. I'm just going to ignore that round knob. (I'll add a pistol grip when I take delivery.) Shifting into First gear, we make our way out onto Gingerman Raceway. Don't worry, I'll treat the first lap or two as warm-ups. I don't want to hurt my car right off the bat.

I've come to love the familiar Magnum transmission. The shifter and rugged transmission feel exactly like the one in my Cobra, offering positive shifts, excellent feel, and butter-like operation. The XL features a longer tailhousing to directly mount the shifter to the transmission, making shifts easier to perform in anger. Pedal effort from the Shelby GT500 clutch package is lighter than my Cobra, but the XL also features an SFI-approved steel bellhousing, something my Cobra's T56 doesn't have.

As I get more comfortable at the wheel, up go the on-track speeds. Let's see what these brakes can do. Hustlin' the car into each corner, the brakes are pretty much laughing at the braking markers. Starting out, I applied the brakes at the initial braking marker in the first few corners. I know it's a race track, but it seems the brake markers at Gingerman are meant for vehicles with conventional brakes. If I went for the Raybestos brakes at the first marker, I could make you and I a Philly steak sandwich before turning in. The brakes were fully capable of bringing the car to a complete stop if I got on them at the first brake marker. So I ignored the first two brake markers and the Raybestos clamps still scrubbed off enough speed to make the corner. Like I said--forget everything you know about brakes because this car sets a new standard.

Most people build a Mustang with speed in mind, and then concentrate on handling and brakes. More often than not, brake upgrades come too late, and the car is wadded up or wrapped around a telephone pole before improvements can be made. Thankfully, Raybestos and Roush equipped my, er... this car in such a way that when the car is at speed, reversing course, and bringing the car to a stop less abruptly than hitting the car in front of me is as easy as just thinking about hitting the brakes. At least it seems like it should be that way. The brakes are just ridiculous.

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Speaking of power, Raybestos and Roush wanted the engine to live a long and prosperous life under my right foot. To that end, Ford Racing Aluminator engine upstaged the stock Coyote. It's filled with Manley H-beam rods and Mahle forged pistons, but retains the stock 11.0:1 compression.

At its initial outing, the combination was still being tweaked by Roush engineers shooting for 650 hp. After all, I have to be able to keep up with the latest Shelby GT500. The combo is fully capable of making that mark.

On track, the abundant power spins a Moser 9-inch rear with 3.89 gears to get things going in a hurry. That's right--gone is the factory 8.8, and in its place is the storied 9-inch. But you'd never know it. The rear features Moser's 31-spline axles, an aluminum Daytona Pro/Street pinion support, the aforementioned gears, and a True-Trac differential. You might associate a 9-inch rear with increased noise, but with the True-Trac differential, you'll think the stock 8.8 is still back there. However, like the rest of the car, the car's rearend will not need an upgrade.

And that's the beauty of the Raybestos Roush Stage 3 Mustang. The car's done. It's a turnkey legend, ready to take on whatever's in its path. The exterior features custom paint and graphics. The engine is built to withstand boost, and the supercharger's already there. The transmission is one of Tremec's most bulletproof offerings to date. The rear is a Moser-fortified 9-inch. And those brakes--my word, what else do you need?!

Oh wait, the car is void of a parking brake. Oh well, my driveway's flat anyway. If you win it, you'll certainly adjust accordingly. It will be worth it.

horse sense: If you want a chance at winning this car, go right now to www.raybestosgarage.com/contest to enter.

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5.0 Tech Specs

'13 Roush Stage 3

Engine and Drivetrain
Block FRPP Aluminator
Crankshaft Ford Racing
Rods Manley H-beam w/ ARP bolts
Pistons Mahle hard-anodized forged w/ 11.0:1 compression
Camshafts Stock
Cylinder Heads Stock w/ Boss 302 valve-springs
Intake Manifold Roush Performance
Power Adder Roush Performance R2300 TVS supercharger
Fuel System High-flow fuel rails w/ 47-lb/hr injectors, and a Kenne Bell Boost-a-Pump
Exhaust Roush Performance Stage 3
Transmission Tremec Magnum XL T56 six-speed w/ Shelby GT500 clutch, and Tremec shifter
Rearend Moser Engineering 9-in w/ 3.89 gears, 31-spline axles, True-Trac differential, Daytona Pro/Street pinion support, and 1350-series pinion yoke

Electronics
Engine Management Copperhead w/ Roush Performance calibration
Ignition Factory '13 GT
Gauges Roush Performance

Suspension and Chassis
Front Suspension
K-Member Factory GT
A-Arms Factory GT
Struts Roush Performance RS3
Springs Roush Performance RS3
Brakes Raybestos PC1108 w/ billet six-piston caliper, titanium pistons, and Raybestos street brake pads
Wheels Roush Performance RS3 18-in
Tires Cooper R-Tech Zeon RS3 275/40-18
Rear Suspension
Shocks Roush Performance RS3
Springs Roush Performance RS3
Control Arms Roush Performance RS3
Brakes Raybestos w/ billet four-piston calipers, and Raybestos street brake pads
Wheels Roush Performance RS3 18-in
Tires Cooper R-Tech Zeon RS3 275/40-18