Nobody else builds and sells pickups like the Americans. In a good month, Ford will deliver more F-series trucks than Nissan will sell Titan pickups in a year. Ford's F-Series has been America's best-selling full-size pickup for 30 years and sets the standard for strength and toughness with more trucks on the road having more than 250,000 miles experience than any other brand. So how do you make something this good even better? Just give it to Jack Roush.
Roush Fenway Racing is arguably the most visible of his companies, having claimed championships in the elite NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, as well as the Nationwide Series and Craftsman Truck Series. This makes the company one of the few organizations to have captured titles in all three of NASCAR's top divisions. That expertise carries through to Roush Performance, where modified and special-edition vehicles are conceptualized and put together in Livonia, Michigan.
Roush Performance effectively combines the engineering expertise of Roush Industries, a Tier One supplier of engineering and development services to a dozen auto manu-facturers, with the motorsports experience of Roush Fenway Racing to produce complete performance vehicles, engines, and high-performance parts. The company builds a range of modified F-150 trucks, from the cosmetics-only Sport model through the Stage 3 version, which benefits from styling, power, and handling improvements.
Going beyond the ordinary, Roush Performance introduced a limited-edition model in 2007. The Nitemare was a black, tone-on-tone standard cab F-150, of which only 100 examples were built. The addition of a Roushcharger supercharger pushed the 5.4L engine's output to 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. In typical Roush fashion, vehicle upgrades are as fully engineered as if they came from the original manufacturer. The Roushcharger system also includes updated intake manifolds, intercooler, radiator, and air-induction system. Unchanged for the '08 model, the result is an almost 50 percent increase in the engine's output, which makes this truck a hauler by any standard.
New this year is the availability of other-than-black exterior treatments. Our tester was blazingly white, of which there will be only 33 units built. The same holds true for a red version, and the original black will see only 34 examples leave the factory.
Inside the cab, you'll be treated to an array of special touches that include leather seating with an embroidered Nitemare logo; custom instrument panel gauges including tachometer, voltmeter, oil pressure and water temperature; a black dash trim package; logo-embroidered floor mats; billet aluminum pedals; and a black leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Nitemare's custom, dual high-performance exhaust note intrudes only enough to remind you that there is a rather large herd of ponies waiting just under your right foot.
New graphics for '08 identify this truck as a Roush Nitemare. Had the previous year's treatment been directly transferred to a white or red truck, the overall effect might have been more than any prudent driver might have wanted; however, the new identification delivers an appropriate blend of distinction and subtlety. Of course, exclusive Roush badging is evident on the fenders and tailgate, but these are completely in stealth mode-in black only with no chrome and just a little silver paint to highlight them. The hoodscoop and blacked-out grille are enough to let anyone seeing this truck in their mirrors know that this is no ordinary hay-hauler.