Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
January 19, 2016

On a recent trip to the Motor City, MM&FF spent the day at Roush Performance, home of the popular line of Roush Mustangs and F-150 trucks. Founded in 1995 by racing legend and Ford icon Jack Roush, Roush Mustangs have been a favorite with enthusiasts and we wanted to give you a behind-the-scene look at what it takes to build one.

During our visit we chatted with engineers, calibrators, and spotted Jack Jr. hard at work. Jack Jr. is excited about the upcoming racing season, where he’ll once again compete with his World Challenge Ford Mustang. Beyond the offices is the massive shop where those Ford Mustangs and F-150 trucks are transformed into track-capable animals. And while a mass of new Mustangs sat outside begging for a look, the below-zero temperature kept us inside.

Nic Shafer, director of ecommerce and online marketing, guided us through the facility, where dozens of Mustangs were being massaged with blowers, performance suspensions, wheel and tire options, stripes, interior upgrades and much more. The niche assembly line is well organized and features about a half-dozen rows with individual stations allowing technicians to complete the various modifications in a clean, concise fashion.

Roush offers a variety of packages and options, including the entry-level 305 hp V6-based RS Roush Mustang, the Roush RS1 with EcoBoost and 310 hp, the Stage 2 with 435 hp and the 670 horsepower RS3. Along with the smattering of Stage Mustangs, we saw Roush F-150 trucks, we evenspied a colorful TrakPak Stang sporting a huge splitter and wing and forged wheels. Under the hood was a wicked 850-plus horsepower supercharged Coyote.

Next to the TrakPak sat a militant-looking, matte green Mustang, which really grabbed our interest. Closer inspection revealed it was a new RST model developing a ridiculous 511-plus horsepower from just four-cylinders! While we didn’t get to drive this Stang, Shafer said we’d soon get our chance and he gave us a peak under the hood. And while we can’t tell you exactly what we saw, he did let us photograph the “Bomber” style leather seats and he demonstrated the unique light system that changes colors when you scroll to create a lightshow with the Mustang’s front tri-bar running lights. And on a different note, Shafer was sure to remind us that the 727hp Phase 2 Supercharger kit will go on sale this coming week.

Colorful Roush TrakPak is super racy with massive splitter and wing, and the wicked-sounding 850-plus hp supercharged Coyote.
This special Stang is the one Roush uses to develop its suspension packages.
Roush also sells F-150 trucks that get upgrades in power and appearance.
The facility sports a niche assembly line with technicians installing the variety of performance parts and pieces. It takes a few days to take a Mustang or F-150 from stock to rock.
We watched a few Mustangs getting the 670 horsepower supercharger upgrade. This requires modification to the front engine cover to accommodate the serpentine drive belt system.
Here is the boost-pumping Ford Performance/Roush blower.
Injector size is increased to fuel the fire.
Roush technician Kevin Rahn installed the blower on this Mustang.
Mustang’s continue down the line and get the unique Roush bodywork, suspension, and wheels and tires.
This special project is the Roush RST, an EcoBoosted Mustang that produces a staggering 511-plus horsepower from just four-cylinders. We’re hoping to do a full test of this beast in the near future.
The RST sported a cool feature that let us customize the color of the tri-bar running lights.
Roush recovers all its seats in-house.
After recovering the passenger front seat, Roush technician, Gabrieal Bishop uses the Occupant Seating Sytem machine to ensure the passenger airbag sensing system will operate properly.
Roush offers a wide variety of wheel options.
A technician uses this template to properly align the Roush emblems.
All Roush Mustangs receiving suspension upgrades are checked on the in-house alignment rack.
Prior to shipping, each Roush vehicle must endure an extensive inspection. This ensures the vehicle is built to specification and that it meets Roush’s standards for quality.