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Roush P-51A Mustang Build - Taking Wing
Watching The P-51A, Roush's Most Powerful Mustang Ever, Take Flight From Its Hangar
Horse Sense: If you're like us, you can't help but take note of the "A" suffix. If you missed your chance to acquire one of the squadron of P-51As, we wouldn't be surprised to see a P-51B model take flight some time down the road.
Lately, the public relations crew at Roush Performance has been exhausting the office supply of coffee and midnight oil, with press releases of new products and models popping up seemingly every time we open our e-mail.
The latest and greatest special edition from the house that Jack built is the Roush P-51A.
It's an almost inevitable model for the company, given the Cat in the Hat's personal affection for what's recognized as the greatest and arguably most beautiful long-range fighter aircraft of WWII: the P-51 Mustang. It's no secret that the indefatigable Jack Roush owns and flies a skillfully restored D model of the P-51, and he's in the long, pricey process of returning the tired hulk of an earlier and even more rare P-51B to flying condition-but maybe we should talk about the car.
At 510 hp and an equal amount of torque, the P-51A is the most powerful Roush Mustang to date, and it's the first to include a fortified short-block as part of the deal. Similar to its airborne counterpart, it uses forced induction-in the form of an intercooled Roushcharger, naturally-to squeeze out as much as is safely possible from each power stroke. The P-51A benefits from a larger blower and higher boost than Roush's Stage 3, 427R, or 428R, thus explaining the rationale behind the muscled-up bottom end.
Only 151 examples of the P-51A will be built, and apparently all of them are already spoken for. Construction began at Roush's Livonia, Michigan, production facility-known as the Plymouth Road Technical Center, or simply Roush building No. 50-in late February. Knowing what an inquisitive group our readers are, we thought you might be interested in what it takes to transform a stock S197 GT into Roush's ground-superiority fighter.
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With the powertrain back where it belongs, a cold-air induction system is added. Notice the relocated alternator on a Roush-cast bracket. Almost all that's left to do at this point is to reflash the processor with the P-51A-specific calibration. We've skipped about a million steps, but now you have an idea of what it takes to essentially assemble the highest-powered Roush special edition to date. After observing the whole process, we'd love to tuck a P-51A in our hangar.
Though located within the same Plymouth Road Technical Center, engine teardown and assembly for the P-51A is the responsibility of Performance Assembly Solutions, a joint-venture established by Roush Industries as an assembly supplier of niche and specialty powertrain modules. Yet another example of Roush business diversity, PAS is in the business of building engines for a variety of corporate clients, some of which might surprise you. For the P-51A, the same engine that comes out of any factory GT goes back in, only with a much stouter bottom end and a Twin Vortices Series Roushcharger on top.