If you've watched any form of motorsport, you've probably heard the name Roush. With over 238 combined wins in SCCA Trans-Am, IMSA GT, NHRA Pro Stock, NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Trucks, Jack Roush knows a thing or two about building a car that can bring home the checkered flag.
All these years of professional racing, combined with Roush's personal preference for hot street Mustangs (he owns more than a dozen) prompted him to create Roush Performance Products (RPP) - a company made up of talented designers and engineers who transform Ford Mustangs, F-150s, and Expeditions into more performance-oriented versions of themselves. Roush's Stage 1 upgrade package consists of mostly body and appearance modifications; road-hugging Stage 2s get the looks and suspension upgrades; and new tire-burning Stage 3 machines are for those who like to melt pavement as well as carve it.
The fresh-for-'01 Roush Stage 3 is the Mustang Jack always wanted to build, with greatly increased horsepower and torque, plus carefully engineered changes to the suspension, braking, and body systems. The Stage 3 'Stang is available in coupe or convertible form, smog legal in all 50 state and is offered through a nationwide network of some 200 Ford dealers.
Based on a factory-fresh Mustang GT, RPP breathes additional life into the 4.6L SOHC V-8, topping it with a model 90 Gen 4, Eaton Supercharger set to produce a conservative 6 psi of boost-big power is good, but it has to be reliable and long-lived. Roush adds an Allied-Signal dual core air-to-water intercooler (boasting its own electric water pump), a high-performance intake manifold, modified mass airflow sensor, upgraded Bosch fuel injectors, BBK throttle body, and a low-inertia aluminum flywheel.
The package pumps out 360 hp at 5250 rpm and 375 lb-ft of torque at 3000, says Roush. That's a 100-hp and 73 lb-ft gain over a stock 4.6L SOHC Mustang. Power is fed via the owner's choice of a Tremec five-speed manual or Ford AR70W four-speed automatic tranny. Getting the best quarter-mile time out of the S3 requires a little finesse: Rev the engine to about 2500 rpm, dump the clutch, and add just enough throttle so the motor doesn't bog. With traction achieved, breathe on the throttle until the 1-2 gearshift, then mash it to the floor for a 13.12 sec/108.10-mph ride. This is a nice bump over the stock Mustang's 14.0 at 100.2.