Let me first get this out of the way, I have to admit that I was not a fan of driving a production Mustang around a track at high speeds. The Mustang is a fun car driving around town; it will turn some heads with the exhaust note and will even catch a few eyes with the styling. But the thought of high corner speeds never gave me much confidence in a production Mustang.
That being said, when I was asked to work for Hooked on Driving at the Autobahn CC in Joliet, IL, and give hot laps in a Mustang, well, I didn’t exactly jump for joy………. But then I drove it, and now I want one!!!!! Thanks to ROUSH® Performance who brought a 2010 ROUSH® 427R™ Mustang to the track for us to play with. From first glance the aggressive styling, better brakes, and bigger rims caught my eye - now I was just hoping that it would handle as good as it looked.
On track the ROUSH® 427R™ Mustang surprised the Hell out of me. Pushing down on the throttle not only produced a musical exhaust note, but pushed my head into the head rest. With a supercharger and all the BHP it has I expected all that - the true test would come in the first corner.
The track that Hooked on Driving was using was a 1.46-mile, 9-turn circuit. There are fast third gear corners and slow second gear ones as well. In the slow corners the 427R™ turned in like a dream with no understeer, and the back end stayed planted when I made the transition from brake to gas. Accelerating out of the corner the 427R™ allowed the power to be put down with confidence. In faster corners the car was very stable. Very little body roll, and not once did I have the sensation that I was going to end up in the passenger’s seat.
Without getting too technical, I will say that the ROUSH® 427R™ Mustang is the best production-based Mustang that I have ever driven. The 427R™ instills confidence in me as a driver because of the way it handles as a car. It also straddles a very fine line of what handles good on the track but can also be driven to work every day without the fear of your fillings falling out over every bump. Thanks again to Hooked on Driving and ROUSH® Performance for allowing me to drive the 427R, and from now on I promise to never think badly of a Mustang again.
About Curt Andrews: Curt was the 2000 Skip Barber Racing Series Champion, Skip Barber Instructor, and is the Chief Driving Coach for the Great Lakes Region of Hooked On Driving.