First, I have to clear my conscience here. I LOVED the ‘69 and ‘70 Mustang fastbacks. And at my ripe old age, owning one is on my bucket list. Thanks to Ford for taking me back to the past to move into the future with its current, very good 2010 Mustang. The evolutionary changes in the 2010 body style make me want to hop in and head down to the drive in. From an engineering standpoint, the changes are evolutionary as well. But just like humans evolving to bipeds, the changes are for the better. With the base Mustang GT being very good, this little outfit called ROUSH® Performance has gotten hold of these cars and made them great.
The solid mix of spring rate and shock valving from Ford gets a passing grade on the GT. The power is “nice.” The interior is better. All positives. Enter our friends from ROUSH® and the transformation to the 427R™. Power – think legal steroids – this one is called the “ROUSHcharger™.” Bolted on and tested thoroughly to add punch to the 4.6 liter aluminum 3 valve standard V8, the ROUSH® supercharger delivers – especially in the torque department. The 427R™ is in the over 400 horsepower club and we’ll just say that that is enough to really make the difference….like I said, from a nice car to a great car. The power is linear, progressive, and very obvious to your back side.
Handling? The 427R™ package is a complete makeover for the suspension, and I personally think this is the best part of the package – Jack’s boys have found sweet spots in ride and handling. You’ll enjoy your cruise all day up Highway 5, then turn her loose at Buttonwillow and be grinning from ear-to-ear. The car takes a set, bites, and goes into turns with a very rare simplicity that would make you think there are camber plates under the hood. Also, evolutionary for 2010, the 20” alloy wheels come with some very special Cooper tires that were developed just for this model.
The interior has evolved as well, with a slight improvement in the basic GT seat, which we’re still not bragging about. But ROUSH® had a good idea – reupholster the seats for more aggressive handling in the twisties. By installing an Alcantara-like fabric in the seat inserts, they’ve given the seats some of the same bite that the suspension has. This is a very good, simple improvement. We’d still like to see more bolstering though. Other evolutionary improvements in dash and switchgear kudos go to Ford.
Lastly, the ROUSH® touches to the exterior remain tasteful, if not a bit too understated. With ROUSH® branding on the windshield, the familiar hockey stick stripes on the front fenders, splitter, spoiler and a few other niceties, the 427R™ is actually quite modest when it comes to the bling factor. One thing I’d do as brand manager is get something more obviously ROUSH® that is visible from the rear. We still had passers by have to ask what we were driving.
The day we had with the 427R™ was a really, really hot summer day at over 95 degrees. And – our access to the track was limited to a quick few laps in some traffic amongst other testers. So….you’ll have to stay tuned, as we have a date for a really thorough run in the 427R™ very soon – we’ll write to you from the track!
About David Ray: He is the founder of the Hooked on Driving school and a championship-winning SCCA racer. Ray also serves on the Board of Directors for Thunderhill Raceway.