Mustang fans, start your checkbooks! Originally intended solely as a limited-edition 2012 model, the Roush Stage 3 Premier Ford Mustang also will be available for the 2013 model year from Roush Performance, one of the world’s top Mustang enhancers. It’s the ultimate road-burner from Roush—owned by the inimitable Jack Roush, who also helps command NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing—and it wraps all of the hi-po appeal of the Stage 3 car in a show-ready finish that’s provided by the painting pros at Sherwin-Williams.
A rainbow of eye-popping hues is available from Sherwin-Williams’ “Planet Color” lineup, with the paint featuring a custom reflective-flake appearance. Also, to maintain high levels of quality, Roush technicians employ a tri-coat process as they hand-apply the paint to each Stage 3 Premier Mustang in the company’s own in-house paint facility. Current colors include:
- Black Diamond
- Blue Bayou
- Gold Rush
- Jet Stream
- Liquid Copper
- Luminescent Lime
- Mat It Mango
- Mean Green
- Motor City Iron
- Performance Pearl
- Red Blooded American
- Sin City Silver
The 2012 car also featured goodies like painted stripes, Premier Edition badging, and an interior specifically designed to match its expressive exterior coloration; drivers can no doubt expect similar appointments for the new model year.
What else can they expect in the 2013 Roush Stage 3 Premier Ford Mustang? Let’s see …
2013 Roush Stage 3 Premier Ford Mustang: What You Get
But before that fantastic finish does get applied, Roush engineers start with a factory-fresh 2013 Ford Mustang GT—itself no slouch in the performance department. Next comes one of Roush’s R2300 superchargers, which relies on patented Twin Vortices technology from Eaton, and then the company went a little new-school with the Stage 3 Premier Mustang by retuning the engine’s PCM (power control module). The end result? “A massive 565 horsepower and 505 lb-ft of torque, more than enough power to crush you into the back of your seat at the stab of the throttle,” according to Roush. That powertrain comes with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty, too.
Of course, it’s easy dialing up the power nowadays; less simple is dialing in the kind of athletic suspension necessary to get the most out of that power. And here, once again, Roush engineers worked their magic. The 2013 Stage 3 Premier Ford Mustang gets a completely overhauled setup, including:
- A larger and stiffer front stabilizer bar
- Roush’s own anti-wheel-hop kit
- Twin-tube shock absorbers with unique valving
- Increased rate springs
- Upgraded bushings and jounce bumpers
Note that all comparisons are to the production Mustang. Further, those components are complemented by five-spoke, chromed-aluminum 18-inch wheels from Roush as well as ultra-high-performance rubber that was developed by Roush in conjunction with the tire experts from Cooper.
Again leveraging its own expertise, Roush also deployed an R6 aero package that incorporates everything from a new-for-2013 Roush upper grille at the front to a three-piece rear-decklid spoiler at the back. (In between, there’s also a high-flow lower grille, corner fascia aero pockets housing driving lamps, a front chin splitter, rear-fascia side splitters, a new hood scoop, rocker panels, and a rear valance with air diffusers.)
Needless to say, Roush’s monster Mustang is fully capable of inducing Stage fright in (almost) all of its competitors.
2013 Roush Stage 3 Premier Ford Mustang: Rival Roundup
Now, there was a time when tuned-up entries from performance-engineering icons like Roush gave gearheads the ability to level up from the range-topping muscle cars offered by the domestic automakers. The thing is, with the industry in the midst of a horsepower arms race, that’s no longer the case—at least at Chevy and Ford, both of which have added another layer of performance to what used to be their highest-level muscle cars. The reborn Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 began significantly outpowering the Mustang GT when the former was introduced in 2007 with 500 hp, and now the Chevy Camaro ZL1 has trumped the Camaro SS. Thus, going into 2013, here’s how the Roush Stage 3 Mustang stacks up against to the just-mentioned foursome and, for further comparison’s sake, the Dodge Challenger SRT8, still acme of the Chrysler Group’s performance coupes:
- Ford Mustang GT—420 hp, 390 lb.-ft. of torque
- Chevrolet Camaro SS—426 hp, 420 lb.-ft. of torque
- Dodge Challenger SRT8—470 hp, 470 lb.-ft. of torque
- Roush Stage 3 Ford Mustang—565 hp, 505 lb.-ft of torque
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1—580 hp, 556 lb.-ft. of torque
- Ford Mustang Shelby GT500—650 hp, 600 lb.-ft. of torque
The Camaro ZL1 and Shelby GT500 also feature highly capably suspensions—with the ZL1 showing off the elite Magnetic Ride Control technology—and remember, the new Shelby will have a top speed in excess of 200 mph. Yes, it’s true that there’s more to performance than just numbers on a computer screen, but until Autobytel can convince Chevy, Ford and Roush to pitch in for a three-way showdown—how’s that for a subtle hint?—they’ll have to do for now.