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2010 Roush Mustang

Ford introduced a new Mustang for the 2010 model year early in 2009. This was not an all-new model, but a refreshed version. It is a common practice among manufacturers to give a facelift to models that are well into their life cycle. Since most sales happen when a model is new, with numbers dropping off near the end of the lifecycle, updates are key.

In fact, a facelift can re-ignite some of the buzz that is generated when a new model is first introduced. This also draws some attention away from newer competitor models introduced later. In the case of the Ford Mustang, both the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro were introduced as all-new models well after the introduction of the last all-new Ford Mustang.

When you see both models side by side, a marked difference can be seen between the 2009 edition and the 2010 edition of the Ford Mustang. Fords designers created a more defined look for the performance coupe. It looks like the Mustang was put through a fitness “boot camp” that sculpted and toned its shape much like a bodybuilder.

This new look makes the 2010 Ford Mustang one of the best, if not the best looking American muscle car on the market. It also makes the Dodge Challenger look bloated and slow. While the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro does have a dynamic shape, its design is too exaggerated, too busy for some. But the 2010 Mustang is just right and looks good from practically all angles.

And when you add the extra styling and performance bits from Roush it takes the 2010 Mustang to the next level up. If you are not a motorsports enthusiast or a Mustang aficionado, the Roush name may not strike a familiar cord. Jack Roush is an automotive engineer and is also one of the most successful team owners in motorsports history.

His teams and drivers have won many races and championships including one NASCAR Truck Series Manufactures Championship, one NASCAR Truck Series Drivers Championship, two NASCAR Cup Driver Championships, six NASCAR Cup Manufactures Championships, six IMSA GTS Drivers Championships, five IMSA GTS Manufactures Championships, six Trans-Am Drivers Championships and seven Trans-Am Manufactures Championships.

Before we go any further, it is no secret that I am not a big fan of muscle cars. Unlike many guys, especially older dudes, my opinion of muscle cars is largely negative. They are fast in a straight line, but don’t corner or brake very well when compared to sports cars. If a choice had to be made between a muscle car and a sports car, my choice would be the sports car, 8 times out of 10.

That being said, one of the few muscle cars that I would choose would be a Roush edition Mustang.

There are three levels in the Roush line-up starting with the Stage 1 package, followed by the Stage 2 package and range topping Stage 3 package.

Stage 1 is more of an appearance package and includes some of the basic elements included with every Roush edition Mustang. Those items being a new front fascia and front splitter, rear fascia, side splitters a three-piece rear wing and 18-inch cast chrome wheels wrapped in Cooper Zeon high-performance rubber. The Stage 1 package is priced at $5,952.

The Stage 2 package also includes the same appearance items; new front fascia and front splitter, rear fascia, side splitters, and a three-piece rear wing and 18-inch cast chrome wheels with high-performance Cooper Zeon tires. In addition, the Stage 2 also has a suspension upgrade and engine upgrade with an additional cost of $7,326 for the package.

And the Stage 3 package comes with the appearance items along with suspension, brake and engine upgrade. To be exact, the Stage 3 has the same engine that was first introduced on the 2009 P-51B edition, producing 540 horsepower and 510 pounds feet of torque. This package has practically everything except for the optional 20-inch chrome wheels with Cooper RS3 tires. In all honesty, at $28,200, this package should include everything, PERIOD.

The 2010 427R that I tested has a host of appearance and performance goodies. Since you already know the list of appearance items we wont list them again. However the most important factor is the 4.6 liter supercharged V8 producing 435 horsepower and 400 pounds feet of torque.

As you can imagine, with 435 horsepower and more importantly, 400 pounds feet of torque, acceleration is impressive. If you are not familiar with torque, think of it this way. Horsepower is a measurement of how much power an engine generates and torque is a measure of how much of that power reaches the ground in the form of pulling or pushing.

Just starting the 427R, especially on a cold morning is awesome. The engine comes to life with a over-head, “cam-toothed” growl and sounds like a caged beast. Although the 427R was very, very trusty the intoxicating sound of its excellent exhaust note was addictive. And you, I mean I, could not keep my foot out of the tank, so that the exhilarating sound track would keep playing.

Straight line acceleration is breath taking, which makes me wonder how much harder the 540 horsepower Stage 3 kicks. In a recent test, the 427R was clocked with a 0 to 60 time of 4.7 seconds and a ¼ mile time of 13.1 seconds at 108.8mph. And with awesome acceleration like this, stopping power is just as important. The standard brakes are good, but at times can feel a little soft. While I think that the price of the brake upgrade package is high, it is definitely worth seriously considering. The 427R also achieved 0.90 lateral gs on the skid pad. No doubt the 427Rs ground hugging ability is attributed in part to the 22 mm rear sway bar and the 34 mm sway bar up front. When compared to the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, which achieved only 0.88 lateral gs, the Roush 427Rs numbers are even more impressive.

Not only is it a pleasure unleashing this power, it is a joy controlling how it is unleashed. The stainless steel short throw shifter topped by a cue-ball cap looks great and works well. Each gear engagement is firm, confident and crisp with just a short gate between each shift.

Overall the 2010 Roush 427R is the most impressive muscle car that I have driven in a long, long time. No save that noise, it is the best muscle car I have ever driven. So if you are looking at a new Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger or a standard Ford Mustang GT or GT500, check out the Roush 427R. But check those others out first, because if you drive the Roush first, you wont drive the others.