Jack Roush and Roush Racing are synonymous with NASCAR and winning. And making that winning formula street legal is the job of the engineers at the Roush Performance division. From tuner parts to fully prepared vehicles, Roush is the place for an extreme motor makeover. And we’re ready to try out two of their latest efforts: a furious Focus and a ferocious F-150!
The magic starts with the Roush F-150. Now making America’s best selling truck even more appealing sounds like a challenge. But what Roush has wrought works like a charm. Roush offers four versions of their F-150: the Sport appearance package and three levels of performance: Stage 1, Stage 2, and our new Stage 3. In this all-up package, the broad-shouldered Ford F-150 gets a full-body kit treatment that’s incredibly aggressive. From its threatening hood scoop, to the body colored front bumper and chin-spoiler, this F-150 practically growls even when deadpanning. Rocker panels, dual side port exhausts, oversized wheel flares, and tailgate spoiler really pump up the cab and bed. Then add 20-inch Roush chrome wheels and tires and a lowered suspension to seal the deal.
A custom-tuned version of the world’s best-selling truck, all Roush F-150s are powered by Ford’s familiar 5.4-liter V8. But on the Stage 3, Roush adds a Magnuson supercharger to boost horsepower to 405, and torque to 480 pound-feet, or more than the last Ford F-150 SVT Lightning. A four-speed automatic is the only transmission. The Stage 3 is rear-drive only but other Roush F-150s can be ordered in either 4x2 or 4x4.
We clocked our three ton Stage 3 pick-up from 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds. While slower than our last SVT Lightning, that’s over 2 seconds faster than a stock F-150. The quarter mile is dispatched in a brisk 15.9 seconds at 88 miles-per-hour.
And before you even hit the pedal, take a quick glance inside the Stage 3. Adding to Ford’s standards are embroidered floor mats, performance gauges, and two-tone Roush signature seating.
Of course, you will have to come up with about $50,000 to own this Roush F-150 Stage 3. But much more modest F-150 kits start at only $4,400, plus installation of course. Now the results may not make the starting grid at a NASCAR oval, but driving America’s best-selling truck, tuned by America’s premier racing enterprise, looks like a winning experience to us.
Not into big budget trucks? Well, Roush offers other ways to settle their speed into your bones. Enter the Roush Focus. Based on the ZX3 and ZX5 models, the Roush Focus boasts seriously improved styling and performance. And in addition to their Stage 1 and Stage 2 offerings, Roush also has a Rally Menu. The kind of fixin’s bar offers numerous a la carte items from which to choose.
What we took delivery of was a one-off show car with all of the Rally Menu trimmings. Visually that includes a mean front fascia with driving lights, hood scoop, windshield banner, fender badging, 17-inch wheels and tires, chrome exhaust tip, and two rear wings.
While Ford’s ZETEC 2.0-liter-4 normally generates a modest 136 horsepower, Roush’s intercooled turbo kit pushes things to an estimated 220 horsepower, a 60% gain. Power that translates into a 0-to-60 time of 7.0 seconds and a quarter mile run of 15.3 seconds at 92 miles-per-hour. The short-throw 5-speed shifter is quick and precise, but gear ratios could be a bit tighter. Overall this Roush sport-compact is lickety-quick and smooth. There’s only a hint of engine buzz and just enough rasp in the tuned-exhaust to be heard.
But it’s clearly the handling that took top priority here. The Roush Focus impressed us at every corner with excellent balance and incredible grip, a performance due mostly to its suspension mods with specially valved dampers, and 1 inch lowered ride height. Steering is well-weighted, with a secure on-center feel, and while quick, it’s never darty. All this ads up to the sporty ride you’d expect from the team that knows performance, and a team that knows that flash must also go along for the ride.
Inside the image remains clear. From the carbon fiber dash trim and performance gauges, to the custom floor mats, billet aluminum pedals, and bright seat inserts, it all screams Roush racing.
And we certainly enjoyed our time in the driver’s seat. But at what cost? Well, the Roush Focus has a price range from $15,990 for the minimum Rally content ZX3, to $26,395 for the maximum content Stage 2 ZX5. But core-component do-it-yourself kits start at only $3,400.
Not at all pricey when you look at the current sports compact tuner craze. And you don’t get just any makeover, but one that says Roush. The Roush F-150 and Roush Focus are sharp, smart, and sizzling. Motoring magic that is way quicker than the eye.