Roush's 427R Mustang is an angry car. Even if you don't touch the gas pedal, the burble of the exhaust lets you know that you're driving a Mustang with a serious attitude. Directing the short shifter into first takes a firm, deliberate motion. Leave the 427R in first gear as you roll down the parking ramp at a steady 3000 rpm and enjoy the exhaust's controlled ruckus as it reverberates off the concrete structure. Eager to hear the engine's full roar, you jab the throttle while turning out of the garage. It's just as beautiful and hateful as you imagined and - oops - the back end is swinging around to add some kick to that scream. This bad boy sure is fun to hang around with.
On the back roads, the supercharged (or ROUSHcharged, if you can say it and still take yourself seriously) V-8 feels like it's putting out more than 435 hp. The new dampers, springs, and antiroll bars of the suspension package make the 427R ultrastiff. It is possible to find roads that render the upgrade too stiff, but for the most part, it's a welcome change for improved handling.
Roush has done an excellent job integrating its work into Ford's Mustang. Interior components and body modifications fit in well with the stock Mustang gear and have OEM quality. The mechanical components are refined to the point that this car feels like it rolled off a Ford assembly line. Roush even covers the car with a 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty.
The problem is Ford's own Shelby Mustang GT500. That car starts at $47,000 and will deliver 540 hp to the crankshaft through a six-speed gearbox. Roush charges some $14,000 for the 427R core components on top of the $28,000 Mustang GT price. That package includes the major body components, eighteen-inch wheels, new suspension parts, and the supercharger package. That still leaves a few options that every Roush should be equipped with, primarily the exhaust ($710), chrome short-throw shifter ($410), and brake upgrades (either $2877 or $1450). By the time you add in the cost of installation, you're well into $50,000, and your neighbor still regularly kicks your ass with the extra 105 hp from his GT500.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor