Sometimes, I think I'm mentally stuck in eighth grade. First, I almost laugh aloud in a meeting just because technical editor Don Sherman uses the words "shaft" and "stroke" in the same sentence. Then, only a few hours later, I'm driving a $55,000 Mustang with the windows open so I can better hear its obscenely loud exhaust system. Yup, Roush knows how to target guys like me, or I should say, guys like me with enough money to buy a $55,000 Mustang.
This car makes no sense even before you remember, as Eric did, that it costs more than Ford's own GT500. Roush takes what is a good buy at around $30,000 and adds more than $20,000 in window louvers, superstiff antiroll bars, and power that you can never possibly use. Don't forget, this Corvette Z51-priced pony car still has a live rear axle. Go over a bump at speed, as I did, and you'll spend a few seconds wondering what direction you'll be pointed in when the rear end finds pavement again. And yet, it's an absolute blast mitigated only by the awareness that every cop within five miles can hear your sublime exhaust note. The 4.6-liter V-8 can lay down rubber from a second-gear roll, and it emits a wonderful combination of old-fashioned rumble and supercharger whine.
It's also worth noting that even if it's a bit out of its league at this price, the basic Mustang package is very compelling. I noted the same quick steering and great shift-action (made all the better in this case by an optional short-throw shifter) that I've enjoyed in every refreshed Mustang I've driven.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor