A Brief History of the Roush Mustang

Jack Roush's Performance Infused Mustangs

Ford Roush Mustang photographed in Laval, Quebec, Canada
Ford Roush Mustang photographed in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Wikimedia Commons

Jack Roush knows a thing or two about performance. As the manager of numerous racing teams over the years, Roush has helped many a race car driver reach their goal of victory. Roush has also helped teams win through his performance engineering of countless engines in a variety of different vehicles.

In The Beginning

In 1988, Roush pitched Ford on his first Mustang, a 400 hp twin turbocharged beast of a machine. Roush had hoped to form a partnership with Ford which would put his Mustangs in dealer showrooms across the country. Unfortunately, Ford passed on this collaboration noting the vehicles would be too expensive to mass produce.

In 1995 Roush created ROUSH Performance Products which is located in Livonia, Michigan. The company initially offered aftermarket performance parts and crate engines, while the first custom Mustangs were outsourced. Several years later, in 1997, they began offering complete vehicle packages in-house.

Test Drives

First Generation:

Roush finally struck gold when he introduced his first generation of Mustangs based on the SN95's V-8 powered GT model. The cars were available in three models: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3. Each stage provided more goodies, starting with the Stage 1’s exterior enhancements all the way up to the Stage 3’s full on performance package. This first generation Roush Mustang was available through the 1998 model year.

Second Generation:

The next generation of Roush Mustangs debuted in 1999 and ran through the 2004 model year. Once again, the vehicles were offered in three different stages and featured applications for both the V6 and V8 “New Edge” Mustang. There was also a Roush Sports Mustang package which was the entry-level model featuring a modified exhaust, exterior upgrades, and various interior tweaks. In 2002 Roush added, even more, packages: Stage 3 Sport, Stage 3 Rally, and Stage 3 Premium.

Third Generation:

The third generation of the Roush Mustangs debuted in 2005 and was based on the new S197 model style GT Mustang. Packages included the Roush Sport, Roush Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3. ROUSH Performance also introduced several special-edition Mustangs. Of note were the BlackJack Mustang, 427R Mustang, 427R Trak Pak Mustang, P-51A, P-51B, and the Speedster. Other special edition Mustangs included the 428R Mustang, the RTC, and a special package for the 4.0L V6 Mustang.

For 2010 ROUSH released a redesigned Roush Mustang lineup. Available options for the year included Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, 427R, and the new 2010 ROUSH 540RH Mustang featuring 540 hp and 510 lb.-ft. of torque.

In 2012 ROUSH debuted their new Stage 3 Mustang. The car featured painted stripes, Premier Edition side badges, vehicle-matching interior elements, as well as horsepower and suspension enhancements. ROUSH announced the return of their Premier Edition Stage 3 Ford Mustang in 2013

New for the 2013 model year lineup was the ROUSH RS Mustang, based on the popular V6 Mustang platform. The Mustang featured a standard 305 horsepower powertrain, in addition to a high flow upper grille, front chin splitter, side rocker splitters, and rear decklid spoiler. The car also featured custom 18-inch premium painted aluminum wheels.

Jack Roush and the folks at ROUSH Performance also went on to team up with Ford Racing to create The Ford Racing 5.0L DOHC Aluminator crate engine. The motor, which retailed for around $8,879, was an optional powertrain upgrade on any manual transmission Stage 3 Mustang.

For the 2014 model year, the company planned to once again offer a variety of different model Mustangs, from a stylish V6 Mustang all the way up to the company’s supercharged ROUSH Stage 3 pony.


Fourth Generation:

The fourth generation of the Roush Mustangs debuted in 2015. The Mustangs included an RS model, based on the 2015 V6 Mustang, the Stage 1, based on the new 2.3L EcoBoost Mustang, and the Stage 2 ROUSH based on the 2015 5.0L V8 Mustang. The company also offered a new and improved Stage 3 Mustang. 

Each of the ROUSH Mustangs featured the company’s 7th generation R7 aero body package. According to ROUSH, the aero body package featured a fully remodeled ROUSH fascia with integrated aero-pockets, a five-blade upper grille, high-flow lower grille with driving lamps, and a front chin splitter.


ROUSH Road Crew

In 2010 ROUSH Performance launched its new club for enthusiasts and owners of ROUSH Mustangs, the ROUSH Road Crew (RRC). The club is a club for enthusiasts, by enthusiasts, and filled with enthusiastic people. They host a variety of events around the country. Ownership of a ROUSH vehicle is not a prerequisite. Enthusiasm and a willingness to have fun are all that is required.

Membership for the ROUSH Road Crew has an annual fee of $35 (USD). This comes with several benefits such as a membership kit, discounts, access to events and the RRC Forum.

ROUSH Performance Shop

In addition to their custom vehicles, ROUSH Performance is a major supplier of automotive aftermarket parts; most of which are based on their vehicles. The ROUSH Performance Shop's mission is to deliver to the customer quality high-performance automotive products and services, including aftermarket performance parts, performance crate engines, performance part installation, hot rod restoration, and custom graphics.

The company's parts catalog includes items such as superchargers, exhausts, cold air intakes, body kits, front grilles, shifters, pedals, suspension kits, brakes, and much more. While the majority of items are for the Ford Mustang, the company also has a number of performance parts for the Ford Focus, Superduty, and F-150 as well. 

ROUSH Performance also has a Speed Shop where Mustang owners can have their vehicles modified.

Official ROUSH Performance Blog

Those looking to follow the company can check out the Official ROUSH Performance Blog.

Roush Mustangs can be found at more than 475 Ford dealers across the United States and Canada.