At this year’s IMPA Test days, Roush had a sampling of two of its coolest products on hand: One was a 590 horsepower Ford SVT Raptor and the other, a Stage 3 Mustang.
Of the 3 stages available for the ‘Stang, the 3rd is the most badass. This car is the fantastic result of go-fast bits that put some show up front, but tonnes of go at the slightest touch of the throttle. As mad as this Mustang is, it can easily be tamed for daily drives, but it would be a shame not to mash the gas and soak in the rush -- sorry, Roush.
What is a Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3?
As mentioned, one does not get higher up on the Roush ladder than Stage 3. This car is nearly as close as a street-legal, race-prepped Mustang can get.
Roush’s vision of the true American sports car is embodied in the 2014 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3 (RS3) where power, performance and handling all come together with purpose.
Roush Enterprises are based in Michigan and through its many branches including aerospace and engineering, employs 4,000 people.
2014 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3 Price and Specs
The 2014 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3 is all about the supercharger. Sitting on top of Ford’s Coyote 5.0L V8 is Eaton’s Twin Vortices Series (TVS) R2300 charger. It, along with Roush’s intercooler and ECU “boost,” push the V8’s output to 575 horsepower and 505 lb-ft of torque.
Should one be so inclined, 625- and 675-horsepower versions are available.
The tested car (like all RS3s) received a complete complement of comprehensive upgrades to put all that power to good use. The upgraded sport suspension is matched to a larger front stabilizer bar and rear anti-wheel hop upper control arm. The suspension keeps specially developed Cooper Zeon RS3-S tires in constant contact with the tarmac.
The Roush Stage 3 package adds $17,000 USD to the price of a 2014 Ford Mustang GT. From there, thousands more can be added for brake upgrades, wheels, interior accent and more. As tested, the car in the pictures retailed for just under $60,000 USD.
Driving the Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3
The promise of a special Mustang driving experience was lure enough to get me to drive the car. Then, I heard the car start and sanity left me thanks to the dual-chamber performance exhaust system which itself is not street-legal in some States, and likely some Provinces.
The cataclysmic burble and thunder that escapes is but a taste of what this car does. Don’t think that this is an unruly big-muscle-car. My drive on the roads surrounding the Monticello Motorsports Club demonstrated how civilized it can be. Over rough surfaces, the car remained poised and comfortable.
Clutch and shifter action are barely heavier than the base GT’s, and brake pedal response is good, not grabby. Honestly, I expected to have my hands full, but didn’t. In fact, I wanted more charger whine and more drama, but none was had.
However, on the track at wide-open throttle the Roush Stage 3 gobbled volumes of air and covered ground at a massive pace. Power delivery was linear and predictable which made punching it out of corners highly possible.
Never out of control, the Mustang stayed true to the line I wanted it to take. My biggest complaint was the lack of bite from the front end on turn-in. In fact, this is where the Roush lost what was otherwise a favourable comparison to my beloved Boss 302. I went out on the track numerous times and negotiated the car quite well to find that its limits were still slightly beyond my own. Even at my own 8/10, the Mustang was barely beginning to slide out of its comfort zone.
And that exhaust note! Good God!
Inside and out of the Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3
The 2014 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3’s cabin is generally unchanged from the stock car. It can, however, be spec’d out with aluminum pedals (yes), suede steering wheel (yes), illuminated door sills (no), and vent-mounted boost gauge (no).
The outside gets a Roush aero body kit and high-flow upper grille that immediately sets the car apart from the regular GT. The 20” wheels (optional) are a must as is the hood scoop (standard with the RS3). Of the available shell colours and graphic package colour options, none are wrong.
The Roush Stage 3 looks special, as it should, as a low-volume tuner car.
Comparing the Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3
The car competes against many other tuned pony cars. The issue is that a 1,000-horsepower Camaro or Mustang is possible so long as money is not a problem.
If you are in the market for this kind of car, consider Lingenfelter, Callaway or Hennessey as some of the better-known aftermarket companies that make these great cars even better.