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540 HP = No Waiting!

Spinning tires in the 2012 Roush RS3

by on Dec.23, 2011

Roush RS3 – it doesn’t stay stationary for long. All photos for this article by author Jason Sakurai.

We road test a lot of vehicles, and some are simply more inspiring than others. There are hybrids, econocars, family sedans, European luxury boats, and then there’s the 2012 Roush Stage 3 Mustang convertible.

Ford’s Mustang is a nice ride, no question about it, but when Jack Roush, of Roush-Fenway Racing fame, and one of the world’s leading automotive authorities, tweaks it, you get something positively evil, wicked, mean and nasty.

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The front engine/rear-wheel-drive configuration uses Ford’s 5.0L 4-valve DOHC TiVCT 412 HP Coyote engine. To that, Roush adds its R2300 supercharger with 10 PSI of boost.  What you wind up with is 540 readily available horses. Roush also includes a 3-year/36,000 mile powertrain warranty for those prone to excessive applications of the go pedal.

540 supercharged HP means no waiting & no regrets -- unless you miss that radar cop.

A 6-speed manual transmission places 510 ft./lbs. of torque where it’s needed, allowing for smoky burnouts at will or the initiation of awe inspiring in-traffic maneuvers with a few short throws of the shifter. The sound of the RS3 is a dead giveaway, as the Roush exhaust, with its hollow-chamber muffler design growls at idle and low speeds.

The suspension system, which consists of Roush front struts, rear shocks, front and rear springs, stabilizer bars, jounce bumpers, and an anti-wheel hop kit, lowers the RS3 and gets the power to the ground. Its 4-piston, 14-inch brake rotor system can be had with red or black brake calipers, and its 20-inch Hyper-Black wheels were shod with Cooper UHP RS3 tires on this example.

Pulling away, the view most will see of the RS3.

Among the exterior upgrades are the ROUSH front fascia with driving lights, chin spoiler, side rocker splitters, rear valence, rear deck-lid spoiler, and square exhaust tips that get the valet parking attendants at even the toniest of L.A. eateries to park the RS3 right up front.

Interior enhancements include leather seats with an embroidered RS3 logo, illuminated sill plates, a black or white shifter ball, and an engraved Stage 3 badge with the car’s serial number. You wouldn’t think of putting two teenagers in what passes for an upholstered package tray, yet young women in beach communities think nothing of contorting themselves to ride in that same back seat with the top down.

Red brake calipers contrast with the Hyper-Black 20” wheels.

Roush’s color options package allows for personalization of three elements: 8 vehicle, 6 graphic, and 6 graphic accent colors, for a staggering 288 color combinations. To view the paint colors, graphics and other options, visit the ROUSH Online Vehicle Configurator at www.Roushperformance.com.

Want to own a Roush? They have a well-established distribution  network of Ford dealers and independent specialists, one of the latter being Hillbank Motors (www.hillbankmotorsports.com) in Irvine, California, which also happen to build turnkey Superformance Cobras utilizing Roush powerplants.

This Kona Blue Roush RS3 convertible had an MSRP of $62,000, although with taxes, title, destination and other assorted fees you’re nudging closer to $65,000. Thanks to Roush Performance and Hillbank Motors for their assistance with the road test – even idling in rush hour traffic is more bearable in a car of this caliber.

 

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