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Road Test: 2007 Roush 427R

By - March 20, 2007 – 1:10 pmNo Comment | 12,827 views

It takes a lot to stay on top of a competitive industry, but Roush Performance has managed to do just that. Despite the flood of aftermarket parts for the Ford Mustang in the last several years, the Detroit-based manufacturing company has maintained a leadership position in the industry with no less than seven Roush Mustang variants available for purchase at dealerships, as well as a wide range of performance parts for Mustangs ’99 and up. Previously, the Stage 3 Mustang has been the top model, with 415 horsepower, complete body kit, and upgrades to the suspension, brakes and more. For 2007 Roush has introduced a new top dog with the 427-R, the most powerful production Roush Mustang at the time of its introduction (since taken over by the 430 horsepower limited edition BlackJack Mustang). Based on the Stage 3, the 427-R follows the “less is better” philosophy with more than $5,500 worth of core components left off the standard features list found on the Stage 3. Roush describes the 427-R as “slightly less in content but includes 100 percent of the fun factor.”

On first impression, the 427-R actually has a much cleaner design than the Stage 3. The Roush Body Kit leaves out the side skirts and rear fascia, creating a much trimmer look. The front fascia and Roush Rear Wing help maintain an aggressive appearance, which is only enhanced by the hockey stick stripes running across the front fender. The stripes might be too showy for some people, but Roush did an excellent job integrating them into the design of the car. The use of the 427 fender badge is questionable, mostly because that generally denotes the displacement of what’s underneath the hood. Other drivers would pull up at stoplights and ask if it had a 427, only to receive the sheepish response that it was a “mere” supercharged 4.6-liter V8. Still, the 427-R is by far the best looking Mustang that Roush offers.

Inside, the 427-R offers identical equipment as the Stage 3, although all of it is optional. Leaving out these options definitely makes for a less expensive purchase price, but the interior bits help make the car feel like a complete Mustang package rather than just a Mustang with some aftermarket parts in it. Each of the options adds to the comfort or unique look of the car, and it’s hard to imagine too many people leaving them off the car. The Roush Leather Seats ($1,725) were comfortable and supportive, while the white faced gauges ($390) and Roush Carbon Fiber Trim Kit ($350) look fantastic. However, the best part of the interior is the Roush Short Throw Shifter. The white ball knob (black is also offered) and steel shifter arm not only look great, but it provides a much more accurate and shorter throw. Selecting a gear requires a little more effort, although the result is an improvement in precision and overall feel. Moving through the gears is a rewarding and fun experience, and shifting changes from a requirement to perhaps the most enjoyable experience driving the car.

Fortunately, the 427-R goes through the rpm range fast enough to require frequent gear shifts. The Roush ROUSHcharger Supercharger Kit found on the Stage 3 pushes the horsepower out to 415 horsepower and 385 lb-ft torque, and the addition of an off-road exhaust system working with new specially tuned programming bumps up horsepower another twelve to the magical 427 number. This is good enough to hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, and the quarter mile passes by in 13.3 seconds at 108 mph. Acceleration is brisk, but it’s not the kick-in-the-pants type of acceleration that you might expect from a 400+ horsepower car. Compared to a GT500 or any other Mustangs with an aftermarket supercharger, the 427-R just doesn’t have the same grunt. A set of 3.73 gears would do wonders for the car and would keep the car in its powerband more often.

What the 427-R lacks in accelerative gusto, it makes up in handling. The Roush suspension system provides for razor sharp steering via upgraded front struts, rear shocks, front and rear springs and sway bars, and jounce bumpers. It’s somewhat stiffer than the stock setup, but much more direct. The 427-R goes exactly where you want it to go, reacting quickly and accurately to every steering input. The 18-inch wheels and Cooper Zeon 2XS 275/40ZR18 tires offered plenty of grip and a compliant ride.

In the braking department, Roush offers their 14-inch front brake upgrade as an option. Our test car disappointingly retained the stock setup, although we weren’t in a situation that exceeded its capabilities. However, with 427 horsepower on tap, any track-goers will want to check the $2,699 option.

At a base price of $42,039, the 427-R is priced similarly to the Shelby GT500 at MSRP, and although the Roush can’t compete in the horsepower war, it shifts better, handles better, looks better, and has more personality than the Shelby. Even at our car’s as-tested price of $45,264, it’s much cheaper than the going rate of a Shelby or a supercharged Saleen Mustang. Overall, Roush put together an impressive package with the 427-R, with attractive visual upgrades combined with balanced performance from the engine and suspension.

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