2017 Roush RS Mustang review: Getting by on looks alone
Hi, Bob Aldons from Car Business. Let me do some numbers for you before handing over to Autoweek to comment. $US30k is $AUD39.5K Aussie dollars. Add some shipping and GST that equals $46170. And it’s a Roush RS Mustang, with colour, badges, exhaust, mats, gauges, 19” wheels, hood and body scoops, spoiler, front fascia kit. So why are Australian Mustang buyers still paying mid $50k’s for a bog standard V6 car?
$30K FOR AN AUTHENTIC ROUSH MUSTANG, BUT, WITH NO EXTRA POWER, IS IT MISSING THE POINT?
A philosophical question: Can a Roush RS Mustang be a Roush RS Mustang if it has the same horsepower as a stock Mustang? Is it possible for a Roush RS Mustang to cost less than $30K out the door? The answer to both is “yes,” evidenced by what’s happening right now in a clean-looking warehouse in Plymouth, Michigan. The only problem we have is that the best part of the company, its Roushcharger Eaton supercharger, is not included.
The 2017 Roush RS Mustang, based on the cheapo V6 Ford Mustang, comes with all Roush bits that don’t make your car any faster, but dammit, it’ll look the part. Now, before you scoff, or guffaw, or make any other noises, remember that the current six is as powerful as the GT from 10 years ago, so it ain’t no slowpoke. Now, this particular RS has an automatic transmission, which seems to slow it down a little. On the other hand, it does have a Roush exhaust system, which brings back a little bit of the bark, if not the bite.
So, for $4,500, on top of the price of a V6 Mustang, which is currently pegged at $25,815, you get 19-inch black GT performance pack wheels, a front fascia kit, hood and body scoops, rear blackout panel with Roush lettering, a rear decklid spoiler, windshield banner and a serialized engine badge.
And that brings us to another point. Though a Roush serial number may not carry the same weight as a Shelby serial number, it does mean something. We’d wager that somewhere down the line, if you sold one of these, it would go for more than a comparable V6.
Inside, Roush also adds a medallion on the dash, a Roush Design gauge cluster, embroidered floor mats and a supplemental owner’s guide.
Additionally, our tester had a custom Roush exhaust ($571.99) exiting out the back; unfortunately, it wasn’t the trick adjustable version that we tested back on the RS3. Roush reps also told us they suggest adding that exhaust and its cold-air intake. That plus an ECU change, also provided, will net you an extra 13 rear-wheel hp and 15 rear-wheel lb-ft, putting the total at 313 hp and 295 lb-ft — still well ahead of GTs of the past.
So, how does it drive? Pretty much like a V6 Mustang. Pedal weight, both throttle and brake, is good. The gas takes a little weight to push down, which we like, and the brakes have a short stroke but a good amount of feel. Power was just average in the one we drove, but we didn’t have that extra grunt from the intake and the tune. And the six-speed slushbox choked off the fun even further. Heavens to Betsy, get the manual.
But, with that intake, exhaust and tune — and six-speed — we bet the 313 hp would feel swift. And at that point you’re only out $31,485, just a smidge more than the $30K you were promised. By the way, once you option out a new Mustang GT from Ford, you’re already into the $40,000 range without working too hard.
So, a $30-or-so-thousand Mustang can be Roush-rated. Heck, most people won’t even notice the lack of Roushcharger graphics anyway. Tell ’em you have the big boy, and if necessary, give them a ride. If they haven’t been in a Mustang for a while, they’ll be none the wiser.
MSRP V6 MPG MSRP V6 L/100
$24,645 17 / 28 $45990 13.8 / 8.4
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