2012 Roush Mustang RS3
2012 Roush Mustang RS3
2012 Roush Mustang RS3. Click image to enlarge

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Manufacturer’s web site
Roush Performance

Review and photos by Gerry Frechette

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2012 Roush Mustang RS3

The introduction of the Ford Mustang with the new 5.0-litre V8 has given a new platform to Roush Performance Products on which to apply all its high-performance improvements.

The ultimate Roush Mustang for 2012 is the Stage 3, or RS3 for short. As the name implies, there are also Stages 1 and 2 available, the former being the entry level with mostly trim and styling upgrades, and the latter adding suspension tweaks to the menu. The Stage 3 takes all that and adds a big dose of horsepower to the equation, in a way familiar to fans of Roush cars – with a supercharger.

Starting with the styling enhancements, they include a Roush front fascia, chin and side splitters, rear valance, decklid spoiler, fender badges and windshield banner. There are some new upgrades for the 2012 model year, including the front fascia blackout graphic, rear blackout panel with Jack Roush signature, and Roush “R” faux gas cap badge. Inside, there are embroidered floor mats, and a Roush centre console button.

The Roush Stage 2 suspension system includes specially designed front struts, rear shocks, front and rear springs, front and rear sway bars, and jounce bumper.

But it is the Stage 3 that commands all the attention from enthusiasts. Take all of the above, add the supercharger and numerous other standard or available parts, and you get a very hot performance car.

2012 Roush Mustang RS3
2012 Roush Mustang RS3. Click image to enlarge

How hot? The blower bumps power from the stock 5.0’s 412 to a robust 540, with 465 lb.-ft. of torque. We see no mention of any upgrades to the drivetrain behind the engine, so we presume the stock transmission (six-speed manual only) and differential are stout enough to handle the added power.

Slowing the beast is your choice of three braking systems, starting with the standard Mustang brakes. It would probably be a good thing to add at least the Sport Brake Package (for $1,450, all figures $US), with its four-piston calipers. For those planning on track days in their RS3, there is a Competition Brake Package ($3,687) with six-piston calipers and larger rotors.

Cooper tires are not so well-known in Canada, and indeed, the only time we have seen them on a performance car is on the Roush cars. But the RS3 we drove, with optional 20-inch Cooper RS3 tires on chrome wheels ($1,115 for the package), seemed to handle its race-track duties well with them on, so one should assume that they are capable of holding up their end of the performance recipe. Standard are 18-inch Cooper 2XS tires.

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