10-02-08:Roush Performance and Cooper tires recently announced an 18-month partnership spent to develop the next generation of ultra high performance tires. To celebrate their new RS3 road and track tire, they created new Roush RS3/C edition Mustang. This prototype is the forerunner of a short run of niche edition Roush Mustangs planned for later this year. While some snicker at all the variations of cars Roush has been producing, they have been enormously successful at selling every one of them.
The example we got to hammer out on Michigan’s Gingerman Raceway was equipped much like a Roush 427R or Stage 3 Mustang with the 445hp ROUSHcharged power plant complete with chrome blower. Suspension was the latest iteration of the Roush Stage 3 components tuned specifically for the new 275/40/18 Cooper RS3 tires.
Visually, the RS3/C has the basic Roush body treatment. Our tester had the slick carbon fiber Trak-Pak wing, special black-out Roush badges on the fenders and rear panel, billet grille, and dark charcoal 18” forged wheels also from the Trak Pak. The interior featured highly bolstered Roush leather seating with grabber orange color keyed stitching, short throw shifter and carbon fiber trim.
A single flat black stripe runs from the front fascia to the rear flanks, playing off the dark wheel treatment. It seems a look that will be best suited to highly contrasting light paint colors. Overall, Roush gets kudos for creating a fresh new look for the 4-year old Mustang body style.
On the track, the car was wickedly fun to drive. The Roush 14” front brakes combined with Cooper’s new super sticky tires made pulling this thing down from 110 mph on the straights a shockingly abrupt maneuver. Lap after lap, no fading and little intervention from the ABS. But, this is true of all Roush Stage 3 based cars.
The RS3/C is said to become available sometime around November or December. The exact number to be built, available colors, and standard equipment has not been nailed down yet but we will find out soon enough.