To read part 1, click here.
It is a chilly April morning in Plymouth Township, and Jeff Black is surrounded by the thunder of Mustang engines. He says goodbye to his 2012 GT convertible as it is driven into the belly of the ROUSH Performance factory, to emerge on the other side, a supercharged monster of performance engineering.
The nervous father, Jeff alternately paces and sits, staring into space, waiting for his new baby. I may have taken this metaphor too far.
The Birth of Performance Engineering
Before we dive in, take a deep breath, because this post is going to be wordier and more technical than the last one. I promise, it is worth it.
At ROUSH, each vehicle is treated like the invaluable machine it is. After all, every vehicle they supercharge is somebody’s favorite car (or truck).
ROUSH Performance was formed in 1995 on the heels of the legendary performances of Jack Roush’s vehicles at major raceways around the world. Jack Roush and Ford have gone hand-in-hand all the way back to Roush’s first job out of college, working with Ford in 1964. ROUSH Racing has gone on to become the winningest Ford racing team in history, so when ROUSH makes a car, you can assume from the get-go it will be one of the fastest cars you will ever encounter.
ROUSH Supercharging: From the Bottom Up
Getting your car supercharged can be a relatively simple process, since the supercharger itself is a bolt-on application. However, with ROUSH, you’re not just getting the supercharger, you’re getting the whole system. They re-engineer the chassis, adding a new suspension system, specially-designed tires, as well as all the relevant pieces to enhance the supercharger under the hood.
Jeff decided to go with a ROUSHcharger system after deciding that it was just as impressive to get a 2012 GT and get it ROUSHcharged professionally as it would be to get a Boss 302 off the showroom floor.
And, I mean, look at it (below, left)… he’s not wrong.
Anatomy of a Mustang
Jeff took his GT to Roush shooting for the Phase 2/Stage 3 performance package, which is an aftermarket modification package. According to Roush Performance, “the heart of the Stage 3 Mustang is the ROUSHcharged powertrain. Featuring Eaton’s award-winning Twin Vortices Series (TVS) technology, the R2300 supercharger combined with ROUSH’s high-efficiency intercooler and an OE-level PCM calibration boost the ‘Coyote’ 5.0L’s output to a tire punishing 575 HP and 505 lb-ft TQ. Team that up with the optional Ford Racing “Aluminator” engine and you’ve got the ultimate building block for the 625 HP Phase 2” upgrade.
So it’s not just ROUSH’s own roots-style supercharger. ROUSH took Jeff’s car down to its powertrain and tires to enhance each part and make it the best vehicle it could possibly be.
For more on the science of supercharging, and what these terms mean, check out HowStuffWorks.com’s complete guide to the technology.
The Proud Papa and His New Baby
Several days after the trip to Plymouth Township, Charlie Watson came into my office, holding his phone out with a “You’ve got to see this right now” look on his face. It’s a face that you usually get when someone wants to show you this adorable video of their niece, or this hilarious SnapChat of their cat taking a bath. I had low expectations (sorry, Charlie).
He pressed play on the video, and I got to watch (and more importantly, hear) Jeff’s Mustang rev up. It’s never occurred to me that that much horsepower legitimately sounds like a stampede of 625 horses, thundering past and leaving your clothes in disarray, but it’s exactly like that. Even as a guy who is really more about a car that gets him from point A to point B with minimal gas mileage, I felt a distinct need in the pit of my stomach. I was actually lusting after a car. That never happens to me.
Roush made a believer out of me. Jeff Black and Charlie Watson made it happen.
Jeff is living the dream now, driving his street-legal racecar around southwestern Ohio with Charlie and their buddies. We’ll check back in with Jeff around the beginning of August to find out how it feels at the top of the heap in terms of performance cars.
See you there.