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Test Drive: 2008 ROUSH 427R Trak Pak Mustang

A Day at the Track with Roush's Weekend Warrior Mustang

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2008 ROUSH 427R Trak Pak Mustang

Behind the wheel of the 427R Trak Pak Mustang.

Photo © Dito Milian
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When I think of ROUSH I think performance. Jack Roush is, after all, a racing legend who knows what it takes to win. His Mustangs are known worldwide. One of his Mustangs in particular, the ROUSH 427R Trak Pak Mustang, is more than your regular tire smoking street ride. Based on the popular Stage 3 Mustang, this street legal car was built for both street and track. So when the folks at ROUSH told me I could get behind the wheel of the car at Thunderhill Park Raceway, I jumped at the opportunity. Price: $58,245. Production Total: 100

First Glance: More than Tough Looks

It was close to 7 a.m. on a warm Willows, Calif. morning when I first set eyes on the ROUSH Trak Pak Mustang test car. Thunderhill Track guru David Ray pulled up in the car, its exhaust pipes emitting an almost heavenly note. Ray is the founder of Hooked on Driving, a performance driving school. He’s also held race lap records at Thunderhill. Lucky for me, he was on hand to give me some pointers.

Upon first glance, I noticed the red Trak Pak’s adjustable carbon fiber rear wing. It definitely gives the car a serious look. Best of all, it’s “fully functional”. When you’re out there on the track burning through turns, the rear wing comes to life. Its job is to provide rear downforce which helps the Trak Pak handle like a pro. As with most features of the Trak Pak, the optional $700 carbon fiber wing performs its job well.

Other visual features of the Trak Pak Mustang include its three piece ROUSH aero body kit consisting of front fascia, front chin spoiler, and “ROUSHCharged” hood scoop. Oh, and then there’s the rims. The Trak Pak sports 18-inch forged wheels painted dark charcoal for an all performance look. Better yet, the car rides on sticky BFGoodrich gForce KDW T/A tires which offer superior grip on both the road and track.

In the Driver's Seat: It’s all Jack Roush

2008 ROUSH 427R Trak Pak Mustang

2008 ROUSH 427R Trak Pak Mustang

Photo © Dito Milian
The interior of the ROUSH Trak Pak Mustang has Roush written all over it. No, really, it does. For starters, the car features ROUSH signature sport leather seating. After spending hours in its confines, I’m happy to report the adjustable driver’s seat provides plenty of support and comfort for long track excursions.

Next up is the Trak Pak’s gauges. The car features a ROUSH tachometer and ROUSH Speedometer, separated by the “Jack Roush” signature touch. The tach closes out at 8,000 rpm while the speedometer reports a hair over 140 mph.

The car also features a short throw shifter with retro-style ball. This feature made for quick and easy shifting on the track. One of the most prominent features inside the car, however, is its 3-gauge dash pod with engine oil temperature, coolant temperature, and a boost gauge. In fact, most folks who stopped by to talk about the car (and believe me, there were quite a few...) asked about the pods. Popular questions included “Where can I get those?” and “Were they difficult to install?” Fortunately, they are standard equipment on the Trak Pak, so no install is required.

On The Track: It’s Ready to Win

Next stop was the race track. After running several hot laps with Ray, I was off to put the Trak Pak through its paces. If you've ever been to Thunderhill, the track offers a variety of challenges, including the popular turn 5, a.k.a "The Cyclone."

Ray was kind enough to show me the proper racing line around the track and reminded me to let the car do its fair share of the work. If any car is up for the task, the Trak Pak is ready. After all, many cars require quite a bit of work behind the wheel to keep them performing up to par. The 427R Trak Pak required minimal effort. In fact, understeer was non-existent. Even more impressive was how the Trak Pak cornered. Whether I was cornering at 70, 80, or even 90 mph, the car refused to fade. Yes, 90 mph. When ROUSH’s Joe Thompson said, “the ROUSH 427R Trak Pak Mustang is our best-handling Mustang ever,” he wasn’t kidding. The car took turns like it was on rails.

In the straightaways, the Trak Pak, complete with its intercooled ROUSHcharger, was capable of showing its true power. Acceleration was quick and aggressive, breaking the 100 mph mark with ease. With 435 hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque at my disposal, the car was fast.

Oh, and then there’s the brakes. You have to stop sometime right? Well, the Trak Pak offered superior stopping power on the track. The Trak Pak can stop on a dime, courtesy of its 6-piston front brakes backed by 14-inch, two-piece slotted front rotors and slotted rear rotors. I didn’t truly realize how good the car’s brakes were until I stepped back into my daily driver Mustang at the end of the day.

Journey's End: If I Won The Lottery, I’d Own This Car

2008 ROUSH 427R Trak Pak Mustang

2008 ROUSH 427R Trak Pak Mustang

Photo © Dito Milian
I’ve driven my fair share of Mustangs. That said, I was extremely impressed with ROUSH’s 427R Trak Pak Mustang. The car is the complete package through and through. Did I mention it comes equipped with adjustable camber/caster plates?

Best of all, the car has no problem backing up its tough looking exterior. If you don’t believe me, just take a look under its hood. The set up consists of a ROUSHcharger, air induction system, intake manifolds, and ROUSH calibrated ECM.

The only thing I didn’t like about the car is its production numbers. Only 100 were created, which means, unless you got in early, you’ll have to find someone willing to sell theirs before you can own one. Fortunately, current owners of ROUSH Mustangs will be able to purchase some of the 427R Trak Pak Mustang components for their cars.

Oh, and at $58,245, the car isn’t necessarily cheap. But let me say, you definitely get what you pay for. Those lucky enough to own one will find a car capable pulling double duty as both a daily driver and a weekend warrior on the track.

What I liked about the 2008 ROUSH Trak Pak Mustang:

What I didn’t like:

  • Only 100 were produced

Who should buy the 2008 ROUSH Trak Pak Mustang:

Anyone looking for a top notch race car they can legally drive to the track.

Who should not buy the 2008 ROUSH Trak Pak Mustang:

People who don’t like to drive fast.
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