By Rex Roy
What you have before you is no normal Ford truck derivative — but you knew that at first glance, right?
No, the latest creation from the Jack Roush racing and industrial empire is anything but normal. Roush’s personal and corporate relations with Ford have led to numerous offspring, some widely accepted and others still on the down low. Roush’s relationship with the big blue oval is so close, that Roush products like the recent Stage 3 Mustang and this Stage 3 F-150 are sold through Roush-authorized Ford dealers and carry full warranties.
The base for the Stage 3 comes from the high end of the Ford pickup line, the two-wheel-drive Super Cab in Lariat trim. In non-Roush form, this F-150 with an eight-foot bed features a competent 300-horsepower 5.4-liter OHC V-8 hooked to a heavy-duty four-speed automatic. Things change a bit once the pit crew at Roush finishes adding an in-the-valley supercharger, a charge cooler, and other enhancements. Horsepower increases to 445 and torque hits an even 500, up from 365 lb-ft.
To keep up with its new muscle, the Stage 3 ditches key suspension bits from Ford and replaces them with Roush-tuned units. The front coil and rear leaf springs are new, as are custom-valved Bilstein shocks and front sway bar. The results are obvious before the truck turns a tire. The front ride height drops two inches, while the rear drops three.
The extra inch of drop in the rear evens out the truck’s landscape-biased profile so the long hood, roof, and box are all perfectly parallel with the pavement. This visually lengthens the Stage 3’s look even beyond its considerable 18.6 feet.
The under-the-metal modifications are broadcast by a boy-racer exterior and interior graced by 22 (!) non-Ford logos. Beyond the obvious decals and badges, observant eyes will find the Roush name on each wheel rim, at the tips of the high-performance side exhaust, under the hood, and even under foot on the signature brake pedal.