2019 Roush Mustang RS3 first drive: Join the club

Your choices for 2019 are between a six-speed manual and the new ten-speed automatic. The convertible I’m in has the ten-speed with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The usual sales mix at Roush is 80 percent manuals and 20 percent automatics, by the way. Roush is a pre-title manufacturer meaning that, as opposed to a Hennessey or Shelby American, it gets the cars directly from Ford, makes its changes and then sends the cars out to dealerships, which are the only places you can order them. That also means the parts are under warranty and that they comply with all DOT, EPA and CARB rules. If you buy a supercharger and slap it on your car, it doesn’t have to comply to the same rules.
This car has Roush’s ride-height adjustable coilover suspension that only has one level of damping. A three-way adjustable setup is optional. It also has the Roush leather seating with red stitching for $1,750, something I might skip, and black wheels for $400. The base price of this particular car was $54,635, before the Stage 3 package, $5,075 in upgrades and the gas guzzler tax. So this one seems expensive, but if you get a base-ish GT Mustang hardtop as your base, you could be out of the dealer for around $60K.