What It's Like Driving a 650-HP, Roush'd Ford F-150

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC

Cars.com photos by Brian Wong

By Brian Wong

The Roush F-150 SC starts as a Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCrew 4x4 with a 5.0-liter V-8, 10-speed automatic transmission and a 5.5-foot bed; from there, it gets a little wild. Roush Performance offers a few different modification packages for Ford F-150 trucks, and I had a chance to test its F-150 SC, which Roush says sits at the nexus of both on-road and off-road capability.

Under the hood, Roush adds a supercharger, cold air intake and new engine calibration, bumping engine output up to 650 horsepower and 610 pounds-feet of torque, which are gains of 255 hp and 210 pounds-feet of torque over the standard engine.

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Engine

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Engine Badge

 

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There's also a Roush/Fox performance suspension with a 2-inch lift, 20-inch wheels wrapped in aggressive Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3 all-terrains and a Roush dual tip performance exhaust system. Roush also adds a series of exterior enhancements, including a unique front grille and front bumper cover, more prominent fender flares and graphics for the hood, sides of the bed, windshield and doors. You don't buy one of these to see it mistaken for a run-of-the-mill F-150.

So what does all this performance cost? On top of the $62,455 price of the F-150, the Roush F-150 SC adds $26,849 in extras and destination charges for an $89,304 price tag.

How the Roush F-150 SC Drives

Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to take the Roush off-road. My few hours in the truck were spent on pavement, including some canyon roads in Southern California. It's no small task keeping something this large pointed upright, but the 2-inch-lifted suspension did a good job at double duty considering its off-road capability. There's body roll, but it's controllable and I didn't hear too much chirping out the all-terrain tires that are quite aggressive. The Roush had admirable ride quality given its setup. I was expecting more tire noise and choppiness, but it rode pretty smoothly on the asphalt.

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Exterior

With 650 hp on tap, it does make for some hijinks. The Roush ably uses its power for bursts of acceleration. However, I was actually expecting a bit more dynamism from the Roush's powertrain. Don't get me wrong — it's still plenty quick, especially for a big ole truck. But there is a building rush rather than a burst as I was expecting. I was most let down by the exhaust note. From the cabin, the truck sounds quite tame; an active exhaust that switches between various exhaust volumes is optional.

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Exhaust

But What About the Shelby F-150?

We've tested a similar truck out of the Shelby garage, the Shelby F-150 that comes with a closely matched set of options: a 4-inch suspension lift, big all-terrain tires, extra high-flow air intake and, of course, a supercharged V-8. The Shelby wins the power war with the Roush, cranking out 755 hp that hits with more urgency. It also has a superior sound with its supercharger unleashing banshee screams as the truck flies.

The Shelby does cost more, however, stickering just less than $107,000 in our testing — but it is the more bonkers of the two trucks.

And the Raptor?

The other elephant in the room is, of course, the Ford F-150 Raptor, which is by itself really, really good. I enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Roush; it's big but still somewhat nimble. Ultimately, I was impressed by the Roush, but it just felt (and with standard exhaust sounded) a bit too ordinary for my liking, seeing as you can get a similar experience in a Raptor.

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Editor's note: This post was updated May 16, 2019, to correct the price of the Roush SC package.

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Mountain Background

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Exterior Rear

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Exterior Rear Angle

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Windshield

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Front Grille

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Front Roush Badge

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC F-150 Badge

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC American Flag Badge

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Roush Decal

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Tires

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Floormat

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Interior Seat

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Center Console Badge

2018 Ford Roush F-150 SC Windshield Autograph

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