roush p51b 001Enlarge Photo
Last year's SEMA show brought a creation inspired by a P-51 fighter plane from Roush, and though this year's show just ended last week, Roush is building a new incarnation of the fighter-car for 2009. Dubbed the P-51B, the car is an evolution of the concept, gaining a few upgrades, but maintaining the look and feel of the previous car.
The primary upgrades for the 2009 model-year P-51B include a 2009 Mustang chassis, Roush six-piston brakes, black chrome wheels, and a vent-pod gauge that reads the boost put out by the supercharger. Speaking of forced induction, the same 4.6L V8 and blower are fitted to the new car, generating 510hp (380kW) and 510lb-ft (690Nm) of torque. The pistons get more dish, however, to lower compression from 9.8 to 8.6, so the boost has no doubt been upped to compensate. To deliver all the fuel necessary to crank out that much power, an upgrade delivery system has been installed.
Putting that much power to the ground requires beefy components, so the clutch also gets an upgrade, while the big black chrome wheels get Cooper RS3 ultra-high performance street tires to help deliver grip. A Roush Stage 3 suspension helps the big car hold the road, and a custom fighter-plane treatment in Olive Drab green gives the car the right look.
Cosmetic accents include a rear decklid blackout panel, a P-51B logo on the shifter ball, seats and floor mats, and a six-piece Roush body kit for the aeronautical flavor the car needs. The P-51B is a limited edition car, with just 51 units to roll out as 2009 model-year cars, though like other Roush creations, expect more to come off the line as 2010 models.
"The 2009 ROUSH P-51B is really the closest thing we can do to truly match the performance and styling of the fighter plane," said Jack Roush. "Just like the airplane, the P-51B Mustang has the power to outrun most anything, can turn like virtually nothing else, and will make those other 'pilots' have second thoughts before engaging in a skirmish."
Since their nearly-simultaneous inception, cars and airplanes have had something of a love-hate relationship, at times challenging each other in races or other showdowns, but at others borrowing styling and themes across enemy lines. Saab's entire lineup purports to be 'born from jets', Subaru made an ill-fated attempt to draw on its aeronautical heritage with a family-wide grille design (now defunct), and the Lamborghini Reventon has made a famous venture into fighter-jet territory.