Roush Performance today unveils the fifth-generation ’10 Roush Ford Mustang, which went from concept vehicle to production model in 11 months – a record for the niche-market player.

The approval last April of conceptual drawings “kicked off everything,” says Jack Roush, chairman of Michigan-based Roush Enterprises, parent of Roush Performance.

“We wanted to be as close to having our car available to the same time the dealers would start to get their inventory of the stock Ford ’10 Mustang, so there were a lot of people working under a very tight deadline,” he says.

To facilitate the accelerated timetable, Roush relied heavily on computer-aided design and engineering systems for design and validation. This process allowed engineers to go from “art to part” quickly and reliably, the executive says.

In total, more than 11,600 hours were invested in initial designs, clay modeling, styling, CAD drafting and surfacing. That equates to 5.6 years using conventional product-development processes, Roush adds.

In some cases, engineers were able to go straight from data to tooling, eliminating the prototype phase.

To speed up the powertrain and chassis validation process, ’09 Mustangs were used because of their similarity to the ’10 models.

The Roush Mustang will be available in three models – the Stage 1, Stage 2 and 427R.

The Stage 1 will feature an appearance package, that includes a new front fascia and front splitter, rear fascia, side splitters and a 3-piece rear wing. Its suggested retail price is $34,847.

The Stage 2 benefits from the same appearance upgrades, but adds a new suspension setup designed to enhance handling. The Stage 2 also features a wheel-hop reduction kit and will retail at $36,221.

The high-end 427R boasts a patented “Roushcharger” supercharger that boosts output from the car’s 4.6L V-8 engine to 435 hp from 315 hp. Peak torque goes to 400 lb.-ft. (542 Nm) from 325 lb.-ft. (440 Nm).

Under the hood of the 427R, Roush eliminated the long air-induction tube that wrapped around the engine on earlier models to enhance the engine bay’s appearance.

The intercooler reservoir is more than doubled in size, compared with previous generations. The intercooler, itself, is a single-core, cross-flow radiator for more efficient cooling.

Roush paid particular attention to imbuing the 427R with a “true OEM appearance,” going as far as to match the Ford grain on the radiator reservoir with the one used on the intercooler.

Engine shrouds also were upgraded. They are composed of 100% molded rubber with abrasion resistance.

All three Roush models will ride on 18-in. cast-chrome wheels that come shod with high-performance Cooper Zeon tires. A 20-in. wheel will be available as an option.

The cars will be assembled at Roush’s Livonia, MI, plant and will be available for sale at Roush-authorized Ford dealers in late April.

bpope@wardsauto.com