First Drive: 2018 Roush F-150 SC
2018 Roush F-150 SC Packs a 650HP Punch
Ford will happily sell you a high-performance version of the F-150, and it’s called the Raptor. But when the current-generation off-road pickup was introduced for 2017, some were left frustrated by its single powertrain offering, a twin-turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost V-6. Although it offers plenty of power, some die-hard truck fans believe that a pickup needs eight cylinders under the hood, no matter what.
If you find yourself in that camp, you might also find yourself at home in this machine, the 2018 Roush F-150 SC. “Roushcharged” with a TVS R2650 supercharger pumping boost to a standard 5.0L V-8, the F-150 SC produces a very impressive 650 hp and 610 lb-ft with absolutely no lag, thanks to the supercharger’s twin four-lobe rotors. The suspension gets massaged as well, courtesy of a Fox 2.0 suspension kit that adds up to 2 inches of front leveling and a surprising amount of nimbleness on twisty roads. The suspension makes plenty of room for the Roush F-150’s standard 20-inch wheels and General Grabber ATX LT305/55R20 tires.
Those wheels are a small part of the cosmetic upgrade package, which also includes a front grille with Raptor-inspired accent lighting and bold “ROUSH” script; satin-black hood, side, and tailgate graphics; fender flares; and optional leather seating with the Roush logo embroidered into the seatbacks. Our tester came thus equipped, and it also featured a $660 splash graphics package and $390 locking vault in the center console. Together with the $1,800 leather package, the total cost for our particular Roush package was $25,849 over and above the cost of the Ford F-150. Be judicious with the cost of your base truck and you could potentially put a Roush F-150 SC like the one we drove in your garage for about $70,000.
On the road, the Roush F-150 SC feels very special. Its elevated stance made us feel like kings of the road, with plenty of sound and fury coming from the package’s standard performance exhaust (an app-controlled active exhaust is optional). Tipping into the throttle revealed surprisingly linear power delivery, but the unfortunate side effect of that smooth powertrain was that the truck didn’t feel as boisterous or energetic as its 650 hp would suggest (maybe we’re just addicted to drama). Also unfortunate was the gearbox’s infrequent but noticeable clunky shifts. We’ve caught Ford’s 10-speed transmission with its pants down before, and those occasional snafus are made much more apparent when there are 610 units of twist going through the cogs.
However, the V-8 gives the Roush F-150 SC a decidedly American soundtrack that’s unlike the high-performance-vacuum-cleaner noises found in the Raptor. That—plus the truck’s impressive on-road ride, comfortable interior, aggressive looks, and 3-year/36,000-mile warranty—could make it worth every penny to the right buyer. In relaxed driving, it’s all but indistinguishable from a regular F-150, thanks to unaltered towing and payload ratings, with wonderfully angry noises and turbine-smooth acceleration just a twitch of your big toe away. It’s like getting two trucks for the price of one.
2018 Roush Ford F-150 SCVehicle type: Five passenger, fullsize pickup
Package price: $25,849 (plus cost of truck and $1,000 delivery)
Price as tested: $79,000 (est.)
Engine: Supercharged 5.0L V-8
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Torque: 610 lb-ft
Curb weight: 4,200 to 4,900 pounds (depending on configuration)
Towing capacity: Up to 11,300 pounds
EPA mileage rating: NA