Collectors, listen up. Though the much-anticipated '05 models are upon us, the folks at Roush Performance thought maybe you'd like just one more special Fox-4-chassis New Edge edition to finish off that particular era of your Mustang collection. Meet the '04 Roush 440A, its moniker meant to recognize both its 400 hp and the 40th anniversary of the Mustang breed. In another nifty coincidence, the "40" in its name also signifies its production volume. That's right, just two score of the 440A will be produced-with more convertibles than coupes-at Roush's 1,000,000-square-foot Livonia, Michigan facility.
We'd have to guess the reason for the bias toward ragtops is that the single dealership that has bought the entire 40-car allotment is Brandon Ford, located in Central Florida, perhaps all too handily just down the road from our editorial offices. Life doesn't get much better than the sun on your face and 400 ponies at the command of your right foot, but why would one dealer step up for the full 440A production run, especially when the '05s were about ready to start rolling off the trucks at the same time? Brandon Ford's general manager Wayne Hammond rationalizes it this way: "We've been the top-selling Roush dealer for a few years. A majority of our customers buy Roush vehicles as collector cars. When it was announced that the horsepower would be significantly high and that the production would be significantly low, we wanted to capture the entire market." A brave move that will, we suspect, pay off as we bid a final farewell to the New Edge SN-95.
As did those other two Roush supercharged supercars-the Stage 3 and the 380R-the 440A uses an air-to-liquid intercooled Roots blower, with Eaton internals. But this time its pulley diameter is whittled down from 76 mm to 73 mm, resulting in an increase in boost from 6 to 8 psi. To facilitate this additional airflow, a high-flow air filter and a 2.5-inch after-cat exhaust with 3-inch tips also differentiate the 440A from the 380-horse Stage 3 and 380R. Roush tells us the 440A's 4.6 Two-Valve actually dynos at something north of 407 hp, but the company settled on a nice, round 400 ponies for marketing purposes.
As can easily be seen, there's more to the 440A than just power. Its look is toughened with a special hood wearing twin stripes that also extend over the assertive front fascia and the trunk lid, as well as the roof on coupe models. The trunk lid wears a distinctive wing on top and the famous Roush tool kit underneath. Nostalgic '60s-style stripes also adorn the rocker panels, leaving no doubt to onlookers that this is indeed a 440A. At either end of those rockers are chrome 18-inch, five-spoke Roush rims wrapped in BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KD skins, 265/35 up front and a generous 295/35 out back where all the action takes place. The chassis is identical to the Stage 3's, with Roush-specific lowering springs, dampers, a front antiroll bar, and aluminum rear lower control arms. The 440A retains its factory brakes, however.