Before I was handed the keys to a 2007 Roush Nitemare F-150, I was warned that this truck handles like real nightmare. But to my surprise it handles like a performance beast Roush promised to deliver.
The Roush Nitemare is based on the 2007 regular cab 4x2 Styleside Ford F-150 and is availed only in a matte-black-on-black body color combo. The Nitemare Graphics Package includes matte-black hood and rear tailgate stripes that offset the shiny black paint. It also dons the famous Roush Fender and Tailgate badging in Black--of course. The front bumper was beefed up with a front chin spoiler, and the stock grille was replaced with a black aluminum billet grille to complete its dark and ghoulish good looks.
The Nitemare sits on Roush-stamped 20-Inch chrome wheels and performance tires. It also sits two inches lower in the front and three inches lower in the rear with the help from the Roush sport suspension system, which is one of the many other options you can add to the vehicle. The suspension was stiffened up with new rear leaf springs, specially valved shocks and a thick front swaybar. The truck definitely felt sporty on the highway, but when I looped around an Interstate overramp, the rear end bounced a little around the tight curve. This truck also sported a nonfunctional hood scoop with carbon fiber insert. As nice as it looked, I would've liked to see this option useful rather than cosmetic.
From the words of a good friend, "That's a Daym good-looking truck."
The Nitemare is built with an exclusive Roush charger stage-three 5.4-liter powerplant that boosts up to 445 horses and 500 lb-ft of torque. This mighty engine is stocked with performance components that include an intake manifolds, intercooler, radiator, an air induction system, and Roush-calibrated ECM.
Based on my lead foot and the 90-something miles between the office and my home, the Nitemare is the perfect street truck for highway driving when you need that extra power to climb highways with steep elevations and maneuver around obstacles on the roads. The engine's deep rumble, backed with a dual high-performance exhaust system was music to my ears.
The Nitemare build is limited to only 100. They'll all be labeled with a unique serial-number badge indicating production number. Ours happened to be #7 out of 100. In addition to the serial numbers, the engine is engraved with the signature of the worker who specifically built it in Livonia, Michigan. The Rousch Nitemare has a suggested retail price of $41,750, which includes over $16,000 in authentic Rousch performance and aesthetic upgrades backed by Rousch's 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.
So what do I think?
Having a truck with 445 horses sounds really cool, but what's the point when the governor kicks on at 105 mph. All that performance and no way to fully use it, but then again there aren't a lot of legal places in the U.S. to drive it faster than the average speed limit. The power does prove to be worthy when needed and the Rousch charger does scream with power when invoked. It makes me happy to hear an engine perform.
Now, I have to agree with my dear friend, it is a great-looking street-truck. I'm a sucker for almost all black vehicles so it was a natural match for me. The exterior touches were nice and subtle -- but still turned heads has I drove it around town.
I didn't mind the stiff suspension; it felt like a larger version of my tuned MINI Cooper on the highway as I felt every imperfect line and bump with the sporty tires. It didn't handle as well I wished for on large swooping turns, but it's a truck and they handle way different from what I'm used to driving.
I would sport the Roush Nitemare for its great look, Roush-tuned engine, and sporty suspension. I have to admit, it's a fun truck to drive. (So does this make me a ford girl now?)