It comes with 650 ponies waiting to be unleashed in all their glory

Roush has been into performance engineering since 1976. The company has a rich heritage, and the founder, Jack Roush, had a drag racing team in the early 70s. So, you can be assured of the quality of work on Roush-modded vehicles - they are some of the finest high-performance machines in the business. The company has been associated with Ford for decades now, and one of its many creations for the Blue Oval is the Roush F-150 Nitemare. The Ford F-150 is a capable vehicle even in the stock form, and somehow, Roush has managed to make this a drool-worthy truck. It’s not just about the looks; it excels in the performance department as well. Before we get started with this review, let me tell you that this is one of the best company-approved, aftermarket-mods for the F-150 that you can get for under $20,000.

Overview

2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior
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The love for trucks is not going down anytime soon in the States, and aftermarket companies are making full use of it - until electrification hits the segment hard. Out of the four primary contenders - Ford, Chevrolet, Ram, and GMC - Ford is comfortably sitting in the pole position by selling over 900,000 vehicles per year. The F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for over four decades in a row now. The rivals are trying to pip Ford by offering better features (MultiPro tailgate, etc.), but the automaker has built a loyal fan-base that cannot be broken. However, the truck segment is set to be electrified soon with the likes of Tesla and Rivian creating a buzz like no other.

Not to mention, Ford has also been working on electrifying its trucks, and the company's President of Europe operations, Jim Farley, has confirmed that an electric F-150 is in the pipeline.

Rivian has been capturing the hearts from an emotional point-of-view, whereas Tesla has gone aggressive with its pricing strategies. Either way, combustions trucks are set to face the brunt. Although the automakers might move on smoothly, I’m wondering what’ll happen to these aftermarket performance tuners like Hennessey, Tuscany, SVE, and Rouch, to name a few. These companies make money by making combustion engines more powerful. What’s their future going to be like? Well, only time will tell how they can evolve themselves to sustain in the new era. Until that apocalypse hit us, let’s enjoy it while we can.

2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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From being barebone cargo-haulers to vehicles with posh cabins, trucks have gone through an evolution.

However, fast trucks are still a niche, and not many automakers make them. Mind you; I’m not saying powerful, I mean fast. For now, the Ram Rebel TRX comes to my mind. The automaker borrowed the Hellcat’s V-8 engine and threw it under the Rebel’s hood to create a monster with 707 horses that goes like a bullet. There is news of Ford coming up with the much-awaited V-8 engine for the Raptor as well. But to fulfill our cravings, aftermarket performance companies have been serving us for quite some time now. Roush is one such company, and it has let all hell break loose by offering a 650 horsepower F-150 at a measly price.

Exterior

  • Roush-exclusive grille upfront
  • Integrated accent lighting on the grille
  • Bumper cover to enhance the looks
  • Graphics all around the body
  • LED Headlights
  • 22-inch, seven-spoke wheels
2019 Ford F-150 Nitemare by Roush Performance
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When you view the Roush F-150 Nitemare from the front, it looks much more aggressive than the standard F-150. The company has installed a Roush-exclusive grille that goes well with the overall feel of the truck. It a black mesh grille with a plastic strip running from one end to the other with Roush embossed on it. This custom grille comes with integrated accent lighting, which is basically three LED ’twinkling stars’ on the top border of the grille.

The Ford badge has been replaced, and that shows how confident Ford is of its F-Series - 'You don't need a badge for brand recall!'.

Roush has not replaced the bumper per se, but it has added a cover to the front bumper that works seamlessly with Ford’s adaptive cruise control system without sacrificing the style. It is basically a unit placed over the air dam — a subtle change, but very effective when you compare it to the standard model. The bumper retains the square fog lamps and the tow hooks as it is. Moving up, the windshield comes with a ROUSH sticker at the top. There’s also a ROUSHcharged” Hood Graphic to make things all the more interesting.

2019 Ford F-150 Nitemare by Roush Performance
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The biggest highlight on the side profile is the new set of rollers. I find them very attractive and are definitely better than the stock units. Roush has fitted the truck with exclusive 22-inch wheels wrapped in Continental Crosscontact tires. The seven-spoke wheels look impeccable, to say the least. Also, Roush has offered a locking lug nut set for them. The side profile, otherwise, is pretty sedate and much in accordance with the standard F-150. A side step has been provided, as well. It’s pretty surprising that Ford has not offered telescopic mirrors on this model. I agree that not many people will hitch a trailer regularly to the truck, but given how useful telescopic mirrors are, I believe they should be offered as standard equipment. Roush has pasted a lot of stickers across the body, including the signature hockey stripe side graphic.

The rear does not seem to be a lot different from the standard F-150.

The tailgate has been blacked out with a graphic and loses on the Ford badge as well.

Roush has provided dual tip performance exhaust system. One thing that I’m disappointed with is Ford’s negligence in providing a proper, multifunctional tailgate like that on the Ram and GMC trucks. The Ram and GMC trucks are offered with the MultiPro and Multifunctional tailgates respectively. Until now, Ford’s excuse would be the fact that even Silverado offered a simple tailgate. But recently, a Silverado was spotted with the MutliPro tailgate, so it’s safe to say that even the Chevy trucks are covered. Hope to see Ford work towards it soon.

Interior

  • WeatherTech Floor Mats
  • Optional Black and Red Leather Seats
  • Tonneau Cover by ExTang is also available
  • Serialized Console Badge for the exclusivity
  • This package can be availed on any drive configuration and body type
2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Interior
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The interior, as is with any major performance company, has not been touched. The prominent add-on is the set of WeatherTech molded floor liners. The company has also offered a Serialized Console Badge that will make you feel special about owning a limited production run package. On the space front, the cabin is more than generous.

The seats are comfortable for the passengers and driver alike. An optional accessory is the set of Black and Red Nitemare Leather seats.

Since the Nitemare package can be installed on any F-150 trim, the features and equipment depend on which variant you opt for. Talking about the storage as well, Ford has provided a lot of spaces around. As an optional accessory, Roush is also providing a Tonneau Cover by ExTang, and also a console vault for interested folks. Apart from this, there’s nothing much to write home about.

Drivetrain

  • 5.0-liter, V-8 mill
  • Roush TVS R2650 Supercharger
  • 650 Horsepower
  • 610 Pound-feet of torque
  • 10-speed Automatic transmission
  • Active exhaust system on the 2019 models
  • Optional Dual Tip Active Exhaust System with different drive modes
2019 Ford F-150 Nitemare by Roush Performance
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Roush has been into the performance since over five decades; so, questioning their capability would be a sin. Ford offers the F-150 in six different engines, but when you bring it to Roush, it will replace it with the 5.0-liter, V-8 engine and fill it up with steroids. In the stock, this largest engine of the lot produces 395 horses and 400 pound-feet of torque. However, Roush has equipped this truck with the Roush TVS R2650 Supercharger that pushes it to the limits.

This combination churns out 650 ponies and 610 pound-feet of torque!

It retains the same 10-speed automatic transmission that sends power to either the rear wheels or all of them depending on what drive configuration you choose.

Ford F-150 vs Ford F-150 by Roush
Ford F-150 Ford F-150 by Roush
Engine 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8
Horsepower 395 HP @ 5,750 RPM 650 HP
Torque 400 LB-FT @ 3,850 RPM 610 LB-FT
2019 Ford F-150 Nitemare by Roush Performance
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For me, the most significant selling point, other than the engine, of course, would be the active exhaust system which has been upgraded for the 2019 model. This system uses an electronic valve technology that adds an aggressive note to the Nitemare. Along with this, you can opt for an optional Dual Tip Active Exhaust System that comes with four different modes - touring, sport, wide-open, and custom. A dial mounted on the console allows the drivers to switch seamlessly between each of the exhaust’s ’open’ and ’closed’ valve positions. It can also be controlled through a mobile app where you can create a customized profile to make your Nitemare sound just like you would want it to. Other improvements for the 2019 model include additional suspension travel.

Pricing

2019 Ford F-150 Nitemare by Roush Performance
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The package can be availed on any drive configuration and any body type.

Roush has priced this package at $19,150 for the 2019 Roush F-150.

There’s no difference in price even if your F-150 comes equipped with the 5.0-liter, V-8 engine, such as in the Platinum trim. The Roush F-150 Nitemare will come with the standard 3 year/36,000 mile warranty.

Final Thoughts

2019 Ford F-150 Nitemare by Roush Performance
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After going through most of the Ford-approved aftermarket manufacturers - such as Hennessey, RTR, Tuscany - who have worked on the F-Series, Roush seems to offer the best bang for the buck. While Roush may not have worked on the interior bit, the all-black theme on the exterior (yes, I love this shade), and performance changes made under the hood make this truck stand apart. By offering a V-8 mill and 650 horses, Roush has made sure to fill the void that Ford has created by not offering the Raptor V-8 to the enthusiasts.

Speaking of the much-awaited V-8 engine, Ford has apparently been working on one. But that is all we know about it. The V-8 Raptor surely won’t sell in enough volume that propels Ford to spend millions to build a new engine for it specially. This means Ford will either plonk the new 7.3-liter, V-8 gasoline engine that it has been testing and is yet to be revealed, or it could borrow the Mustang GT500’s 5.2-liter, V-8 supercharged mill. Given that Ram has used the Hellcat engine from the Charger, Ford will most likely borrow the Mustang GT500’s mill for the F-150 Raptor. Will this impact the products from the likes of Roush in the near future?

  • Leave it
    • Interiors have been left untouched
    • Stuff like Active Exhaust System cost extra
    • Transmission does not complement the extra power well

Further Reading

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor.

2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.

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