Ford Performance has unveiled a rather remarkable limited edition Mustang in the form of the Cobra Jet. The base 310hp Ecoboost model provides entry-level fun, with the 460hp V8 adding a little more savagery, and the 480hp Bullitt adding a little more cool – but the Cobra Jet model is really something else, something capable of demolishing a quarter-mile in less than nine seconds.
Forget Nürburgring times with this model. The Cobra Jet isn’t about corners and it isn’t even road-legal: it is all about snapping necks as it hurtles down the quarter mile, and is being sold as a limited-edition turnkey race car. This most brutal of Cobras is the result of Ford’s road car and motorsports engineering groups working together to maximize the design, performance and durability of production Mustangs to extract maximum forward potential.
For example the engine has grown from a 5.0 V8 to a 5.2, which has been fitted with a 3.0-liter Whipple supercharger and strengthened for durability. The power – the exact amount of which Ford is keeping secret at the moment – is transferred to the ground through a 9in solid rear axle, with stopping power provided by a low-drag disc brake system from Strange Engineering. The engineers have also specified two-way coil-over dampers with adjustable ride height and a four-link rear suspension with antiroll and panhard bars.
Again, exact figures are yet to be released, but Ford indicates a top speed of over 150mph and mid-eight-seconds for the quarter-mile.
The whole idea of the Cobra Jet may sound like the result of engineers inhaling too much high-octane fuel vapor, but it is actually something of a tradition for Ford, with this 2018 car being developed to mark the 50th anniversary of the original drag strip special from 1968. That 428-cubic-inch, 335hp V8-powered Cobra Jet was a limited edition of 50 lightweight cars, and the car proved successful in NHRA competition, and a successful marketing tool.
Credit for the NHRA formula and devising the idea of the first Cobra Jet goes to Ford dealer Bob Tasca, who coined the phrase, “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday”. The 2018 Cobra Jet may help dealers sell more Ecoboosts, but expect this special model to sell quickly too, with production limited to 68 cars (in honor of Cobra Jet’s 1968 debut) and an MSRP of US$130,000 (€112,000).