Ford Motor Co. took advantage of the preparations for the Woodward Dream Cruise to unveil a drag-racing version of the Ford Mustang.
Eric Cin, director of vehicle performance and accessories, said the new Cobra Jet will be the quickest drag racing Mustang ever, capable of covering a quarter-mile in the mid-8-second range.
The 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet is a limited-edition turnkey race car that honors the 50th anniversary of the original that dominated drag strips in 1968, according to Cin, who said Ford plans to build only 68 and the demand already exceeds the limited supply.
The Ford Performance Parts team developed the 50th Anniversary car to be the most powerful and quickest Mustang Cobra Jet from the factory ever – capable of topping 150 mph while turning in a mid-8-second quarter-mile run.
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It’s one of several variants of the Mustang that the automaker has rolled out in the last year, the most recent being the new Bullitt special edition, which was unveiled last week.
The latest Cobra Jet typifies the teamwork between traditional and motorsports engineering groups to maximize the design, performance and durability of production Mustangs. The Cobra Jet begins its life on the assembly line at the Ford assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, before being moved to a specialty shop where the vehicle is turned into a racer.
“From the very first Mustang Cobra Jets dominating the 1968 NHRA Winternationals to our modern-day racers, the Ford Performance Parts team continues to build on Cobra Jet’s success at the track over five decades,” Cin said. “This has inspired generations of Mustang fans to create their own performance machines for the street,” he added.
The Cobra Jet is powered by a special 5.2-liter version of Ford’s famed 5.0-liter V8, strengthened and outfitted with a 3.0-liter Whipple supercharger.
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The engine sends power to the ground through a 9-inch solid rear axle, two-way coil-over shocks with adjustable ride height and a low-drag disc brake system from Strange Engineering as well as a four-link rear suspension with antiroll and panhard bars.
Additional factory-provided racing performance upgrades include an NHRA-certified safety roll cage, FIA-certified seats and anniversary-badged racing wheels.
The new Mustang Cobra Jet is available in either Race Red or Oxford White and can be outfitted with exclusive 50th Anniversary graphics and badging. Customers can order now at an MSRP of $130,000. Production is limited to 68 cars, in honor of Cobra Jet’s 1968 debut.
Last year, Ford prepared a very limited, road-racing version of the Cobra Jet, which had a completely different suspension and steering layout, Cin said.
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The first Cobra Jet debuted in 1968 but a Ford suspended production a few later. The program was revived in 2008 and over the past decade Ford has produced about 300 Cobra Jets, which are used both by professional drivers and “Gentlemen” racers, Cin said.