2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet: Hottest Mustang, ever
Cobra and Jet are two words that were never linked until they became permanently fused by Ford with the advent of the 428 Cobra Jet V8 that propelled Mustangs and Gran Torinos to drag strip glory, beginning in 1968. Adapted from the 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) V8 that propelled Ford’s Le Mans-winning GT40s, the Cobra Jet engine generated 335 horsepower, 440 lb-ft of torque, and was capable of propelling a Mustang through a quarter-mile in less than 14 seconds.
Heady numbers 50 years ago. But they fade to ho-hum in contrast to the latest Cobra Jet to emerge from the Ford Performance Parts shops. In this revivalist edition the Cobra Jet logo adorns a Mustang powered by Ford’s Coyote V8 engine, tuned to develop the most horsepower ever in the company’s immortal pony car.
While engine power specifics weren’t forthcoming, the 5.2-liter (317-cubic-inch) supercharged Coyote V8 develops enough thrust to hustle the car through the quarter-mile in the “mid-8-second range,” with a trap speed “topping 150 mph,” according to Ford.
Prior to the new Cobra Jet version, the most potent engine in the Mustang arsenal was expected to power the much-anticipated Shelby GT500, rolling out with over 700 horsepower on tap from a boosted version of the Coyote. But covering a quarter-mile in less than nine seconds will take more than 700 horsepower.
For contrast, the slightly outrageous Dodge Demon parleys 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque to quarter-mile runs of 9.65 seconds. The Demon weighs in at about 4,300 pounds. As with other Cobra Jet specifications, Ford is mum about the mass of this limited-edition Mustang, but we can infer from the curb weight of the Mustang GT350—about 3,800 pounds.
A thousand ponies-plus
Going from there, and applying the power-to-weight calculator, knocking a second off the Demon’s quarter-mile time would require between 1,050 and 1,100 horsepower. Those numbers are unofficial. Ford will release power ratings when the Cobra Jet Mustangs are ready for release this summer.
Other elements of this drag racing special include a 4-link rear suspension, a 9-inch live axle, a set of FIA-rated Racetech seats, and a built-in roll cage. The factory roll cage is a key point of distinction between the Cobra Jet Mustang and the Demon. Dodge refrained from supplying a roll cage for its drag racing rocket, then exulted when the National Hot Rod Association banned the Demon from NHRA competition. The implication was that the Demon was too hot for the NHRA.
This was a little deceptive, since the reason for the ruling was that cars capable of covering a quarter-mile in less than 10 seconds required a roll cage. Thus, the Cobra Jet Mustang will be eligible for NHRA competition, just like its ancestor a half-century ago.
Commemorating that golden anniversary, Ford plans to limit Cobra Jet Mustang production to just 68 cars. These hottest of all Mustangs will lack Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN), and thus will not be legal for street use. Who will be eligible to acquire one, and how much it will cost won’t be revealed until summer.