Ford has a new Mustang that seeks to eat the Dodge Challenger Demon for dinner, as long as the meal is only served at the track. The Blue Oval has unveiled its new Mustang Cobra Jet ahead of the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise, and it’s not what you’d call slow. In fact, Ford says it’s the fastest production Mustang to ever grace a drag strip, capable of reaching 150 mph (241 km/h) in the quarter-mile while covering the distance in the mid-eight-second range – a full second quicker than the race-equipped, 840-horsepower (626-kilowatt) Demon.
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There is a catch, however, and a big one at that. Unlike the fire-breathing muscle car from Dodge, Ford’s purpose-built Mustang drag racer is most decidedly not street legal. It will also be extremely rare, with just 68 turnkey race cars planned for production at $130,000 each.
“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,” said Eric Cin, Ford Performance Parts global director.
To create the Cobra Jet, Ford bolts up a massive Whipple supercharger to a “special” 5.2-liter version of the Mustang’s 5.0-liter Coyote V8. The blower itself displaces 3.0 liters, but other engine details are kept hush-hush, including horsepower. Additional drag racing modifications include ditching the Mustang’s independent rear suspension for a 9-inch solid rear axle to better handle the straight-line acceleration. Two-way coilover shocks with adjustable ride height are also part of the Cobra Jet package, as-is a four-link rear suspension arrangement with antiroll and panhard bars. An NHRA-certified roll cage and FIA-certified seats ensure this car is legal for competition, and of course, there’s a parachute on the back, because racecar.
Ford built its first Cobra Jet race car 50 years ago, hence this 50th Anniversary model. The Cobra Jet competition model has occasionally surfaced since then, with the most recent FR-500 Cobra Jet production run of 250 cars wrapping up in 2016. The new Cobra Jet will make its public debut this weekend at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise north of Detroit.