The 2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet will soon be released into the wild with more venom than ever before. With enormous Hoosier drag slicks bulging beneath its rear quarter panels and a Whipple supercharger larger than most economy car engines lurking under the hood, this Mustang is ready to strike — one quarter-mile at a time.
The Cobra Jet made its debut at this year’s SEMA Show wearing all-new sixth generation sheet metal. For a variety of reasons, it’s sure to be amongst the fastest production cars ever released and unquestionably one of the most intimidating.
Its enormous racing tires aside, the first thing that immediately stands out on the Cobra Jet is its striking decal package — literally. A three-foot Cobra with its head reared back and fangs exposed is sure to strike fear into the hearts of not only Camaro owners, but anybody that’s foolish enough to challenge it at the drag strip.
You won’t find a pony anywhere on the exterior of this Mustang either, as we’re left to guess, the Cobra got to it first. But in all seriousness, its unmarked front grille looks downright menacing. If you catch sight of the Cobra Jet behind you in the staging lanes, you should probably bow out before it’s too late. Perhaps by design, its grille opening looks large enough to swallow competitors into the dark abyss.
We expect the 2016 Cobra Jets will be faster than the outgoing fifth generation models they are replacing. But that won’t be an easy task, as one recorded an unbelievable 1.52-second zero to 60 and 3.26 second zero to 100 times at an American Drag Racing League event in 2012.
While we don’t have any time slips that support our prediction, here’s what we do know. The same 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine available in the Mustang GT will power the new Cobra Jet. In fact, 75% of the production engine’s components will remain the same. Luckily, that remaining 25% makes all the difference.
The biggest change is obviously the addition of a Whipple supercharger to boost output to 575 horsepower. For reasons made known after each blurred pass down the track, Whipple has been the blower of choice for the Cobra Jet since 2010.
Drag-spec coilover shocks and springs enable the Cobra Jet to transfer its 575 horsepower to the ground, and Strange Engineering racing brakes safely bring it back below triple digit speeds. In between passes, a new electric water pump borrowed from the C-Max hybrid will keep the engine cool when it’s not running. A trunk-mounted fuel cell, 8.50-second certified roll cage, five-point racing harness, and Corbeau FIA seats are also standard equipment.
Another significant change is the installation of a four-link nine-inch solid rear axle in favor of the sixth generation Mustang’s standard independent rear suspension. Just when you thought it was gone for good, Ford knows there is one place the solid rear axle is still king — at the drag strip.
That’s a good thing too, as that is the only place you’ll be able to legally drive your Cobra Jet if you choose to take one home. The Cobra Jet does not have a VIN and is actually sold as a Ford Racing performance part intended for drag racing purposes only.
With an MSRP of $99,990, the price of the Cobra Jet is sure to invoke sticker shock. But experienced racers know the price to build a race car doesn’t come cheap. More importantly, the time commitment and necessary fine-tuning to get everything just right is painstaking.
If you’re on the fence, don’t wait too long as Ford will only be making 50 Cobra Jets as consistent with past years. While it’s not for everyone, many will find the idea of trailering an NHRA Stock and Super Stock certified race car straight from the showroom floor to the racetrack very appealing.
Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.