2015 SEMA: Ford Performance unveils 2016 Cobra Jet Mustang [w/video]

Article by Andrew Christian, on November 6, 2015

Ford Performance has unveiled the latest iteration of the Cobra Jet as a limited-edition turnkey race car at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show 2015 in Las Vegas.

This new Cobra Jet – the 2016 Cobra Jet Mustang – is a factory-built race car eligible to compete in the National Hot Rod Association Stock and Super Stock drag racing and in the International Hot Rod Association, National Mustang Racers Association and National Muscle Car Association.

Cobra Jet had its racing debut at the 1968 NHRA Winternationals, where it gained instant success. Production of 2016 Cobra Jet Mustang will be limited to just 50 units. This will make this version of the Mustang as one of the most limited editions ever.

The modern Cobra Jet Mustang program commenced for the 2008 model year with just 50 examples. The program continued for the 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 model years, with each edition limited to just 50 units built.

For the 2016 model year, the Cobra Jet Mustang is available with just 25 examples in Oxford White while another 25 units are in Deep Impact Blue. Dave Pericak, director at Ford Performance, remarked that the modern Cobra Jet has not been disappointing Ford’s customers, placing the carmaker in the winner’s circle since 2008.

He remarked that the Cobra Jet Mustang is the first Cobra Jet derived from the all-new 2015 Mustang, which means that it is the sole factory 2016 Mustang featuring a solid-axle rear suspension.

As a matter of fact, 75 percent of the Cobra Jet engine is comprised of production Mustang GT components, boosted by a front inlet Whipple supercharger. This setup should allow the Cobra Jet Mustang to complete a quarter mile in just eight seconds.

Jesse Kershaw, Ford Performance manager for drag racing parts and competition, remarked that to ensure that parts are readily available and reasonably priced for car racers, Ford uses production components wherever possible.

He noted that these production parts have passed their rigorous dyno and drag strip testing. Mustang has been one of the choices for racers in different motorsports, including drag racing.

Cobra Jet, meanwhile, has racked up a number of high-profile victories, including the 2015 NHRA U.S. Nationals Super Stock Eliminator and Factory Showdown races. Cobra Jet also holds a number of track records in various classes in the series.

For 2016, the Cobra Jet Mustang’s performance is enhanced by the addition of drag race-specific coil-over shocks and springs and 8.50-certified roll cage.

It also features lightweight racing brakes by Strange Engineering and Aeromotive fuel system with trunk-mounted fuel cell, Corbeau FIA seats, five-point race harnesses and race-prepped automatic transmission.

Ford Performance engineers didn’t have to look far for technologies that could be used for the Cobra Jet Mustang – they just had to adapt existing ones developed in-house.

For instance, the Cobra Jet engine features an electric water pump from Ford C-MAX Hybrid, allowing a cool-down process sans the engine running and resulting in enhanced management of engine temperature. Additionally, engineers calibrated Dyno cells to simulate drag strip burnouts and quarter-mile runs to determine the durability of the Cobra Jet engine.

Ford has already commenced production of the Cobra Jet Mustang at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, with deliveries set to start in the first quarter of 2016. Interestingly, the MY2016 Cobra Jet Mustang will be sold as a performance part without a VIN.

Customers can order their own Cobra Jet Mustang by submitting a placeholder order for part number M-FR500-CJ at any North American Ford dealer. Customers could also avail of additional performance parts from the Ford Performance Parts catalog.

The base Cobra Jet has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $99,990. Customers could avail of the popular graphics option at $1,995 and the wheelie bar at $1,995.

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