The Ford Racing Mustang Cobra Jet concept introduced at the SEMA show in 2012 attests that there is certainly a substitute for displacement.
Ford Racing furnished its factory-made jailer drag racer with a turbocharged engine for the first time—a result of its unending pursuit to remain at the top of the game. The company followed the same esteemed technology set up on its road-going EcoBoost engines.
When the original Mustang Cobra Jet drag racers were built by the Mustang factory in 1968, they depended on 7.0-liter V8 engines with huge four-barrel carburetors to push them down the belt.
Ford drag racing competition manager, Jesse Kershaw recollects that upon the arrival of the new generation of Cobra Jets, they started winning with a contemporary, fuel-injected 5.4-liter V8 topped with a belt-driven supercharger. For almost half a decade, the Cobra Jet became the favorite of everyone. It is the most celebrated latest model automobile in the field of drag race.
Ford Racing Technologies director, Jamie Allison said racing antedates the company. Henry Ford himself competed in 999. In 1901, he won a race, which consequently, generated interest for Ford. Since then, the company has not stopped. Allison added that Ford has raced in nearly all car race categories over the past century. The categories include drag and oval strips as well as roads and desert courses. Automobiles and trucks built on Ford’s production models—the Mustang included—are the ones raced on track.
In 2011, the Mustang GT's latest 5.0-liter V8 was applied in the Cobra Jet. The application included both those with and without a supercharger.
Cobra Jet powertrain development engineer, Rob Deneweth said that regardless of its reduced engine displacement, the enhanced breathing of the 5.0-liter with its twin autonomous variable camshaft timing and Boss 302 cylinder heads offered equivalent performance while flaunting the advanced technological development offered by street Mustangs today.
Ever since they re-launched the Cobra Jet in 2008, the company kept on optimizing the engine to improve its suitability in drag race and yield more power for its National Hot Rod Association class.
Although superchargers supply immediate required power, it can also squeeze out a great deal of power particularly during high boost levels. The 2.9-liter blower utilized on the latest model employs as much as 100hp to run the supercharger. This power is not available for acceleration anymore.
Two turbochargers, no waiting
Luckily, every ICE has an abundant source of energy that is ordinarily wasted right out the exhaust pipe. Turbine-driven superchargers mobilize the kinetic and thermal energy in the exhaust gases to run compressors and turbines that move more air into the engine for a huge escalation in power without suffering any of the futile losses of a supercharger.
Deneweth added that the company has clung to turbocharging technology. Many of the company’s production engineers have been working to improve this technology further. The knowledge that the engineers gained was applied to the Mustang Cobra Jet.
After working on the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 for the F-150, Dave Born, Turbocharger design and release engineer, helped the Cobra Jet group in realizing the concept. Born said if the concept is executed properly, turbocharging is either better or as good as supercharging.
Lag is the major anticipated downside of turbocharging. Born added that in order to beat this drawback, they chose the smallest possible turbos that will provide the necessary airflow. They also have other improvements that aid in enhancing the responsiveness. It has a very low inertia and internal friction.
The competition rules set by the National Hot Rod Association for the stock classes Cobra Jet races require that parts, such as turbochargers, come from production units. Borg-Warner delivered smaller and high performing turbochargers built on the units employed in the Focus ST for the Cobra Jet concept.
The turbine wheels are made from titanium aluminide that reduces the rotational inertia by 50 percent. This turbine wheels are smaller than those found in most other drag racing applications. Together with a shaft riding on low-friction ball bearings, the compressors can rotate up to 150,000 rpm in a virtually instantaneous manner.
Similar incorporated, electronically controlled waste gates used on producing EcoBoost engines aid the turbos to continuously rotate and produce the lift pressure necessary for high trap speeds and low elapsed times at the strip.