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Ford Performance will sell 50 8-second S550 Cobra Jet Mustangs next year

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company and by Stacy Stangz

In 2008 Ford Performance brought back the Cobra Jet Mustang to celebrate the lineage that began with the original CJ’s triumphant racing heritage of the 1960s. The result was a highly successful run of performance in sanctioning bodies ranging from the National Hot Rod Association to the National Mustang Racers Association. After taking a year off to prep an S550 version and teasing the new model last week, Ford Performance is back with 50 limited-edition Cobra Jets for 2016.

Today at The SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ford Performance confirmed that it will sell 50 2016 Cobra Jets based on the S550 platform. Half will be available in Oxford White and half will be available in Deep Impact Blue.
Today at The SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ford Performance confirmed that it will sell 50 2016 Cobra Jets based on the S550 platform. Half will be available in Oxford White and half will be available in Deep Impact Blue.

Following in the tire tracks of the 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 versions, only 50 new CJs will be sold, 25 in Oxford White or Deep Impact Blue.

“The modern Cobra Jet has performed for our customers and put Ford in the winner’s circle consistently since 2008,” Dave Pericak, Director of Ford Performance, said. “The new car is the first Cobra Jet built off the all-new 2015 Mustang—the only factory 2016 Mustang with a solid-axle rear suspension. We are excited to see it compete.”

It’s interesting that Ford Performance would tout a factory solid-axle car, and even more interesting that the latest CJ would employ a four-link rather than the three-link setup used successfully in its predecessors, but it seems to work well. You can watch the Cobra Jet make a test pass right here…

According to Ford Performance, the 2016 Cobra Jet is said to be capable of 8-second quarter-mile e.t.’s.
According to Ford Performance, the 2016 Cobra Jet is said to be capable of 8-second quarter-mile e.t.’s.

Naturally, the new platform means new requirements, but what’s amazing is that the latest Cobra Jet is said to use 75-percent factory Mustang GT parts to get the job done. The parts that don’t come from the stock program are torn right from the pages of the new Ford Performance Racing Parts catalog.

Even some of the new bits are factory parts from other vehicles. To deliver more consistent engine cooling, Ford Performance engineers called up an electric water pump from the C-MAX hybrid to pump the coolant, and it can be run to cool the engine even when the engine is off. (Who says hybrids can’t deliver performance?)

For more details on the Cobra Jet’s upgrades, watch this…

Fed by an Aeromotive fuel system, the Whipple-supercharged 5.0-liter engine is controlled by a PCM said to operate with “proprietary engine control software and calibration.” While many of the components used in the Cobra Jet are production pieces, these American Racing Headers long-tubes are clearly among the race-only parts available from the FPRP catalog.
Fed by an Aeromotive fuel system, the Whipple-supercharged 5.0-liter engine is controlled by a PCM said to operate with “proprietary engine control software and calibration.” While many of the components used in the Cobra Jet are production pieces, these American Racing Headers long-tubes are clearly among the race-only parts available from the FPRP catalog.

“It was important to use production hardware wherever possible to ensure parts are readily available and reasonably priced for racers,” Jesse Kershaw, Ford Performance Manager for Drag Racing Parts and Competition, said. “The production parts are also incredibly durable in passing our rigorous dyno and drag strip testing.”

Out of the box the new CJ is legal for racing in NHRA Stock and Super Stock plus numerous classes in IHRA, NMRA, and NMCA. Like its predecessors, the 2016 Cobra Jet does not carry a Vehicle Identification Number. Instead it is sold as a Ford Performance Racing Parts product available from North American Ford dealers under part number M-FR500-CJ for $99,990. Available options include the familiar snake graphics for $1,195 and a wheelie-bar setup for $1,995. However, with only 50 available, you better place your order ASAP, as they will sell out quickly.

Production of the next-gen Cobra Jet is already said to be underway at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. Ford Performance expects to deliver these turn-key quarter-milers in the first quarter of 2016.

Inside the new CJ is a roll cage certified for 8.5-second quarter-mile runs. The driver will strap into Corbeau FIA seats with five-point harnesses and shift gears with a three-speed automatic transmission.
Inside the new CJ is a roll cage certified for 8.5-second quarter-mile runs. The driver will strap into Corbeau FIA seats with five-point harnesses and shift gears with a three-speed automatic transmission.
Utilizing a new four-link suspension, the 2016 Cobra Jet features drag-specific coil-over dampers and springs along with lightweight Strange brakes. The wheelie bar is a $1,995 option.
Utilizing a new four-link suspension, the 2016 Cobra Jet features drag-specific coil-over dampers and springs along with lightweight Strange brakes. The wheelie bar is a $1,995 option.
As you can see, the Whipple 2.9-liter supercharger system on the Cobra Jet 5.0 features a number of unique parts bearing the Cobra Jet name, including the throttle body, blower pulley, and belt tensioner. It is also equipped with an SFI-certified crank damper from ATI and in the lower right you can see the electric water pump sourced from the C-Max hybrid.
As you can see, the Whipple 2.9-liter supercharger system on the Cobra Jet 5.0 features a number of unique parts bearing the Cobra Jet name, including the throttle body, blower pulley, and belt tensioner. It is also equipped with an SFI-certified crank damper from ATI and in the lower right you can see the electric water pump sourced from the C-Max hybrid.
Ford Performance’s modern Cobra Jets might not carry a VIN, but these are not some kit cars either. They are fully tested and ready to race, as you can see from the test hits made at Milan Dragway.
Ford Performance’s modern Cobra Jets might not carry a VIN, but these are not some kit cars either. They are fully tested and ready to race, as you can see from the test hits made at Milan Dragway.
At The SEMA Show, Ford Performance handed out promotional flyers complete with a paper Cobra Jet that was “engineered just for fun.”
At The SEMA Show, Ford Performance handed out promotional flyers complete with a paper Cobra Jet that was “engineered just for fun.”

The Mod List

Powertrain
  • Ford V8, 5.0-liter (302 cubic inches) displacement
  • Manley H-beam connecting rods with ARP 2000 bolts
  • American Racing Headers 304 stainless-steel headers
  • 92.2mm bore x 92.7mm stroke
  • 9.5:1 compression ratio
  • 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger front entry
  • Aeromotive fuel rails
  • ATI SFI-approved crank damper
  • Forged steel crankshaft
  • Billet steel gerotor oil pump
  • Mahle forged and anodized pistons with Grafal-coated skirts
  • Proprietary engine control software and calibration
  • New electric water pump
  • Strange Engineering 9-inch rear axle with 3.89:1 gear
  • All-new four-link rear suspension
  • Three-speed automatic racing transmission with SFI safety housing
  • Aeromotive fuel system
Chassis
  • 8.50-e.t.-certified roll cage
  • Strange Engineering racing brake system
Wheels and Tires
  • Weld wheels 15×3.5-inch front, 15×10-inch rear
  • Hoosier tires, 26×4.5-15 (front) and 30×9-15 (rear)
Interior
  • Sparco quick-release steering wheel
  • Corbeau one-piece FIA-certified racing seats
  • RJS five-point racing harness

2016 Cobra Jet Gallery

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