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Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

Ford Mustang Cobra Logo

The Shelby Mustang SVT Cobra was a pony car built by Ford Motor Company and Shelby Special Vehicle Team It is a high performance version of the Mustang built by Ford, sitting in the model range above the Mustang GT model. On three occasions, Ford also produced a higher-performance Cobra R variant.

Ford Mustang Cobra Black

The 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra was launched during the 1992 Chicago Auto Show. It was the premier vehicle of Ford's newly established SVT division, designed to showcase SVT's four hallmarks of Performance, Substance, Exclusivity and Value. The exterior of the 1993 SVT Cobra does not represent a radical departure from the year's GT model: However, there are subtle differences, as explained below.

The true redesign and upgrade occurred beneath the bodywork: The powertrain was driven by a 302 CID V8 (5.0L) motor, producing 235 hp (175 kW) and 280 ft·lbs (380 N·m) of torque. According to Road & Track, this could send a Cobra through the 1/4 mile in 14.5 seconds at a trap speed of 98 mph (158 km/h). Acceleration from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) took 5.9 seconds. The drivetrain received an upgraded transmission, rear disc brakes, and for the first time on a factory Mustang, 17" unidirectional wheels. The suspension was not neglected, either: Cobra models received a softer, more compliant ride compared to the GT model. This was accomplished with model-specific springs and sway bars.

Ford Mustang Cobra Engine

The 1993 SVT Cobra's short block (cylinder block, crankshaft, rods, and pistons) was carried over from the GT model. To this, Ford SVT engineers added the following performance items:
  • Cylinder Heads: GT-40 "High Flow" Cast Iron heads were installed. They were milled for 62.5cc combustion chambers. Valves measure 1.84" (46.7mm) intake, and 1.54" (39.1mm) exhaust. The valves are actuated by Cobra-specific 1.7 ratio roller rockers, constructed of aluminum and produced for Ford by Crane Cams. Part Numbers: F3ZZ-6049-B (head), F3ZZ-6507-A (intake valve), F3ZZ-6505-A (exhaust valve), F3ZE-6529-AB (rockers).
  • Intake Manifold: The Cobra upper manifold was unique to the 1993 Cobra and had a 2.75" (70.0mm) diameter round throttle body opening, diverting air into (8) round staggered ports, each 1.64" (41.7mm) diameter. The lower manifold was identical to the GT-40 manifold used by Ford Racing; it redirects airflow to a rectangular port configuration as needed by the cylinder heads. Part Numbers: F3ZZ-9424-C (upper manifold),F3ZZ-9424-D (lower).
  • Camshaft: The cam is of the hydraulic roller type (same as the GT). However, the Cobra cam has unique specifications of 0.479"/0.479" (12.2mm/12.2mm) intake/exhaust lift, (209°/209°) duration at 0.050" (1.27mm), and a lobe separation of 118.3°, Part Number: F3ZE-6250-CA.

Ford Mustang Cobra R Engine

  • Air/Fuel Delivery: The increased airflow and fuel consumption of the Cobra required these upgraded components: Larger (compared to the GT) 24 lb/hr fuel injectors, 2.75" (70.0mm) MAF meter, 2.56" (65.0mm) throttle body, and matching EGR plate handle the increased breathing of the motor. A specially calibrated X3Z EEC-IV engine control unit runs the system. Part Numbers: F1TZ-9F593-C (injectors), FIZF-12B579-AA (meter), F3ZF-12A650-CA (ECU).
  • Accessories: The crankshaft pulley diameter decreased by 14% (as compared to the GT) in order to under-drive the alternator, A/C, and smog pump, all to increase power. The water pump pulley also decreased in diameter by the same amount in order to preserve the ratio of pump speed, and thus coolant flow. These smaller accessory pulleys necessitated a shorter serpentine belt. Part Numbers: F3ZZ-6A312-A (crank pulley), F3ZZ-8509-A (water pump pulley), F3ZZ-8620-A (belt).
  • Exhaust: To extract the maximum amount of power from the Cobra's powerplant, Ford engineers used tuned mufflers with lower restriction (as compared to the GT). While the factory headers and H-pipe remained the same, the tailpipes were similar to that of a Mustang LX 5.0L (Sport) model in that they had straight stainless steel tips (instead of turn-down tips on the GT). This is because the Cobra had a revised rear fascia, allowing (unlike the GT) for an exposed dual exhaust. Part Numbers: F3ZZ-5230-A, stamped F3ZC-5230-CC (RH muffler), F3ZZ-5230-A, stamped F3ZC-5232-DC (LH muffler)

Ford Mustang Cobra Black

In the wake of the '93 R’s unexpected success, SVT engineers developed a more powerful R-model based on the 1995 Cobra. Top priority became addressing customer requests for a larger, more powerful engine and more fuel capacity. In response to those requests, SVT replaced the Cobra’s 5.0 L V8 with an SVT modified version of Ford’s 5.8 liter Windsor V8, re-engineered to produce 300 horsepower (220 kW) and installed a Kevlar 20 U.S. gallons (76 L) fuel tank. To handle the torque of the more powerful engine, a Tremec 3550 5 speed manual transmission was installed. See also 5-speed T-5 manual. Again, weight-savings was targeted, so there was no back seat, radio, power windows/seats or air-conditioning—not even fog lights, which were omitted to provide ducts for getting cool air onto the front disk brakes. Heavy-duty progressive-rate springs, thicker stabilizer bars and a front strut tower brace helped improve handling on the racetrack. Only 250 vehicles were built, available only in white with saddle cloth interior, each with a unique center-tiered fiberglass hood tall enough to clear the engine and induction system.

Ford Mustang Cobra Wallpapers

With the introduction of the "new edge" Mustang in 1999, came a new SVT Cobra. All 1999-2001 Cobras featured independent rear suspension, unique to the Cobras. They were not supercharged like the 03 and 04 were. They also used a newer returnless fuel system which helped Ford meet tightening emission standards. The new Cobra had an upgraded 4.6L DOHC engine with 320 hp (239 kW) and 317 ft·lbf (429 N·m) of torque. The 4.6 L Cobra was not produced in 2000. Ford replaced the intake manifold, exhaust and computer components to produce 320 hp (240 kW). The Cobra came back in 2001 with the same power rating, close to its GM competition, the Camaro SS and Pontiac Trans Am Ram Air WS6 package that produced 325 hp (242 kW). While the 2001 Cobra shares almost all the same components of the 1999, some changes were made including:
  • The engine block was changed from the Teksid block to the Windsor Aluminum Plant or WAP block. The WAP block is regarded to be weaker than the previous Teksid block. Some 2001s received the Teksid, either from the factory or as a replacement motor
  • Revised cylinder heads.
  • Cobra-specific seats with a combination of leather and alcantara [suede-like microfiber] inserts - 1999 Cobras had normal Mustang seats.
  • A rear bumper that reads "COBRA", instead of "MUSTANG", as the 1999 Cobra had.
  • A rear badge on the trunklid was changed to say "SVT" instead of "SVT Cobra" as the 1999 Cobra had.
  • The wheels for the 1999 and 2001 are 17x8. The '99 & '01 were sold with silver powdercoated aluminum wheels. The 2001 had the option of polished wheels in the same style.
  • The T-45 transmission in the 1999 model was replaced by the 3650 in the 2001 model.
  • The axleshafts and differential were changed from 28 splines in 1999 to 31 splines in 2001.
  • The spoiler was redesigned.
  • The CD player was upgraded to a 6 disc unit.
  • The center console and trim were redesigned.
  • The emergency brake was fitted with a 'boot' of leather to cover the hole in the console where it protrudes.
  • The headlights were changed from a chrome background to a black background. The newer headlights are sometimes referred a "smoked" or "tinted" but this only refers to the black background. The actual lenses are clear and identical to that of the 1999.
  • The color of the odometer digits and instrument cluster lighting was slightly changed.
In the pictures at right showing the two blocks of the SN-95 2 SVT Mustang Cobra, note the extra ribs designed to impart strength to the weaker WAP. Also, note the hatching in valley of the Teksid is square, while the WAP has diagonal hatching.

A similar Cobra model was produced in the US in 2002 for export to the Australian market.

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