Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

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Ford Mustang SVT Cobra
98-Cobra.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1993-2004
Body and chassis
Class Muscle car
Pony car
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Layout FR layout
Platform Ford Fox platform
Chronology
Successor Shelby Mustang

The Ford Mustang SVT Cobra was a pony car built by Ford Motor Company through the Special Vehicle Team division. 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 an even higher performance Cobra R variant. Although the Shelby GT500 Mustang is built in part by SVT, and bears the Cobra badge, it is not considered an SVT Cobra, as it is licensed by Shelby and doesn't have Cobra anywhere in its description or name.

1993[edit]

Fox Body Windsor SVT Mustang Cobra
1993svtcobra.JPG
Overview
Production 1993
5,100 produced
Assembly Dearborn, Michigan
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door hatchback
Powertrain
Engine 5.0 L Windsor V8
Dimensions
Wheelbase 100.5 in (2,553 mm)
Length 179.6 in (4,562 mm)
Width 68.3 in (1,735 mm)
Height 52.1 in (1,323 mm)
Curb weight 3,255 lb (1,476 kg)

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.[1] 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 top speed of 98 mph (158 km/h). Acceleration from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) took 5.9 seconds.[2] 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.

Note: Ford part numbers are listed below. In many cases Ford has two separate numbers for each part, the Ford production number (the fourth character is a Z), and an engineering number. The engineering number is usually what is stamped/cast on the part itself (the fourth character is E for engine parts, F for electronics, and C for chassis).

Engine[edit]

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:[3]

  • Cylinder Heads: GT-40 "High Flow" Cast Iron heads were installed. They were milled for 62.5 cc combustion chambers. Valves measure 1.84" (46.7 mm) intake, and 1.54" (39.1 mm) 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" (41.7 mm) 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" (12.2 mm/12.2 mm) intake/exhaust lift, (209°/209°) duration at 0.050" (1.27 mm), and a lobe separation of 118.3°, Part Number: F3ZE-6250-CA.
  • 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" (70.0 mm) MAF meter, 2.56" (65.0 mm) 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)

Drivetrain[edit]

With the increased engine output of the new Mustang SVT Cobra, the Borg-Warner World Class T-5 transmission needed an internal upgrade, which allowed it to yield a higher torque capacity compared to the standard World Class T-5. This upgrade consisted of custom gearing 1- 3(which were reduce 10% and hardened), 4th/5th (just hardened) gear was the same as standard T-5s found in the LX/GTs. The clutch for the Cobra was increased holding capacity by way of a higher clamping force pressure plate using the same 10.5" diameter as the GT/LX.

Suspension[edit]

  • Shocks/Struts: The Cobra outsourced production of shocks and struts to the aftermarket manufacturer Tokico. The components used were specifically valved for the new car. Part Numbers: F3ZZ-18124-A (front struts), F3ZZ-18125-A (rear shocks).

Exterior Styling[edit]

The Cobra featured a more subdued styling than the GT, and the only exterior colors offered were (color codes are in parentheses) Black Clearcoat (UA), Teal Metallic Clearcoat (RD), Vibrant Red Clearcoat (ES), and for a rare nine cars, Vibrant Red non-Clearcoat (EY).

1993 Cobra "R"[edit]

1993 Cobra R
93CobraR.JPG
Overview
Production 1993
107 produced
Assembly Dearborn, Michigan
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door hatchback
Powertrain
Engine 5.0 L Windsor V8
Dimensions
Wheelbase 100.5 in (2,553 mm)
Length 179.6 in (4,562 mm)
Width 68.3 in (1,735 mm)
Height 52.1 in (1,323 mm)
Curb weight 3,089 lb (1,401 kg)

A Cobra "R" model was also produced in 1993. It featured larger brakes (13" directionally vented front and 10.5 radially vented rear compared to 10.84 vented front and 10.7 vented rear), Koni shocks and struts, an engine oil cooler, a power steering cooler, and a factory rear seat delete. The wheels were 17" 5-lug wheels, which were available for the '94 Mustang as an option, painted gloss black. Since the Cobra "R" was race oriented, options such as air conditioning and a stereo system were not offered. The car also did not come with a warranty. Each of the 107 produced were offered in Vibrant Red only. The price of the R was $26,692 as opposed to $21,578 for the standard Cobra.

Ford wanted to make sure that these limited edition models of the Cobra were not put away in some collector's garage. Thus every buyer had to have an active and valid racing license in order to be able to buy one of these cars.

Year Model Production
1993 Hatchback 4,993
R 107
Total 5,100

1994–1995[edit]

SN-95 Windsor SVT Mustang Cobra
Svtcobra1995r2000r.jpg
Overview
Production 1994–1995
11,267 produced
Powertrain
Engine 5.0 L Windsor V8
5.8 L Windsor V8 (1995 R Model)
Transmission 5-speed T-5 manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 101.3 in (2,573 mm)
Length Cobra: 182.5 in (4,636 mm)
Width 71.8 in (1,824 mm)
Height 52.9 in (1,344 mm)
Convertible: 53.3 in (1,354 mm)
Curb weight Coupe: 3,354 lb (1,521 kg)
Convertible: 3,524 lb (1,598 kg)

Ford re-introduced the Cobra in mid-1994 featuring the new styling as well as larger brakes, a revised suspension setup and wider wheels than the outgoing version, a "GT-40" lower intake and Cobra specific upper intake as well as GT-40 cast iron heads. Power was boosted to 240 hp (180 kW). New colors were introduced: Rio Red, Crystal White, and Black. Differences between GT and Cobra included the front bumper (Cobras feature round fog lights), Cobra-specific wheels, and in 1994 and 1995 the Cobra utilized the stock Mustang hood, LX (V-6 3.8L) 'MUSTANG' rear bumper, while the 'COBRA' rear bumper, and Cobra-specific hood with larger "air inlets" didn't appear until 1996. Unique for the 1995 Cobra was the removable hard top option. These models were essentially the same as the convertible Cobra but had several small provisions to accept the retaining mechanisms of the fiberglass top and dome/map light wiring. The 1994-95 Cobra's rear spoiler was different from the Lx and GT, the third brake light was in the spoiler and not in the trunk lid.

Year Model Production
1994 Coupe 5,009
Convertible 1,000
Total 6,009
1995 Coupe 4,005
Convertible 1,003
R 250
Total 5,258
Total 11,267

1995 Cobra R[edit]

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 22 gallon fuel cell. 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.

As with the '93R, only owners of a valid racing license were able to obtain one of these cars.

1996–1998[edit]

SN-95 Modular SVT Mustang Cobra
1998MustangCobra.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1996–1998
28,706 produced
Powertrain
Engine 305hp 4.6 L DOHC Modular V8
Transmission 5-speed T-45 manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 101.3 in (2,573 mm)
Length Cobra: 182.5 in (4,636 mm)
Width 71.8 in (1,824 mm)
Height Coupe: 52.9 in (1,344 mm)
Convertible: 53.2 in (1,351 mm)
Curb weight Coupe: 3,375 lb (1,531 kg)
Convertible: 3,565 lb (1,617 kg)

For 1996, Ford finally did away with the aging 5.0 liter V8 in the Mustang, replacing it with a new aluminum 4.6 liter, DOHC, "modular" unit that was smoother and had slightly better fuel economy. This engine produced 305 hp (227 kW) and 300 lbf·ft (410 N·m) of torque, making the new Cobra capable of 0-60 in 5.0 and a 13.5 second quarter miles. Early models were backed by the Borg Warner T-45 5-speed manual transmission. Late in 1998, Tremec bought production rights for the T-45, although it remained unchanged in terms of strength.

1996 Mystic Cobra[edit]

In 1996 Ford also introduced the Mystic Cobra which featured color shifting paint manufactured by BASF. The paint was green based and depending on the angle it was viewed, 7 different colors were viewable with emerald green, purple and amber/gold being the most prominent. Two thousand 1996 Cobras were produced with the Mystic paint option (LF), each accompanied by a distinguishing certificate along with the SVT certificate. Because the paint has special proprietary uses, any remaining quantities are very tightly controlled thus requiring a VIN verification through a complying Ford body shop to properly repaint damaged areas.[4]

1998 Cobra[edit]

The 1998 Cobra was the last year of the return style fuel system which was replaced with a newer returnless system in 1999. The 1998 Cobra came with a 1995 Cobra R style wheel, but it's dimensions are 17"x8" compared to the Cobra R's 17"x9".

Year Model Production
1996 Coupe 7,493
Convertible 2,510
Total 10,003
1997 Coupe 6,961
Convertible 3,088
Total 10,049
1998 Coupe 5,174
Convertible 3,480
Total 8,654
Total 28,706

1999/2001[edit]

New Edge Modular SVT Mustang Cobra
99 SVT Cobra front left.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1998–2001
15,819 produced
Powertrain
Engine 320hp 4.6 L DOHC Modular V8
Transmission 5-speed T-45 manual (1999)
5-speed 3650 manual (2001)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 101.3 in (2,573 mm)
Length 183.5 in (4,661 mm)
Width 73.1 in (1,857 mm)
Height Coupe: 53.2 in (1,351 mm)
Convertible: 53.3 in (1,354 mm)
Curb weight Coupe: 3,430 lb (1,556 kg)
Convertible: 3,560 lb (1,615 kg)

1999 Cobra[edit]

With the introduction of the "new edge" Mustang in 1999, came a new SVT Cobra. The New Edge design was basically a re-panelling of the old car, more like a facelift than a new model. Thus, the interior basically stayed the same, and most of the parts are interchangeable. All 1999-2004 Cobras featured independent rear suspension, unique to the Cobras. They also used a newer returnless fuel system which helped Ford meet tightening emission standards. The new 1999 SVT Cobra had an upgraded 4.6L DOHC engine with 320 hp@6000rpm and 317 pound-feet (430 N·m) of torque@4750rpm. New 1999 SVT Cobra owners were concerned about slow 0-60 mph times and low chassis dyno power numbers even though Ford claimed that the 4.6 was outputting 15 hp more than the 1998 Cobra engine. On August 6, 1999 Ford stopped selling the '99 Cobra and recalled all that had been sold. Ford replaced the intake manifold and computer components as well as the entire exhaust from the catalytic to the tailpipes in order to achieve a "true" 320 hp at the crankshaft. Because of this blunder, the 320 hp 2000 SVT Cobra was pulled from production to return in 2001 again rated at 320 hp. The production run of 300, 385 hp, 2000 Cobra "R" cars went ahead without issue.

IRS issue[edit]

The independent rear suspension Ford used in the Cobras was a bolt in replacement for the live axle used in the normal Mustangs. This meant that both configurations could be swapped quite easily, and a lot of people actually did this conversion one way or the other. Replacing the Cobra's IRS with a live axle was done quite frequently by people preferring drag racing, since the IRS had the habit of producing a lot of wheel hop during hard launches.

One issue with the IRS on the Cobras was that SVT used the wrong bolts on one of the attachment places where the IRS is connected to the body and frame.[5] This caused a clunking noise from the car when shifting, since the IRS moved a little in its seating. Once known, this problem can easily be solved by replacing the bolt in question, although the exhaust sometimes needs to be removed or loosened in order to get to the bolt.

1999 Detailed Production Numbers[edit]

Coupe[edit]

Interior Black (UA) Red (E8) White (ZR) Green (SW) Totals
Dark Charcoal 1204 734 472 185 2595
Medium Parchment 412 478 322 223 1435
Other 3 7 0 0 10
Totals 1619 1219 794 408 4040

Convertible[edit]

Interior/Roof Black (UA) Red (E8) White (ZR) Green (SW) Totals
Charcoal/black 1287 598 278 89 2252
Charcoal/saddle 9 0 0 0 9
Charcoal/white 8 16 63 10 97
Parchment/black 134 28 2 11 175
Parchment/saddle 317 608 349 208 1482
Parchment/white 0 0 38 0 38
other 0 1 1 0 2
Totals 1755 1251 731 318 4055

2000 Cobra R[edit]

Limited Edition 2000 Cobra R
Ford Mustang SVT Cobra.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 2000
300 produced
Powertrain
Engine 385hp 5.4 L DOHC Modular V8(2000 R Model)
Transmission 6-speed T-56 (2000 R Model) manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 101.3 in (2,573 mm)
Length 183.5 in (4,661 mm)
Width 73.1 in (1,857 mm)
Height 52.2 in (1,326 mm)
Curb weight 3,589 lb (1,628 kg)

In 2000, the Cobra R returned for a production run of 300 units (effectively taking the place of the standard Cobra for that model year) with a 5.4L DOHC engine (6500 rpm redline) that was rated at 385 hp (287 kW) and 385 lbf·ft (522 N·m) of torque, although independent dyno tests have shown that it produced rear-wheel output that nearly matched both of those numbers, suggesting the engine may have been underrated. The iron block was based on the 5.4l block Ford uses in its trucks. The cylinder heads were later used in the Ford GT (slightly modified). Some sources claim that the Australian Ford Falcon GT's engine is very similar to the one of the 00 R. As before, this model was designed to be a race-ready high-performance vehicle in a perfectly street legal package; as such, it lacked many of the comforts the base production line Cobra enjoyed. This model had no radio/audio equipment, no air conditioning, no cruise control and no rear seat. Each of the 300 produced featured a charcoal interior with cloth clad Recaro buckets and sporting a Performance Red exterior.

The 2000 Cobra R had several distinguishing visual and performance features that allow one to easily identify it as something more than a normal 1999 or 2001 Cobra. The "power dome" hood for instance, is taller than the normal Cobra hood, and has gills that can be cut out to reduce engine compartment temperatures. The rear spoiler is tall and wide, providing much needed down force at track speeds. The 2000 Cobra R is equipped with Eibach springs that lower the car 1.5 inches in front and 1.0 inch out back. This model also uses Bilstein shocks and struts, Brembo 4-piston front calipers acting on 13 inch rotors cooled by large ducts, along with a race-style fuel cell that is clearly visible protruding under the V6-style rear bumper. The front bumper is adorned with a low riding, removable splitter. The wheels are also uniquely styled silver five spoke 18-inch (460 mm) x 9.5-inch (240 mm) alloys wrapped in aggressive BF Goodrich G-Force KD tires. The hand built SVT engine employs special DOHC cylinder heads, a "Trumpet-style" intake manifold, aggressive camshafts, short tube headers, and connected to Cobra catalysts, a Bassani X-pipe, and a unique Borla dual side exiting exhaust system, which had to be installed due to the large fuel cell. This model also features 3.55 gears, a Gerodisc hydro-mechanical differential with speed and torque sensitivity, and a Tremec T-56 6-speed transmission that is closely geared for drag racing or road course usage. Despite these close ratios, the 2000 Cobra R also enjoyed a 175.3 mph (282 km/h) top speed. The car was developed with the extensive help of Jack Roush, who did lots of work on the fine tuning, and suggesting parts.

A lot of well known producers of aftermarket parts for the Mustang were involved in this project. Recaro. Brembo. McLeod. Eibach. BF Goodrich. Tremec. Borla. Dana. Federal Mogul. K&N, to name a few.

In a list overview, here are the parts that differ from the standard Cobra

Exterior

  • Only available as coupe
  • Only available in Performance Red
  • V6 style rear bumper (no exhaust cutouts)
  • 20 Gallon Fuel Safe fuel cell, visible from behind and the side
  • Borla side exhaust (since the standard would not fit due to the fuel cell)
  • Large unique wing on the rear decklid
  • 18" five spoke wheels
  • Splitter for the front bumper
  • Blacked out headlights (standard on all 2001+ Mustangs)
  • Omitted fog lights (ducts to the front brakes instead)
  • Special hood with large dome to clear the huge intake
  • Omitted antenna (covered with a black plastic part)

Interior

  • Only available in Charcoal
  • Backseat delete
  • No A/C
  • No radio
  • No cruise control
  • Fabric upholstered Recaro seats (manually adjustable)

Drivetrain

  • 5.4L DOHC engine based on Ford's truck engines
  • Tremec T56 6-speed gearbox
  • 3.55 gears
  • Hydro-mechanical lock differential
  • 13" Brembo vented brake disks with 4 piston calipers up front
  • Vented brake disks in the rear
  • Special Eibach shocks and springs, lowering car by 1"/1.5"

2001 Cobra[edit]

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 owners have reported “ticking/pinging” noise coming from the drivers side head of their cars. As due to insufficient cooling around cylinders #6/#7/#8 which allowed the valves to overheat and therefore seat improperly. Ford remedied the situation by issuing a TSB (TSB#03256/NHTSA#10008278 and NHTSA#10003118/TSB#03164) to remove and replace the affected heads with a version that featured altered coolant flow.
  • Cobra-specific seats with a combination of leather and alcantara [suede-like microfiber] inserts and lager headrests - 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.
  • A new steering wheel and upgraded Mach audio.
  • 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 rear decklid spoiler was redesigned.
  • The original two-piece audio unit consisting of radio with tape deck and a separate CD player was upgraded to a larger, single face 6 disc unit
  • The center console and trim were redesigned.
  • The buttons for the fog lights, the rear window defroster and the anti skid system were moved to a panel below the new radio
  • 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 (these headlights were actually first used in the 2000 Cobra R and for the 2001 model year introduced to all Mustangs).
  • The color of the odometer digits and instrument cluster lighting was slightly changed.
A Teksid block
A Windsor Aluminum Plant block

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.

2002 Cobra[edit]

Although many believe there was no 2002 Cobra, there was a very small release. There were only about 100 vehicles built, and they were all shipped to Australia. Other changes included additional lights in the lower bumper, and the steering wheel was moved to the right side of the car. 2002 Mustang Cobra

Year Model Production
1999 Coupe 4,040
Convertible 4,055
Total 8,095
2000 R Coupe 300
Total 300
2001 Coupe 3,867
Convertible 3,384
Total 7,251
2002 Total 100
Total 15,746
(including exports)

2003–2004[edit]

New Edge Modular SVT Mustang Cobra (Supercharged)
1389.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 2003–2004
19,140 produced
Powertrain
Engine 390 HP 4.6 L supercharged DOHC Modular V8
Transmission 6-speed T-56 manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 101.3 in (2,573 mm)
Length 183.5 in (4,661 mm)
Width 73.1 in (1,857 mm)
Height SVT Cobra Coupe: 52.5 in (1,334 mm)
SVT Cobra Convertible: 52.9 in (1,344 mm)
Curb weight Coupe: 3,665 lb (1,662 kg)
Convertible: 3,780 lb (1,715 kg)

2003[edit]

Debuting in early 2002, the 2003 Cobra, code named "Terminator" by the SVT development crew (and Bryan Adams), which quickly fell into common usage for the 2003/04 Cobra, came with a supercharged 4.6 L DOHC engine. Numerous improvements were made to the power train and drive line to handle the increase from the previous model year. A cast iron block was used instead of aluminum, with stronger internals, including forged Zolner pistons and Manley H-beam connecting rods that were modified with a wrist pin oiling hole by the SVT engine builders. These upgrades were critical in order to support the 8 psi (0.55 bar) of boost delivered from the stock Eaton M112 roots supercharger. Other improvements include the use of an aluminium flywheel connected to a Tremec T-56 six-speed transmission, 3.55:1 rear axle ratio and stronger 31 spline half shafts with revised upper and lower control arms. These modifications launched the Cobra from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and the quarter mile in the mid to high 12's at over 110 MPH

The new Cobra also had exterior differences: It featured a new front bumper with integrated spoiler, a new rear bumper with a black insert, visually integrating the exhaust pipes, a hood with functional dual scoops, newly designed side scoops and foldback mirrors painted in the body color. Compared to the 99-02 Cobras, which had the taillights taken from the Canadian Mustang, featuring a yellow turn signal, the 03-04 Cobra used the standard Mustang taillights which were all red, eliminating the distinctive yellow blinker. SVT also introduced new 17" rims on the 03-04 model. Finally, the 03-04 Cobra sported a new decklid spoiler with an integrated LED brake light, as opposed to the wings seen on the older Cobras and the standard Mustangs.

2003 10th anniversary edition[edit]

For 2003, SVT offered a limited-edition Tenth Anniversary Cobra to celebrate 10 years since the introduction of the first Cobra in 1993. It featured split seven spoke Dark Argent 17"x9" alloy wheels, red inserts in the door panels, red painted brake calipers, red leather inserts in the seats, and special Tenth Anniversary badging on the decklid and floormats. SVT produced 2,003 units of the Anniversary model, 1,000 convertible and 1,003 coupe models. Anniversary models were only available in Black (775 models), Torch Red (734 models), and Silver Metallic (494 models).

2004[edit]

The 2004 Cobra was much the same as the 2003 Cobra with a few minor updates, including new paint color options (Screaming Yellow, Competition Orange and Mystichrome (see below)), a slightly updated exhaust system, which helped to eliminate the Gas Guzzler Tax that the 2003 suffered, as well as some minor interior changes.

2004 Mystichrome Cobra[edit]

As a special for 2004, SVT brought back the Mystic Cobra paint scheme from 1996 in a new fashion. The new color, known as Mystichrome, changes from a bright, metallic topaz which then transitions to cobalt blue, then to royal purple, and finally into a deep onyx black. Dubbed Mystichrome, this color variant was produced 1010 times, 515 as coupes and 495 as convertibles. These cars came with the chromed 17" SVT wheels as a standard. They also featured color-shifting leather inserts in the seating surfaces and in the steering wheel. The color is very expensive, thus any kind of damage is problematic, and it takes a lot of research to find the original. The color was originally designed by DuPont, but sold to BASF, who finally supplied the mystichrome color to Ford. The color is called "2004 Ford Mustang Cobra Mystic Chrome Metallic" and costs about US$150/pint.[6]

A definitive history of this model and John Coletti's SVT operations was captured in the non-fiction book Iron Fist, Lead Foot by Frank Moriarty.

2003 Cobra engine
Year Model Production
2003 Coupe 8,394
Convertible 5,082
Total 13,476
2004 Coupe 3,768
Convertible 1,896
Total 5,664
Total 19,140

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "History of SVT". Retrieved 17 Jun 2010. 
  2. ^ "How Stuff Works: The 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra". Retrieved 9 Aug 2013. 
  3. ^ "1993 Cobra Specifications". Retrieved 9 Aug 2013. 
  4. ^ SVT Cobra Recognition Guide, 1996 SVT News pamphlet
  5. ^ "Maximum Motorsports 99-04 Cobra 14mm IRS Subframe Mounting Bolt". Retrieved 9 Aug 2013. 
  6. ^ "SVTPerfomance Forum entry". Retrieved 9 Aug 2013.