Ford Performance claims its 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet will rocket down a quarter-mile faster than the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon by more than a second, but it won’t be able to taunt anyone past the exit sign to the drag strip. Its monstrous supercharged 5.2-liter Coyote V8 won’t be street legal.
But with a name like “Cobra Jet,” it’s not like this thing has to be street legal. The name itself is scary enough to keep people from coming back through the track gates and into the Cobra Jet’s legal territory.
The Cobra Jet has been a thing since 1968, just four years after the first Mustang came around in 1964. That makes this year its 50th anniversary, and Ford wants to celebrate with 68 turnkey Mustang race cars designed to be NHRA legal and terrifyingly powerful. They’ll just have to be brought into the track on a hauler.
All 68 of the Cobra Jets will have the supercharged Coyote V8 that looks like it’s about to claw its way out of the car’s hood in the teaser photo from Ford above, as well as race-engineered suspension. Add ons for the car include an NHRA-certified roll cage, race seats, a drag-specific coil-over suspension, and racing wheels with 50th-anniversary badging on them. There’s also the option for a 50th-anniversary graphics package, for those who worship the brands.
There aren’t any specs on the car itself yet, since Ford only released information on how fast the company claims it can go down a drag strip. Final specifications and ordering will come around “this summer,” Ford said.
None of the 68 Cobra Jets will have VINs, meaning they can’t be registered to drive on the street. But they’ll be available in either red or white exterior colors for everyone at the drag strip to see, at least in the form of a blur—Ford claims the new Cobra Jet is the fastest and most powerful one yet, and that it’ll run the quarter mile in “the mid-8-second range while topping 150 mph.”
Those numbers come just over a year after the Dodge Demon debuted, rated at 840 horsepower on 100-octane gasoline and with a claimed quarter mile of 9.6 seconds at 140 mph. The Cobra Jet, which Ford said was developed on the 2018 Mustang platform, sounds like it’ll destroy that.
While the Cobra Jet’s history isn’t really on streets, the Demon comparison was inevitable. They’re hovering around the same ballpark in claimed performance numbers, and they’re both American, V8 drag-racing monsters. One has the famous Coyote engine, and the other, the famous Hemi.
But even if it can’t win in a straight-up drag race, one of those drag cars seems like it’ll easily take home the cool trophy after a day at the track: the car that can drive the trophy home itself.