Ford Mustang Cobra – The Success Continues
Since Ford’s 1993 introduction of the Ford Mustang Cobra was so successful, Ford decided to move forward with the production of more Cobras. In 1994, both a coupe and a convertible were produced, but in 1995, Ford offered a Cobra coupe, a Cobra convertible and they brought back the Cobra R. The engine in the 1995 was the same, a carry over from 1993, but with a power boost to 240 horses. The front bumper that featured round fog lights distinguished the Cobra from the Mustang GT, as did the Cobra specific wheels.
The 1995 Cobra R was more powerful than its older brother of 1993 was. It had a more powerful engine, an SVT modified version of the Ford Windsor V8. The re-engineered 5.8-liter kicked out 300 horses. The fuel tank was also modified to a larger Kevlar 20 US gallon version. The tranny also had an overhaul to a tougher Tremec 3550 5 speed manual. As with the earlier Cobra R, the back seat was eliminated and it was very stripped down. There were only 250 Cobra R’s built and they were only available in white with saddle interior.
The 1996, 1997 and 1998 production years for the Ford Cobra were systematically modified to be better, higher performing and more durable. Both the engine and tranny were upgraded offering 305 hp and 300 lb of torque. The Mystic Cobra also appeared in 1996 with color shifting paint that was manufactured by BASF. The paint had a green base, which shifted from green to gold to purple to root beer, depending on the angle at which it was viewed.
Ford Mustang Cobra: Putting the Muscle in Muscle Cars
In 1993, the Ford Mustang Cobra made its debut. A distant cousin of the Shelby Mustang, the new Cobra was the first vehicle that Ford’s Special Vehicle Team produced. The styling was based on the third generation Ford Mustang that had been built on the Fox platform. 4,993 base Cobras were produced in that first model year. They sported a Windsor 5.0 L under the hood, offering 235 horses with 280 ft lbf torque.
The Cobra R was also produced that year, although only 107 were made. It was inspired by the Mustang Cobra, but was a more pared down version built for the racetrack. It had no rear seats and retained only the barest of essentials like the air conditioning, radio system, speakers, and rear carpeting. Even the noise reduction insulation was eliminated. It was the only Fox body based Mustang to ever be offered as a two seater.
It did have stiffer coil springs, larger brakes, larger anti roll bars, a strut tower brace and Koni shocks which were intended to increase the Ford Mustang Cobra’s performance. Modifications were also made to reduce the car’s operating temperatures as well as increase its durability when it was at race speeds. Such modifications included a larger capacity radiator and oil cooler.
On the outside, the only difference between the standard Cobra and the R Cobra were the wheels. The R’s special five lug wheels, also featured the following production year, 1994, on the Mustang GT, were later known as Tribars. Ford painted them a high gloss black and polished the center caps and wheel lips. The R Cobra was only available in Vibrant Red. Because so few of these cars were produced, they are a very hot item among collectors and enthusiasts. It is one of the fastest, rarest and most sought after collectible of the Fox Body Mustangs.