Ford is using this year's SEMA show to unveil a new, faster version of its Cobra Jet turnkey drag racer. The Cobra Jet Twin Turbo concept, as the name suggests, adds a pair of turbochargers to make the quarter-mile machine even quicker.
The Ford Cobra Jet is a stripped-out, race-ready version of the Mustang coupe that is already prepared for NHRA drag racing. It's usually offered with a 5.0-liter V-8 engine or a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, but for this year's SEMA show, the engineers at Ford Racing added two turbochargers to the mix.
The rest of the engine and car are the same as a normal Ford Cobra Jet. The 5.0-liter V-8 crate engine has Boss 302 cylinder heads and a 9.5:1 compression ratio, but with the additional presence of two Borg-Warner turbochargers and a massive intercooler. Ford Racing says the turbos are about 40 percent bigger than the one used in a Focus ST, but that they are still small enough that there is almost zero turbo lag. The turbos also feed on energy that is otherwise wasted from the exhaust system, whereas the car's traditional supercharger saps up to 100 horsepower from the V-8 itself.
The turbochargers feed into a unique intercooler that actually consists of two intercoolers that were welded together and combined. Atop the engine is a new intake manifold that, unlike the rest of this engine setup, will find its way into the Ford Racing parts catalog. Employed for the twin-turbo setup, the new manifold will also add about 25 horsepower to a stock Mustang Boss 302 engine.
Sadly, none of the Ford Racing engineers present would talk horsepower or torque figures, but they promised the Cobra Jet Twin Turbo could complete the quarter-mile in the eight-second range with a trap speed in excess of 150 mph. Given that the drag car weighs approximately 3000 pounds, the engine must be seriously powerful. (We've previously heard that the old supercharged Cobra Jet produced about 500 hp.)
"Ford has embraced turbocharging technology and a lot of our production engineers are working with the technology on a daily basis, so we have a lot of knowledge," Cobra Jet powertrain engineer Rob Deneweth said in a statement. "We decided to apply that knowledge to the Mustang Cobra Jet."
The Twin Turbo concept will remain just that -- a concept car. Although the base crate engine and Cobra Jet shell are available for sale, Ford has no plans to put the turbocharger setup into series production. Aftermarket tuners, however, could replicate this engine design.
The Cobra Jet concept also debuts Ford's new racing livery, which will be applied to all the company's race cars across series like NASCAR, Grand-Am, Rally America, and more. The livery consists of a blue and black offset stripe that runs the length of the vehicle, as seen on this Cobra Jet concept.