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Ford Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 Prototype: Electric Dragster Makes 1,400 HP

It also puts down more than 1,100 lb-ft of torque. Roll that in your coal and smoke it.

This is the new Ford Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 prototype, an all-electric, rubber-roasting one-seat slingshot designed to fire you toward the horizon in hopes you'll walk away with a large piece of shiny plastic and a fist full of dollars. It's the first-ever factory-built completely electric drag-racing car Ford has built, and it promises to be a very interesting foundation for the future.

But before we go back to the future, let's take a quick stroll through the past. The Cobra Jet name traces its lineage at Ford back to 1968, when a Rhode Island Ford dealer named Bob Tasca hired drag racer and mechanic Bill Gilbert to figure out a more affordable high-performance solution for the Blue Oval's pony car than the high-strung 427 V-8 offered in the Shelby Mustang. The result? A 428-cubic-inch police cruiser bottom end married to 427 cylinder heads, along with a few other trips to the Ford parts bin. HOT ROD magazine wrote a story about the car, and reader feedback to Ford was so strong, the company decided to build it. Thus the Cobra Jet was born.

To launch the original Mustang Cobra Jet, Ford built 50 fastback drag racers and brought them to the 1968 Winternationals, putting the Cobra Jet's roots even more firmly in the drag-racing world, as well as the Mustang's (though a few other cars did get Cobra Jet engines, too). So it's appropriate that the new Cobra Jet is still a focused factory drag racer. But with an electric motor under the hood, it may have some fans asking: Where's the Cobra Jet?

The answer, of course, is that it's right in front of you. Yes, this one is electric and, yes, this one is straight out of the factory, rather than the product of a great grassroots feel-good moment. But it is a step toward not just new technology but more power made more affordable through larger-scale production than an amateur racer could ever manage. It's also a direct tie-in to Ford's new not-a-Mustang Mustang Mach-E.

"Ford has always used motorsport to demonstrate innovation," said Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Icons. "Electric powertrains give us a completely new kind of performance and the all-electric Cobra Jet 1400 is one example of pushing new technology to the absolute limit."

"We saw the Cobra Jet 1400 project as an opportunity to start developing electric powertrains in a race car package that we already had a lot of experience with," said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, "so we had performance benchmarks we wanted to match and beat right now. This has been a fantastic project to work on, and we hope the first of many coming from our team."

The Cobra Jet 1400 prototype's more than 1400 horsepower and more than 1,100 lb-ft of torque should translate to low-8.0-second ETs, according to Ford.

If you'd like to learn more about the new electric dragster, you can catch a sneak peek of the car on MotorTrend's Hard Cell on April 26 via the MotorTrend app. Sign up now for two free weeks of the best car content you can stream anywhere.