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Ford shows off Mustang Cobra Jet Concept with twin turbos


October 30, 2012

The Mustang Cobra Jet Twin-Turbo Concept in white

The Mustang Cobra Jet Twin-Turbo Concept in white

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Ford has shown off a new version of its Mustang Cobra Jet concept at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show this year. Since 2008, the Jet has been the most accomplished production-based drag racer, and Ford is making some pretty serious changes that it hopes will keep it on top. The Cobra Jet concept that Ford is displaying features a twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V-8. This is a big change for the drag racer, which has always featured a large supercharged engine.

The turbo setup features two BorgWarner turbochargers tucked low behind the fog lights. Air for the turbos is sucked in through the fog light apertures. It goes through each turbo before being routed through a central intercooler. After that, the air is pushed to a custom carbon-fiber intake plenum to a prototype intake manifold.

This design is meant to combat lag, which is one of the major drawbacks of a turbo. The location of the turbos – and the way the air is forced in – helps counteract this, and allows the turbos to generate as much power as possible.

Ford is being silent on the amount of horsepower the new Cobra Jet is pushing. Clearly, the company wouldn't design the concept car in a way that would make it not competitive in the drag racing circuit, especially with the previous success Ford has enjoyed. Ford has mentioned that the 2013 Cobra Jet wastes 100hp to power the supercharger, and presumably, it plans to rectify that with the use of the twin turbos.

The automaker frequently refers to its EcoBoost technology when speaking about this new concept, and while this engine may be more efficient, it seems like an odd comparison when you consider the relative lack of efficiency that comes from running a high performance dragster with racing fuel. Either way, it seems like Ford is trying to improve the efficiency of this engine, while possibly improving the power.

This car could certainly be an interesting development in drag racing, and some of the technology could help Ford improve its consumer automobiles. In fact, Ford claims that one of the main reasons it chooses to invest heavily in racing is because it offers a "rapid learning curve" and "lessons that can be fed back into the vehicles customers drive every day."

The video below from Ford provides more information about the new concept.

Source: Ford

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie. All articles by Dave LeClair

Hmmm... I thought drag cars tried hard to avoid wheel spin (traction is key) yet the video seems to do nothing else.

Kiwi Jono

Kiwi, yes you're seeing lots of rear tire slippage. That's not footage of the actual drag. Notice a few things during the entire video. When you see the rear tires spin, notice the front tires don't move. This is because the driver is applying the brake. The rear tires are intentionally spun in a specific area just short of the actual strip to hear the tires to optimum temperature - warmer tires = stickier tires. The are where "burnouts" are done is regular asphalt (tarmac). The actual drag strip is coated with a special solvent that makes the surface very sticky. You can lose your shoes on the track because its so sticky. Notice how the track is shiny? That's the very soft, sticky Tarmac. Notice also how (in the very slow motion footage) the rear tire seems to wrinkle? That's because it's getting extreme traction and is deforming under the tremndous torque form the drivetrain. You almost never see tire smoke from the strip - only the burnout area.

Vince Pack

Wonder what ET and speed it was achieving over the quarter .....

Martin Hone

Hey Ford, retrofit these to Shelby KR Mustangs alone & std plain Tangs for sales. Make mine with manumatic.

Stephen Russell

Looks like Ford 's still continuing the "Mustang tradition".. ;-) That is, the tradition of taking cars singularly unsuited to the performance niche, and making them icons of the "muscle car" genre.. Even though my Shelby has passed on, looks like others have taken the reigns.. It is quite strange, actually.. this tradition. When Carroll Shelby was first contacted by Ford to "Shelbyize" the Mustang, in (I think) 1966. he looked at them and laughed , saying it would be as simple as turning a sow's ear into a silk purse.. and I believe that is precisely the phrase he used.. He had , however, already turned an attractive, but anaemic british sports car into a brute with the power to weight ratio of later year's superbikes (The Cobra !) .. so he successfully accomplished the task on the Mustang. and what a brute it was!.. When the Mustang line was reinvented in 1993, after years of irrelevancy, they were, again, underpowered but attractive.. Again Ford approached Mr Shelby.. He accomplished the same thing then too.. This time he has passed on.. but, as I noted in the beginning of my comment.. looks like the tradition lives.. Just wish I could afford 2 cars.. I might get one ;-)

Doc Rock

This thing should make serious power (-:

Terry Penrose

Big name, same lookin car... I saw a 2015 rendering I'd love to see in 2013. it was a new shape new grille lower, it was gorgeous, hopfully Ford doesn't wait until 2015 to make what they should be building now. I'm tired of all this nostalgia...

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