The Ford Racing Mustang Cobra Jet concept revealed at the 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show proves there is indeed a replacement for displacement.
In the perpetual quest to stay ahead of the competition, for the first time ever Ford Racing has equipped its factory-built turn-key drag racer with a turbocharged engine, adopting the same award-winning technology found on road-going EcoBoost engines.
When the original Mustang Cobra Jet drag racers rolled out of the Mustang factory in 1968, they relied on 7.0-litre V8 engines with massive four-barrel carburettors to propel them down the strip.
"When a new generation of Cobra Jets arrived four decades later, they immediately began winning with a modern, fuel-injected 5.4-litre V8 topped with a belt-driven supercharger," recalls Jesse Kershaw, Ford drag racing competition manager. "Over the past four years, the Cobra Jet has gone on to become both a fan and competitor favourite, the most successful late-model vehicle in drag racing."
"Racing pre-dates Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford himself raced the 999 and won in 1901 to generate interest for the new company," said Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing Technologies. "We haven't stopped since.
"We've competed in almost every category of auto racing, from deserts to road courses to ovals and drag strips over the past 111 years, often with cars and trucks based on our production models, including the Mustang," Allison added.