When Ford built a 50-unit run of the 2008 Mustang Cobra Jet last year, the program was a huge success with all the cars selling out well before production started. With the factory-built drag racing cars easily proving their worth at the nation's 1/4 mile tracks this year, doing a follow-up was a no brainer. After teasing the new car with testing photos and videos for the last several months, the 2010 FR500CJ is having its coming out party in Las Vegas for the 2009 SEMA Show.
The next 50-unit run will again be built on the regular Mustang assembly line at the Auto Alliance plant in Flat Rock, MI with the engines being bolted together at the Romeo engine plant. The 2010 model is more than just bolting the same hardware into an updated body shell. A year's worth of experience with the '08 Cobra Jet has allowed current owners to share feedback with Ford Racing that has been fed into the updated car.
We managed to grab some photos of the 2010 Cobra Jet on the show floor just ahead of its official live debut tomorrow, so check out both the official and live photos below or read on to learn about the updates for the new model.
Live photos Copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.
The new FR500CJ will again be rolling out of Flat Rock a with supercharged 5.4-liter V8 calibrated to and rated at 475 horsepower. However, not all new Cobra Jets will be created equal. The base CJ retains the same cast iron block used on the GT500 and '08 CJ. Buyers that have opted for the new Super Cobra Jet engine will get a lighter aluminum block. But wait, there's more! The Super Cobra Jet loses the 2.3-liter supercharger used on the '08 and the '10 base model in favor of a 4-liter Whipple blower. That means the car will have a significantly higher potential output than the base model. All the engines also get higher lift cams and compression increased to 9.6:1 .
All 2010 Cobra Jets get a variety of other upgrades, as well. The fuel system is an Aeromotive return type system with a fuel cell in the trunk. The intercooler coolant tank has been changed from plastic to a fabricated aluminum with a higher capacity to better withstand pressurization. Because drag racing cars often end up spending extended times sitting in staging lanes, Ford has also added fans to the intercooler to help keep temperatures under control. All cars now also get a line lock from the factory to disable the rear brakes for burnouts.
The new Cobra Jet's chrome-moly steel roll cage is certified by the NHRA for its SuperStock B class and 8.5-second quarter-mile runs. A full set of instrumentation and racing safety harnesses are installed in every car. Because these are strictly off-road machines, Ford has made several modifications to ease serviceability for the crews, as well. Behind the glove box cover is a fuse panel with many of the most frequently used fuses. A second panel sits behind the cover that normally covers the passenger air bag. Also in the air bag cavity is a connector for connecting a laptop so crews can do tuning in the paddock or staging lanes. That air bag cover is velcroed in place for easy access.
All 50 of the 2010 Cobra Jets were spoken for several months ago. The base price was $77,000 maxing out at $95,000 with all options including the aluminum engine. However, drag racers who were not among the first 50 can still get a Cobra Jet, it will just take more work. Starting with the newly available body in white, racers can build their own Cobra Jet. All of the parts that make up a CJ are available from the Ford Racing catalog so you can assemble your own. The silver car shown in the photos is a one of a kind unit prepped for the car's SEMA debut. The customer cars will again all be white and the same red, white and blue cobra graphics are optional.
2010 COBRA JET MUSTANG CONTINUES THE EVOLUTION OF TURNKEY RACE CAR PROGRAM
LAS VEGAS – Since its victorious introduction at the NHRA Winternationals in 1968, Ford's Cobra Jet Mustang has created a legacy of power, performance and triumph.
The 40th Anniversary 2008 Cobra Jet Mustang lived up to the legend of the original, duplicating the NHRA Winternationals victory in 2009 and dominating drag strips across the land.
Today, Ford Racing unveiled the 2010 Cobra Jet Mustang at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, which marks the continued evolution of the CJ as a factory-produced turnkey race car. In honor of the SEMA introduction, Ford Racing built and unveiled a one-of-a-kind "SEMA Special" silver Cobra Jet complete with a charcoal Cobra Jet graphics package.
"The 2008 Cobra Jet was a great car, it did everything we wanted it to do," said Brian Wolfe, director, Ford North American Motorsports. "We're really proud of the car, but then again we're always trying to make the next one better.
"With the 2010 Cobra Jet, we had the luxury of a longer development cycle and the result is absolutely stunning. Where the 2008 Cobra Jet was an extremely potent starting point for NHRA Stock competition, the 2010 will enhance the car further. We are all excited to see the new Cobra Jet in competition."
For decades, the Mustang has been the preeminent car in many forms of racing, including drag racing. The 2008 Cobra Jet Mustang added to that legacy this season with high- profile wins at the NHRA Winternationals and U.S. Nationals, and by setting numerous track records across the country.
The 2010 Cobra Jet, like its predecessor, is a factory-built race car that is intended for NHRA Stock and Super Stock racing. The goal for the 2010 Cobra Jet was to enhance the race features to further make its own place in NHRA history. The 2010 CJ will come with all of the features of the 2008 car with enhancements that include options for a full race-prepared automatic or manual transmission, drag race-specific shocks and springs, manual steering and brakes, 8.50 certified rollcage, and an Aeromitive return-style fuel system with trunk-mounted fuel cell.
Additionally Ford Racing engineers have developed for the 2010 Cobra Jet a factory-first launch control/rev limiter that will allow drivers to preset the rpm after they stage the car. When they are ready to leave, all they do is put the throttle pedal to the floor; they don't have the engine speed to free rev. Previously, the launch control/rev limiter was only available as an aftermarket option.
Much like Ford Racing's previous Mustang FR500S race car, the Cobra Jet Mustang will get its start at the Auto Alliance International (AAI) assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The entire 50-car run of 2010 Cobra Jets will be built on the same production line that produces the 2010 Ford Mustang production car. Production of Cobra Jets will commence in January, with delivery of all vehicles expected in the first quarter of 2010.
All of the additional parts and pieces for the CJ can be found in the Ford Performance Parts catalog. And since the Cobra Jet is produced from a base V-6 Mustang, any consumer can turn his Mustang into a Cobra Jet by purchasing the parts from the Ford Performance Parts catalog.
The 2010 CJ car features a choice for customers between two supercharged engines or three normally aspirated engines (pending NHRA approval). These options will allow the Cobra Jet to be eligible for more classes in the NHRA, as well as competition with other sanctioning bodies, including NMRA, NMCA, PSCA and IHRA.
All 50 of the 2010 Cobra Jet Mustangs have already been ordered by Ford dealers for delivery to customers. For those customers who missed out on the limited run of 2010 Cobra Jets, Ford Racing has set a goal to provide future versions of the Cobra Jet.