2000 Ford SVT Cobra R

Is the fourth-generation Ford Mustang Cobra not quite enough of a performer for you? SVT decided not, and in 2000 pushed the limits of factory Mustang development with the Cobra R, a track-day monster that is can barely contain its punched-out 5.4-liter version of the standard Cobra engine under the power-bulged hood. SVT helped the big motor ingest air and fuel with revised intake manifolds, and exhaust gasses were accelerated out of the engine through larger valves and then into a freer-flowing “x-pipe” style dual exhaust system. The numbers speak for themselves—385 horsepower allow for a 0-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds, making it the fastest Mustang to leave the factory up to that time. Fast is only part of the story, because SVT also spent significant engineering time making the Cobra handle better, utilizing very stiff suspension and a large rear wing to keep the Cobra R planted—the car’s ability to pull nearly a full lateral G on the skidpad attests to the success of the suspension tune. Huge binders also allow the Cobra R to scrub speed before entering a turn, a necessary feature for a competition car. Overall, it’s a track-focused Mustang that has few rivals, then or now.

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