Thursday, August 25, 2011

All Hail the Cobra R

     Mustangs are everywhere.  Whether it be a Fox from '89 or a new 2012 Mustang GT, we see them whenever we hop on the road.  There's a reason for that.  Mustangs are great pony cars if not the best muscle car all around.  They have great straight line performance, can handle decently on a track and they come at a price that most people can afford.  Their only downfall is that their popularity makes them a hated vehicle by anyone who is sick of seeing the running pony logo everywhere they go.  To own a Mustang and receive positive comments on a regular basis, your 'Stang has to be something special.  That means lots of modifications unless you are one of the fortunate 300 who owns a 2000 SVT Cobra R.

     The 2000 Cobra R came at the right time, using a newer body style Mustang as its base rather than the '93 Fox body that the first generation of Cobra R used.  That gave Ford's Special Vehicle Team the chance to make this car gorgeous, which it is.  The '99-'04 Mustang caught people's attention because it looked infinitely better than the '94-'98 body style with its crisper and more sleek appearance.  SVT took that a step further with their exterior modifications to the Cobra R, including an extremely aggressive front fascia, massive chin spoiler, side exhaust, and a rear spoiler that could even grab the attention of a Plymouth Superbird.  With all of these components working together with the Mustang's high-impact orange paint, the Cobra R is really something special to look at.  Performance-wise, the Cobra R sure backs up its looks.

     Compared to the standard Mustang GT of this era, the powertrain of the Cobra R was light years ahead.  SVT outfitted this monster with a 5.4liter V8 instead of the typical 4.6 which bumped horsepower and torque from 260 up to 385.  The GT wasn't even close.  From an acceleration standpoint, the Cobra R could hit 60mph in the mid-4 second range and tore through the quarter mile in less than 13 seconds.  Those performance statistics would put the Cobra R right up there with the new 5.0, despite being over a decade older!  Not only could it accelerate like a true muscle car, but it could handle a track quite well.  I've heard talk about the chin and rear spoilers looking "ricey" because of their large size but the fact of the matter is that they work.  This Mustang generated enough down force to allow it to handle like a proper track car.  The '99-'04 Mustangs that race today are still using this spoiler because it is one of the few that is actually functional.  Say what you will about its design, but it works brilliantly.

     I could go on about the Cobra R all day but I'll spare you the time.  Instead, I will summarize this post by saying that the Cobra R is at the top of my list as far as Mustangs that I would like to own.  Yes, above the 2012 Boss 302.  Yes, above the '03-'04 Terminator.  Yes, above the 2011 Shelby GT350.  It's just that good.  With a limited run of only 300 produced, the exclusivity you buy when you pick up a Cobra R is something out of this world.  Sure, you will turn the heads of Mustang owners across the globe if you roll up in a 2012 Shelby GT500 but in a 2000 Cobra R, you have the ability to awe the entirety of the automotive world.

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