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Monday, October 12, 2015

The Ford Mustang Cobra R is One Mean Future Classic



These days there are plenty of uber-rare, low-production supercars to drool over. Famously, Porsche only built 918 versions of its 918 Spyder. McLaren shipped only 375 P1 hypercars. But low-production American pony cars? That’s another niche altogether, and one that this screaming beast calls home. 
With only 300 built in full for the year 2000, this is a Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R—the third iteration in a seriously quick Mustang lineage. It hides a hood full of performance, boasts a wing (or picnic table?) to embarrass most wings, and rarity not often seen amongst modern Mustangs. Like it? This one’s on eBay, and it shows an eye-popping 5,006 miles on the odometer.


So what did it take to own one of these ponies back in 2000? Luck…as there were only 50 more produced than the ’95 Cobra R, and a chunk of change…the Cobra R retailed for a base price of around $56,000 in its day. And there certainly were things you didn’t get. There was no radio, no backseat, much less sound deadening material, and no air-conditioning…though the vents were still there.
What buyers did get was a shock to the system. The SVT Cobra R strapped occupants into a pair of Recaro racing seats and swapped out the usual 4.6-liter Cobra V8 for a punchier 5.4-liter version. The end result was 385 horsepower and 385 lb.-ft. of torque sent to the rear wheels solely through a six-speed manual gearbox, which unlocked a top speed of 175 mph. Yikes. If the quarter mile was more your thing, the R could hit it in around 13 seconds.


Then come the body mods. Up front, the Mustang tacks on a racy front splitter, bumper, and pumped-up hood, which barely clears the Cobra R’s special high-flow intake. At the back, the sizable rear wing attempts to grab telephone wires as it glides along…and to the sonorous tune of X-pipe exhaust and Borla mufflers. Large Brembo brakes and 18-inch wheels play nice with a lowered, hunkered-down suspension. Ready for the track, or the strip.

It’s not exactly what you’d call an average Mustang, and this one is said to be number 187 of that hallowed 300. Your vote: future classic?