Ever since it roared onto roads and into the American imagination 50 years ago, the Ford Mustang has been synonymous with a solid rear axle. The introduction of an independent rear suspension (IRS) on the 2015 Mustang was controversial – after all, the fact that the vast majority of cars on the road utilize an IRS only made the Mustang’s rear axle more iconic. Drag racers especially miss the rear-axle Pony Car, which excelled at straight-away driving.
As it turns out, Ford isn’t ready to let rear-axle Mustangs go either. Ford unveiled its 2016 Cobra Jet Mustang at SEMA last week, and if drag racing enthusiasts will find anything to complain about, it would be that Ford is only making 50 of them.
The newest member of the Cobra Jet family can run a quarter mile in 8 seconds flat, a feat made more impressive by the fact that its engine shares 75% of its components with the stock Mustang. In order to push the Cobra Jet’s performance as much as possible, Ford’s engineers combed their lineup for parts, and as a result the lightning-fast, gas-guzzling drag racer borrows an electric water-pump from the C-Max hybrid, a wonderful vehicle that is nonetheless not generally associated with break-neck speeds.
The Cobra Jet Mustang traces its lineage back to 1968, and Ford unveiled a new version at SEMA in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, and now 2015. Owning a Pony Car with more than 1,000 horses will set you back almost $100,000 dollars, but for the vast majority of car enthusiasts, that’s not what’s important. A rear-axle, flame-spitting Mustang will be chewing up race tracks across the country, and that’s more than good enough for us.