If the concept Mustang revealed at the SEMA Show is any indication, Ford Racing may be turning up the boost on its Cobra Jet turn-key drag racer.
Proving there is indeed a replacement for displacement, the Cobra Jet concept replaces the production CJ’s supercharged 5.4-liter engine with a turbocharged 5.0-liter, adopting the same technology found on road-going EcoBoost engines.
“Despite its smaller displacement, the improved breathing of the 5.0-liter with its twin independent variable camshaft timing and Boss 302 cylinder heads provided comparable performance while showcasing the high technology available in street Mustangs today,” said Rob Deneweth, Cobra Jet powertrain development engineer.
Turbocharger design and release engineer Dave Born joined the Cobra Jet team after working on the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 to help make the concept a reality. “When done right, turbocharging is just as good as or better than supercharging,” Born confirms. “To overcome the biggest perceived drawback of turbocharging – the lag – we’ve selected the smallest possible turbos that will give us the airflow we need.”
Borg-Warner supplied the smaller, more efficient turbochargers based on the units used in the Focus ST. Smaller than the turbochargers found in most other drag racing applications, the turbine wheels are made from titanium aluminide to reduce the rotational inertia by 50 percent. The electronically-controlled wastegates found on production EcoBoost engines enable the turbos to keep spinning and generating the boost pressure needed for low elapsed times and high trap speeds.
The new Cobra Jet project car also features its own take on Ford Racing’s new global Ford Racing livery. The white body is accented with an asymmetric black and blue stripe running over the top of the car, while the flanks blend an upward sweeping version of the stripe with the traditional striking cobra head.