Back in 2020, Ford Performance brought some serious voltage to the long-running Mustang Cobra Jet series, revealing the all-electric Mustang Cobra Jet 1400. It followed up a year later by driving the car to an NHRA electric vehicle quarter-mile world record. The Blue Oval could have just sat back and admired the silverware it had earned, but instead it got back to work and is now looking to best itself and maybe break a few other marks along the way. The all-new Mustang Super Cobra Jet 1800 is the tool with which it will work, a fully reworked version of the electric Cobra Jet with less weight and several hundred more horsepower.
After the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 prototype made its public debut at the National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) US Finals in September 2020, where it exceeded expectations with an 8.27-second quarter-mile during testing, driver Bob Tasco III pushed the electric super-dragster to its official 8.128-second (at 171.97 mph/276.76 km/h) quarter-mile record in June 2021 in Norwalk, Ohio. Ford says that the quarter-mile time still stands as the NHRA world record for a full-bodied electric vehicle.
Instead of going home and simply resting on its laurels with smug satisfaction, Ford Performance and its partners went right back to the garage to improve upon their creation. Not two full years later, they’ve pulled the wraps off the revised car, bringing back the Super Cobra Jet name first used in 1969.
“We’re always looking to push ourselves in every corner of the motorsport world,” said Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance Motorsports’ global director. “Drag racing remains a key proving ground for our products and technology, and we’re excited to not only try to best our own record in the quarter-mile, but to further showcase ongoing development we continue to make across the entire electric vehicle landscape.”
That ongoing development saw Ford Performance and MLe Racecars rework the Cobra Jet 1400’s entire battery system to shave significant weight. The new 1800 uses the same four DS-250 115 electric motors and PN-250-DZR inverters as the 1400 but routes power to the rear wheels through a new Liberty transmission. Ford and co have also reworked the rear suspension geometry cushioning the larger Mickey Thompson drag radial tires, with the goal of optimizing launch.
Ford has also upgraded the control hardware and software package and added in a new data acquisition system. In all, it’s pulled out hundreds of pounds of weight and upped output to the namesake 1,800 hp in the name of its quicker quarter-mile ambitions.
This time around, MLe Racecar’s cofounder and test driver Pat McCue will pilot the car, and the team will aim not only at the full-bodied EV quarter-mile record but also a pair of 0-60 mph (96.5-km/h) EV records. They plan to make the attempt at an NHRA event later this season.