Ford has built an all-electric drag racer to prove that electric cars aren’t just about emissions-free runs to the supermarket.
The catchily named Ford Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 has been developed in-house by Ford Performance and packs four electric motors putting out a total of nearly 1,400bhp and more than 1,100lb/ft of torque.
Ford says the prototype model should be able to tear up the strip like a true dragster, running the quarter mile in the low eight-second range at more than 170mph.
The car is based on a combustion-engined Mustang Cobra drag racer but has been developed by Ford Performance with help from specialists in everything from vehicle design and electric motors to software.
Pushing it to the limit
“Ford has always used motorsport to demonstrate innovation,” said Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Icons. “Electric powertrains give us a completely new kind of performance and the all-electric Cobra Jet 1400 is one example of pushing new technology to the absolute limit.
“We’re excited to showcase what’s possible in an exciting year when we also have the all-electric Mustang Mach-E joining the Mustang family.”
Ford says the latest Mustang drag racer pays homage to the original 1960s Cobra Jet dragster while allowing it to develop electrified systems for its 21st-century racing cars and passenger vehicles.
Details on the batteries and motors used are sketchy but Ford says everything about the car is set up to deliver the same kind of pace over the quarter mile as any other Cobra jet dragster.
Ford Performance plans to give the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 its world debut later this year but car fans have already been given a sneak preview on Hard Cell, a Motor Trend show fronted by UK journalist Tom Ford, where he examines everything from all-electric motorsport to whether you can go adventuring in an EV.
"This project was a challenge for all of us at Ford Performance, but a challenge we loved jumping into,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “We saw the Cobra Jet 1400 project as an opportunity to start developing electric powertrains in a race car package that we already had a lot of experience with, so we had performance benchmarks we wanted to match and beat right now. This has been a fantastic project to work on, and we hope the first of many coming from our team at Ford Performance Motorsports."