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It looks we're one step closer to having a fully electric Mustang coupe! Ford Performance has revealed the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 prototype, Ford's first factory electric dragster.

It’s projected to do a quarter-mile in the low-8-second range at more than 170 mph. According to ford the prototype will deliver over 1,400 horsepower and over 1,100 ft.-lbs. of torque

DEARBORN, Mich., April 23, 2020 – It won’t hurt your ears and doesn’t use a drop of fuel, but it’s projected to crush the quarter-mile in the low-8-second range at more than 170 mph. For the first time ever, Ford Performance introduces a one-off Mustang Cobra Jet factory drag racer with all-electric propulsion.

The battery-powered Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 prototype is purpose-built and projected to deliver over 1,400 horsepower and over 1,100 ft.-lbs. of instant torque to demonstrate the capabilities of an electric powertrain in one of the most demanding race environments.

“Ford has always used motorsport to demonstrate innovation,” said Dave Pericak, Global Director, 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.”

Following the debut of the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV – the first-ever, all-electric Mustang, the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 prototype represents another opportunity to advance Mustang heritage and performance while simultaneously incorporating some of the most advanced technology coming to Ford’s future powertrains.

Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 also honors the original Cobra Jet that first dominated drag strips in the late 1960s and still is a major force in sportsman drag racing today.

"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."

Ford Performance continues to test Cobra Jet 1400 ahead of its world debut later this year at a drag racing event where fans, media and competitors alike will get to meet the race car, as well as see exactly what it’s capable of up on the asphalt.

Before that, catch a sneak peek starting this Sunday, April 26 by watching MotorTrend On Demand’s “Hard Cell”, a showcase of electric vehicles pushing innovation boundaries.

To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the project, Ford Performance has teamed up with several capable and specialized suppliers:
  • MLe Racecars – Vehicle builder, designer, integrator and tuner
  • Watson Engineering – Chassis support and development, roll cage builder
  • AEM EV – Software and motor calibration and controls
  • Cascadia – Inverter and Motor supplier
Here's what it looks like. I can't wait to see this thing on a drag strip!

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet 1400
 

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Yes, it looks like a larger version of the rotary electric motor used in the MME is placed in the normal engine location under the hood. Pretty cool.

Does anyone know if that was the placement of the motor in the Lithium prototype?
 

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Yes, it looks like a larger version of the rotary electric motor used in the MME is placed in the normal engine location under the hood. Pretty cool.

Does anyone know if that was the placement of the motor in the Lithium prototype?
Yes it is in the engine (motor) bay.
1264
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I heard the same thing. Also, the motor was under the hood? Is there a gear box then?
The Mustang Lithium claimed to have a gearbox so maybe they're using something similar. From my understanding the Porsche Taycan is the only EV with a gear box and that's 2 speed so if it has more than that we're entering uncharted territory.
 

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The Mustang Lithium claimed to have a gearbox so maybe they're using something similar. From my understanding the Porsche Taycan is the only EV with a gear box and that's 2 speed so if it has more than that we're entering uncharted territory.
A quote from Motor Authority on the electric Mustang Lithium: But where the vehicle really stands apart is the choice of transmission: a 6-speed, 3-pedal manual reinforced with billet internals to handle the torque dished out by the electric motor. Ford Performance half shafts and a Super 8.8 Torsen differential were also added to help get the power to the ground. The final bit of the equation is a set of 20-inch forged wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.
 

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A quote from Motor Authority on the electric Mustang Lithium: But where the vehicle really stands apart is the choice of transmission: a 6-speed, 3-pedal manual reinforced with billet internals to handle the torque dished out by the electric motor. Ford Performance half shafts and a Super 8.8 Torsen differential were also added to help get the power to the ground. The final bit of the equation is a set of 20-inch forged wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.
Any performance benefit to the gearbox or is it simply to retain the Mustang gearbox driving experience? Unless too much torque is being lost at higher rpm's or the rpm's can't go high enough, I would think it would perform better without the gearbox.
 

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Any performance benefit to the gearbox or is it simply to retain the Mustang gearbox driving experience? Unless too much torque is being lost at higher rpm's or the rpm's can't go high enough, I would think it would perform better without the gearbox.
Which is, of course, at least half the reason why the MME is a one-speed. The others are simplicity and cost, none of which are issues on the Lithium or the Cobra Jet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Any performance benefit to the gearbox or is it simply to retain the Mustang gearbox driving experience? Unless too much torque is being lost at higher rpm's or the rpm's can't go high enough, I would think it would perform better without the gearbox.
The torque might be the reason why they have the gear box. This is from Ford's press release about the Mustang Lithium

In a unique twist, Mustang Lithium features a manual transmission and uses a drag-strip proven Calimer-version of the Getrag MT82 6-speed transmission with billet internals to handle the 1,000 ft.-lbs. of torque. Ford Performance half shafts and Super 8.8 Torsen® differential help supply power to the road via lightweight Forgeline wheels wearing Michelin® Pilot® Sport 4S tires.

 

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Any performance benefit to the gearbox or is it simply to retain the Mustang gearbox driving experience? Unless too much torque is being lost at higher rpm's or the rpm's can't go high enough, I would think it would perform better without the gearbox.
For street cars I see it as mostly for the driving experience. Formula E race cars are mostly single gear with a few exceptions. Here is a good article with a good video explaining the multi-gear transmission use in EVs. Why Don't Electric Cars Have Multi-Gear Transmissions?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The transmission is apparently the same three-speed automatic that's in the regular Cobra Jet.

Forbes spoke with Dave Pericak, Global Director of the Ford Icons program and here's what he told them.

First off, during the dragstrip run toward the end of the above video, it appears the Cobra Jet utilizes a transmission of some sort with at least two speeds and maybe three or more. Indeed it does - Pericak says it’s the same three-speed automatic transmission as in the regular Cobra Jet, which last saw production in 2018. It’s just been tweaked “and beefed up” to work with the electric propulsion. Of note, the original transmission torque converter is still being used. That’s an interesting choice by Ford since electric cars, with their prodigious torque output (especially this car), have typically foregone transmissions for single-speed power transmission except for a single fixed primary reduction gear. One outlier is the Porsche Taycan, which uses a two-speed transaxle, but that is an exception in the current EV oeuvre. Another is the Cobra Jet.
 

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Ben Sullins spoke with Dave Pericak, Ford's Director of Icons about the Cobra Jet 1400, the Mach-E and future Ford EVs. Pericak Mach-E will be delivered before the end of 2020.

Really great interview. He gave some great answers and it was interesting hearing him mention the Lithium Mustang at SEMA.

Listening to him talk, I'm sure the Cobra Jet 1400 is more than just a one-off car. They're definitely going to use that tech for something else, whether it's an electric Mustang or some other high performance EV.
 
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