Nearly 15 years ago the SVT Cobra was struggling to make more than 305 horsepower. While today we take the fact that even a V6 Mustang makes at least that much, and a Mustang GT 420, while the awesome ’13-’14 Shelby Trinity engine makes more than double that output -we’ve come quite a long way in a decade and-a-half.
For many of us who were around when these cars were knew, the 2000 Cobra R is still something truly special. This was a halo car, rated at 385 horsepower, with exotic parts, and at the time mind-blowing performance. A DOHC 5.4 sat between the fenders, and that engine could be thought of as the granddaddy of the 5.8 liter Trinity that makes supercar owners turn their noses up at the thought of a production car with more power than their coach-built Eurotrash.
Our friends over at LateModelRestoration recently had a ’00 Cobra R in their shop. All these years later this one remains a pristine example of these rare cars, with a Bassani cat-back exhaust system as the only modification.
Screaming on the in-house Dyno this is one of the only near stock videos of a dnyo session or dyno results we’ve seen of a ’00 Cobra R in recent memory. The car put down an impressive 390 hp and 388 ft-lbs of torque to the rear tires. While we know the cat-back system is probably good for a few ponies at the wheels, the numbers don’t lie about one thing, the Cobra R was way under rated by Ford from the factory. Assuming a drivetrain loss of 12-percent our calculations put flywheel horsepower for this car at over 435 hp. If that’s correct, and we’re generous on the exhaust gains we’d say it’s safe to assume that stock Cobra Rs probably make closer to 420 hp at the flywheel. That’s a substantial leap from the standard Cobra of the day and even what Ford rated them at when they were knew. It also confirms our own suspicion that these cars were a lot wilder than we were lead to believe.