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2000 Mustang Cobra R

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On: Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 9:05AM | By: Peter C Sessler

2000 Mustang Cobra R

The high point for Ford’s 4th Generation 1994-2004 Mustang is the 2000 Mustang Cobra “R” model. No fooling around here—the “R” model was not equipped with any luxury options such as air conditioning, stereo, power windows, rear seats, and power door locks. The standard seats were replaced with special Recaro versions which also incorporated a Cobra snake and “R” emblem on the headrest area. The snake/”R” emblem was also used on the reverse indicator letter on the transmission shifter. It almost seems as though Ford didn’t want people to drive the car.

The engine used on the Cobra was a specially modified version of Ford’s 5.4L SOHC V-8 mated to a six-speed manual transmission. All ”R” models were painted red and production was limited to just 300 units.

Visually, the “R” model was distinguished by the tall rear wing spoiler and the front air dam. The low front air dam, which limited ground clearance, was easily removable for street use.

Unlike other Mustangs, the basis for the Cobra R's engine is Ford's Triton 5.4-liter cast-iron modular block, and forged-steel crankshaft. While the cylinder bore was the same as the 4.6-liter aluminum-block engine, this block's deck height is 29mm taller. The stroke is 15.8mm longer (105.8mm vs. 90.0mm for the 4.6-liter), which provides the added displacement.

To install the taller engine, new engine mounts and a lowered cross member were combined to lower the engine by 12mm inside the body.

The Cobra R's forged crankshaft is fitted with Federal Mogul rod bearings, Carrillo billet-steel connecting rods, and forged aluminum pistons. At the bottom of the engine, a high-volume Canton Racing Products oil pan, with its internal baffle system, maintains a consistent oil supply under the high g-forces of racing conditions. A Canton Racing Products windage tray also is used for reduced oil aeration and increased horsepower.

Camshafts also are similar to the 4.6-liter Cobra, but with much more aggressive opening and closing rates and much higher lift. Intake and exhaust valve lifts are 13mm and 12mm respectively, versus 10mm for both intake and exhaust on the 4.6-liter Cobra engine.

The low-restriction intake manifold is a two-piece design with a bolt-on plenum cover. Engineers used computer modeling for tuning, and to optimize flow in order to produce a manifold with runners that have minimal bends. Each has a free-standing bell-mouth at its entry.

The exhaust manifolds are a tubular steel, short-tube header design that fit into a Bassani X-pipe with production Cobra catalytic converters.

There you have it. This Mustang was designed to be driven fast—and also as a limited production run collectible.

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