Ford Performance is confident it can break its own NHRA-recognized standing-quarter-mile world record with the newly introduced Super Cobra Jet 1800 prototype, and plans to put this claim into practice at an official National Hot Rod Association event later this year.
Though the ‘Super Cobra Jet 1800’ nomenclature sounds like a dictionary was forced through a woodchipper, the ‘Super Cobra Jet’ name actually pays homage to a performance package offered for the Mustang road car back in 1969. The electric prototype itself is also an upgraded version of the Cobra Jet 1400 the company introduced for much the same purpose in 2021.
The 1400 was a collaborative effort between Ford Performance (Ford’s official motor racing arm), AEM-EV, Cascadia Motion, Watson Engineering, and electric performance car specialist MLe Racecars, the latter of which, as well as collaborating on both the 1400 and 1800 Cobra Jets, was also behind 1978 F-100 Eluminator concept Ford unveiled at SEMA in 2021.
First unveiled as a prototype in 2020 with a targeted quarter-mile time of around eight seconds hanging around its heavily scooped nostrils, the Cobra Jet 1400 went on to set a new standing-quarter-mile world record for full-bodied electric vehicles on June 26, 2021, doing so in 8.128 seconds at 171.97 mph (around 276.58 km/h) with 11-time NHRA Funny Car race winner Bob Tasca III at the wheel. It’s a benchmark Ford hopes to lower with the 1800 later this year.
“We’re always looking to push ourselves in every corner of the motorsport world,” Ford Performance Motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook explains. “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.”
The Super Cobra Jet 1800 features much the same drivetrain as its predecessor, but now features a lighter-weight battery developed by Ford Performance itself and MLe, plus a new transmission. There’s also new suspension geometry and larger drag radial tyres for a better launch, and the power sent to the rear wheels has now been pumped up to – yep! – 1,800 hp, all of which runs through an all-new power distribution system. While specifics have not been mentioned, “hundreds of pounds in weight” has also been lost.
Official program test driver Pat McCrue (the ‘M’ of MLe Racing alongside partner Jeff Lane) will attempt the record at an unspecified NHRA event later this year, aiming to claim the fastest 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) records for an electric vehicle and a two-wheel drive electric vehicle in the process.