Michael Johnson Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
April 10, 2012
Photos By: Steve Turner

James Lottes
2004 Cobra

Coming in to the competition, we didn't have much to go on with James Lottes and his '04 Cobra. The only thing he knew about his Cobra was that it supposedly made a ton of power...like four-digit power. That got our attention right off the bat. When people claim that kind of power out of a street-driven car, our ears perk up. However, we're always curious if those numbers can be replicated at KOTS. Other than the big horsepower numbers, we knew the car had a Liberty-prepped six-speed, and being from South Florida, we knew it also had A/C. Those three qualifiers sealed the deal for us and he was in.

When James pulled his Cobra out of the trailer, it looked unassuming. However, the jig was up with a pop of the hood. Twin Garrett 67mm turbos blowing through a Sullivan intake into a Kesatie Motorsports-built, 5.1-liter Four-Valve is a recipe for big power. Just for giggles--and to help spool the turbos--the Cobra also boasts a Nitrous Pro-Flow 75hp shot of the good stuff.

For the Ride & Drive, the car features a 10-point rollcage but with removable doorbars, so getting in and out of the car was easy. However, I found the interior a bit cramped, even with the stock seats and seatbelts. The factory/Aeroforce gauge layout was well-placed but not as refined as the '05-'11 Mustangs in the competition. It was nice, but just a tad rough around the edges. You can tell James really drives the car as opposed to babying it around town.

The McLeod clutch, though easy to use, released at the top of the pedal, which took some getting used to, and the car's T56 was a bit notchy.

James' Cobra was stupid fast. During the Ride & Drive I gave it the what-for and the car showed me what it was made of. At that moment, I knew the four-digit power claims would come to fruition come dyno time. The car was crazy fast. I've driven a ton of fast cars, but James' Cobra kept pulling and pulling. If the car had wings we could've flown back to the track. Thankfully though, the car stayed on all four tires.

The next day at Holley I was really looking forward to seeing James' Cobra on the dyno--I knew it was going to put up huge power. However, like everyone else, I had to wait because James picked number 9, which meant he would be last to dyno. Oh, the horror. James bided his time while all the other KOTS competitors made 600, 700, 800, 900 horsepower, but when it was his turn....Boom--1,093 hp! He didn't even make another hit. He had made his point. He fired the cannons and knew that number was about right; that's all he needed. He had covered the next highest competitor by almost 150 hp, so why rub it in?

In the end, James' Cobra magnified the difference between New Edge and S197 Mustangs, and how good the latest Mustangs are. In the Horsepower category, his E85-guzzling Cobra had everyone covered by a mile so he earned a 10, but elsewhere his car showed its age.

KOTS Score
Horsepower:10 (1,093 hp)
Ride & Drive:7
Fit & Finish:5
Drag Race:3 (11.30 e.t.)
Popular Vote:3
Final Score:67.5

5.0 Tech Specs

2004 cobra

Engine and Drivetrain
Block Teksid aluminum
Crankshaft Modmax billet stroker
Rods Eagle forged H-beam
Pistons CP w/17cc dish
Camshafts Kesatie Motorsports custom grind
Cylinder heads Stock Four-Valve w/Livernois Motorsports valvesprings
Intake manifold Sullivan Performance w/Accufab throttle body
Power Adder Garrett twin 67mm turbochargers w/27 pounds of boost, Bell Core custom intercooler, and Nitrous Pro-Flow 75hp shot
Fuel system Magnafuel 4301 in-line fuel pump w/Lethal Performance Stalker 340-lph in-tank pump, Fragola -10 feed line, Fragola -8 return fuel lines, Fore Innovations rails, Fore Innovations regulator, and Lethal Performance 105-lb/hr fuel injectors
Exhaust Custom turbo headers w/Bassani Xhaust off-road X-shape crossover pipe, and Stainless Steel Systems after-cat exhaust
Transmission Liberty-prepped T56 six-speed w/McLeod RXT clutch, Tremec shifter and MGW handle
Rearend 8.8 solid-axle w/Eaton 31-spline differential, Moser 31-spline axles, and 3.27 gears

Engine management Stock w/Sniper tune
Ignition Stock w/ACCEL coils and NGK BR7EF spark plugs
Gauges Stock w/Aeroforce