Jim Smart
July 1, 2002

Underhood, the Cobra had a specially modified 5.0L High Output engine known as the GT-40. Special modifications included GT-40 cylinder heads that were developed long before 1993. These heads were originally planned for a 25th Anniversary Mustang in 1989 that never materialized. They had larger 1.84/1.54-inch valves with larger ports. Wrapped around the larger valves were heavy-duty valve springs designed for a higher rev and more aggressive roller camshaft. Special roller rockers complemented the GT-40 heads. Compatible with the GT-40 heads was a GT-40 induction system that included a 65mm throttle-body, 70mm mass-air sensor and 24 lb/hr injectors. A specially calibrated electronic control module worked hand-in-hand with the more aggressive powerplant.

Underneath, the Cobra had to be better in terms of handling. The 15.0:1 rack-and-pinion steering system was identical to the rest of the Mustang line. But this is where similarity ended. Stiffer bushings made for better handling. Huge disc brakes (10.84-inches front, 10.07-inches rear) on all four corners made the Cobra unbeatable. Rear Quadra-Shock suspension was revised for better performance. Coil springs were Cobra specific. The front sway bar was actually an off-the-shelf item used in early Fox-body Mustangs with the TRX suspension. The rear sway bar was borrowed from the '87-'93 Mustang GT. The Cobra was also fitted with a chassis-stiffening crossbrace not found on the Mustang GT or LX.

Inside, the '93 Mustang Cobra differed little from the GT. Optional leather upholstery was available only in charcoal grey. Instrumentation was the same as the Mustang GT that year with a 0-140 mph speedometer and seven grand tachometer. One option you could not get on the Cobra was cruise control. The Cobra's standard sound system was the Premium Analog Cassette with 60-watt power. An optional CD player was available.

Cobra R
While Ford was producing '93 Mustang Cobras, SVT introduced the Cobra R, with 107 Vibrant Red, race-only models produced for a form of racing known as Showroom Stock in SCCA and IMSA competition. The Cobra R was a two-seat hatchback with improvements to the chassis, unit body, braking and engine cooling. At 150 pounds, it also weighed considerably less than production Cobras. On the ground, the Cobra R had 17-inch, three-spoke wheels similar to what would appear on the '94 Mustang a year later. Huge 13-inch front disc brakes and 11-inch rear disc brakes were fitted to the Cobra R. A large bore master cylinder was also used.

Driving lamps were deleted to save weight. Forget the sound system and rear seat, which were also deleted in the interest of weight. None of those power accessories found on the street Cobra were available on the Cobra R. Structurally, the Cobra R was assembled using convertible rocker panels for a stiffer platform. Reinforcement plates were welded underneath for added rigidity. Koni shocks and Eibach springs made the most of the Cobra R's handling.

Underhood, the Cobra R had a high-capacity cooling system with a purge canister to capture and release trapped air pockets. To further aid cooling, SVT fitted the Cobra R with an engine oil cooler.

It appears most '93 Cobra R models were purchased and stored by collectors. It's unknown how many have actually been raced in SCCA and IMSA competition. But you can rest assured they gave GM's Camaro and Firebird a run for the money. And that was Ford's objective when these cars were built in 1993.