Ford Brings Back the Mustang King Cobra*

*Well, sort of…

by on Nov.04, 2014

Ford harkened back to another era with the debut of its King Cobra Mustang at this year's SEMA show.

Call it a blast from the past. Ford brought thunderous applause with an all-new version of a once-familiar nameplate at this week’s SEMA Show, the annual aftermarket extravaganza in Las Vegas.

Featuring a scaly paint job, complete with a raging snake on the hood, the Mustang King Cobra harkens back to some of the most powerful performance cars in Ford’s portfolio. But don’t expect to find it roll into your local Ford showroom anytime soon – not unless you spend some time browsing through the Mustang parts catalogue.

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“This is one of our most famous snakes,” said Ford Racing chief Jamie Allison as he helped pulled the covers off the show car.

The King Cobra name has around for decades, starting out with a special-edition Shelby Cobra and later showing up as a special-edition version of the 1970 Torino. It later was added as a member of the pony car family with the launch of a King Cobra Mustang II in 1978.

The King, Richard Petty, gets a close look at Ford's King Cobra Mustang.

With enthusiasm fired up for the launch of the all-new, 50th anniversary 2015 Ford Mustang, there’ve been plenty of questions about what would come next as, in typical fashion, the maker lays out plans for special, limited-edition spinoffs.

The King Cobra would seem to make an impressive choice, the SEMA show car making an impressive 600-horsepower, “about 200 more” than the ’15 Mustang GT, noted Allison, offering just a few hints of what helped punch out that added performance, including a new catback exhaust and beefed up transfer components.

(Pumped up Mustangs roaring into SEMA. For more, Click Here.)

To whet the crowd’s appetite, Ford showed a video of the King Cobra launching down a drag strip, topping out 128 mph and finishing the quarter-mile run in just 10.97 seconds.

But when later asked Allison if the King Cobra will be added as a distinct new Mustang model, his answer was blunt, a simple, “no.”

(Click Here for details about Hyundai’s six entries at SEMA.)

That said, fans will be able to create their own version of the King Cobra, according to Allison. “You open up the Ford performance catalogue and take one of everything.”

(To see Mercedes’ concept that’s designed to SUC, Click Here.)

An exaggeration, sure, but not by much. Indeed, Ford and rivals like Chevrolet and Toyota use the annual SEMA show as a way to pitch not only their production models, but also to generate enthusiasm for their parts catalogues. The aftermarket industry is estimated to yield as much as $35 billion in annual sales in the U.S. alone, and manufacturers have gained a growing share by expanding their own line-up of parts and accessories.

As for that distinctive, scaly paint scheme? That’s not in the Ford catalogue, Allison acknowledged, though he insisted there are plenty of customizers who should be able to match the concept if you have the cash.

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One Response to “Ford Brings Back the Mustang King Cobra*”

  1. Glad to hear that Ford is producing “performance goodies” to reel in Mopar’s Hell Cat!

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